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Trump's flurry of dodgy deals will not bring the Middle East any peace

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Peace deals that entrench injustice, punish the weak and are propelled by greed, blackmail and weapons sales have precious little to do with peace – and are unlikely to endure. Yet the Middle East has witnessed a recent spate of such dodgy deals. All concern Israel and all were hastily cobbled together by the White House. As his curtailed presidency grinds to an unlamented close, Donald Trump appears engaged in a frantic foreign policy fire sale.

Peace is always a welcome prospect – but never at any price. Trump’s horse-trading on Israel’s behalf has made a cruel mockery of Palestinian rights. By agreeing to normalise relations with Israel, the UAE and Bahrain broke with the 2002 Arab peace plan that makes recognition conditional on the creation of a viable, independent Palestinian state. The deal was sweetened with offers of advanced US weapons and money-spinning business and trade opportunities.

Israel’s new chums are nothing to be proud of. Both countries are autocratic monarchies. Both have a history of jailing and abusing those who disagree with them. Women’s rights, and the rights of migrant workers, are disregarded. Neither regime could be counted on in the event of war between Israel and their mutual enemy, Iran – part of the deal’s supposed raison d’etre. The UAE’s military is mostly famous for bombing civilians in Yemen and Libya.

Trump also recently bullied Sudan into embracing Israel in return for lifting a veto on desperately needed assistance from the World Bank and IMF. Khartoum first had to pay $335m the US said it owed to American victims of terrorism.

Sudan has also been taken off the US list of state sponsors of........

© The Guardian

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