News and Commentary

Trump Oversees Historic Serbia-Kosovo Deal With Great News For Israel
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) participates in a signing ceremony and meeting with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic (L) and the Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti (R) in the Oval Office of the White House on September 4, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

On Friday, President Trump oversaw representatives of Serbia and Kosovo as they signed a historic normalization of relations, topped by another achievement for Trump regarding the state of Israel as the Jewish state’s unprecedented relationship with an American president rose to another peak: Kosovo, a majority Muslim country, acknowledged recognition of Israel, and Serbia agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Trump tweeted, “Another great day for peace with Middle East – Muslim-majority Kosovo and Israel have agreed to normalize ties and establish diplomatic relations. Well-done! More Islamic and Arab nations will follow soon!”

The latest historic good news for Israel followed the recent agreement reached between the United Arab Emirates and Israel on opening relations between the two countries. “That was followed by the first commercial flight between Israel and the UAE, with neighboring Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to allow such flights to pass through their airspace. Additional Arab states, including Sudan, Bahrain and Oman, have been identified as countries that may soon also normalize relations with Israel,” The Times of Israel noted.

Trump, of course, was the first American president to follow through on a promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, one year after he had recognized Jerusalem as its capital.

On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Kosovo had also agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported. He stated, “Kosovo will be the first Muslim-majority country to open an embassy in the city, As I have said in recent days – the circle of peace and recognition of Israel is expanding and more countries are expected to join it … I thank my friend President Vucic of Serbia for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move their embassy. I also want to thank my friend Donald Trump for his contribution to this achievement,” according to Israel National News.

Hashim Thaci, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, tweeted, “I welcome the announcement of Israeli PM @Netanyahu about the genuine intention to recognize #Kosovo and establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo will keep its promise to place its diplomatic mission in #Jerusalem.”

After the announcement of the historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made the astonishing claim that the Obama administration was partially responsible for preparing the way for the deal.

Biden said that “the coming together of Israel and Arab states builds on the efforts of multiple administrations to foster a broader Arab-Israeli opening, including the efforts of the Obama-Biden administration to build on the Arab Peace Initiative,” adding, “I personally spent time with leaders of both Israel and the UAE during our administration building the case for cooperation and broader engagement and the benefits it could deliver to both nations, and I am gratified by today’s announcement. It is a timely reminder that enmities and differences — even long standing ones — are not set in stone, and of the role American diplomacy can play,” as Fox News reported.

The Arab Peace Initiative that Biden cited was proposed by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at the 2002 Arab League Summit in Beirut, Lebanon, endorsed by that summit, and later endorsed at the 2007 summit in Riyadh. It called for full Israeli withdrawal from Golan Heights, which would leave Israel vulnerable to attacks from above it, withdrawal from the Biblical Judea and Samaria, where the ancient Jewish kings were crowned, and withdrawal from East Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount, the site of the Biblical temples, and for Jews, the holiest place on earth.

As it turned out, Israel never compromised on those issues, and yet the UAE made peace, so Biden’s citation of the Arab Peace Initiative to buttress his claim that the Obama administration had anything to do with the deal is ludicrous.

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