One of the current news stories out of the Middle East is the unprecedented visit of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s to Bahrain. It follows on the heels of a similar visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In a recent commentary, I noted that absence of the Biden administration in producing these historic meetings. Surprisingly, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough has given full credit to the Trump administration – specifically the work of First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner.
You may recall that Kushner was put in charge of the effort to bring about peace in the Middle East – no small challenge. Rather than continue the historical and repeated failed negotiations with the Palestinians, Kushner abandoned that approach in favor of working on the relationship between Israel and other sovereign Arab nations. At that the time, Democrats and their media allies were unrelenting in their criticism – predicting an abysmal failure.
But Kushner did not fail. Before leaving office four Arab nations signed an agreement with Israel – known as the Abraham Accords. One of them was officially at war with Israel at the time. More recently the handshake of cooperation was extended between Israel and UAE — and now Israel and Bahrain. The latter is significant since the agreement with Bahrain is considered a gateway to a future agreement with Saudi Aribia.
In his morning broadcast, Scarborough gave full credit to Trump and Kushner – even suggesting that the news media was underplaying the significance of those agreements because they were the work of Trump and Kushner. He suggested that if these agreements came under a Democrat, the would be major reporting and all kinds of books. Scarborough went on to say that the agreements are a huge defeat for the Palestinians and Iran. It has greatly diminished their power and influence.
Scarborough suggested that those who criticized the Kushner efforts were wrong. But judging from the expressions on the faces of the other panelists – including Mika Brzezinski – there may not have been universal agreement – although they are generally bound by an unwritten code of always agreeing with the boss.
What Scarborough did not mention, the Abraham Accords are a huge setback for Russia and Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin despot has been extending his influence in the Middle East through Iran and Syria. Since both Tehran and Damascus are losers as the deals move forward, so is Moscow.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Scarborough separate a very important positive achievement by the Trump administration from the drumbeat of negative reporting on everything Republican. Every American should applaud the work of Kushner – especially every Jewish American. And thanks Scarborough for actually telling it like it is.
So, there ‘tis.