Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden praised the “historic” decision by the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations with Israel, claiming part of the credit for himself and not mentioning President Donald Trump even once.
“Today, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have taken a historic step to bridge the deep divides of the Middle East,” Biden said in a statement on Thursday. “The UAE’s offer to publicly recognize the State of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly needed act of statesmanship.”
Biden statement on the Israel/UAE agreement pic.twitter.com/Yf021lNO05
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) August 13, 2020
In Biden’s telling, the breakthrough “builds on the efforts of multiple administrations to foster a broad Arab-Israeli opening, including the efforts of the Obama-Biden administration to build on the Arab Peace Initiative.”
The Democrat also vowed that the “Biden-Harris Administration will seek to build on this progress, and will challenge all the nations of the region to keep pace.”
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Israel and the Emirates made the surprise announcement on Thursday, throwing off analysts who expected Tel Aviv to annex West Bank territories instead. It’s the first Gulf Arab nation to officially normalize relations with Israel, and the first diplomatic breakthrough for Tel Aviv since a deal with Jordan in 1994.
The deal was mediated by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and even liberal media outlets such as Vox credited Trump for it.
Israel and the UAE just struck a historic peace deal. It’s a big win for Trump. https://t.co/EUJEJFh00U
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 13, 2020
Democrats are testing out three lines against the UAE-Israel Deal
1) The @RashidaTlaib line: it’s a bad deal that hurts Palestinians
2) The @brhodes line: It’s a nothingburger
3) The @JoeBiden line: It’s a good deal and Trump had nothing to do with it
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) August 13, 2020
Biden’s unwillingness to so much as mention Trump, let alone give him any credit, is particularly puzzling, given that his own most recent interaction with the UAE involved an apology for accusing them of supporting terrorism.
In October 2014, Barack Obama’s VP “clarified” his remarks at Harvard University by saying he “never meant to imply” that the UAE was supporting Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria.
Indeed, Biden did not “imply” anything, but literally named the UAE, Turkey and Saudi Arabia as people who “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against [Syrian President Bashar] Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were [Jabhat] Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
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