'Peace without blood all over the sand': Trump jokes about Netanyahu's love of war and both attack 'tyrants of Tehran' at peace summit

'If they’re not going to respect us, we're not going to be involved,' president says of Palestinian leaders

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Tuesday 15 September 2020 18:39
'Peace without blood all over the sand': Trump jokes about Netanyahu's love of war at peace accord signing

Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed a peace accord his administration helped broker among Israel and two Arab states, calling it “peace without blood all over the sand” as he and Benjamin Netanyahu openly taunted Iranian leaders.

As US Democratic leaders demanded to learn more about the peace agreements Israel has inked with the UAE and Bahrain, Mr Netanyahu said the Jewish State does not feel isolated within the chaotic region. It is the “tyrants of Tehran” who should feel isolated as Israel normalizes relations with its rivals.

During a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office with his counterpart from the UAE, Mr Trump appeared to warn Iran, calling the United Arab Emirates a “great warring nation” and saying again he would sell it the US-made F-25 fighter jet.

In a lighter moment during their “bilateral” meeting, Mr Trump said “even” the hawkish Mr Netanyahu tires of conflict and war.

The US president at times during the Oval Office sessions appeared to, almost all at once, issue warnings and court Palestinian leaders. 

“If they’re not going to respect us, we're not going to be involved,” he said, accusing the Palestinian side of not “saying nice things” about the United States. He sent a reminder that he ”stopped payment" on American aid to the Palestinians over such remarks.

But a few moments later, he said “we’ve been given very strong signals” that Palestinian officials want to “join” the two pacts being signed at the White House on Tuesday.

Mr Trump also said “a lot” of other Arab countries soon would sign their own pacts with the Jewish State.

During a ceremony on the White House’s South Portico and Lawn, the leaders of the four countries hailed the agreements and suggested their mark a turning point for the entire region. 

But US Democrats and regional experts say a true chance at peace must include the Palestinians.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she “welcomes” the agreements, but said Democrats need more details“It is … critically important that we fully understand the agreements’ details regarding the announced freeze of efforts by Israel to annex portions of the West Bank," she said in a statement," adding: “The House continues to support a real and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians which must, as House Resolution 326 states, ‘expressly endorse a two-state solution as its objective and discourage steps by either side that would put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach, including unilateral annexation of territory or efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood status outside the framework of negotiations with Israel.’”

As the Democratic-run House prepares to dig into the peace pacts, including one the US signed with all three countries, Mr Trump and the leaders of each were all smiles as they signed the so-called “Abraham Accords.”

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