The equation changed dramatically under President Trump, who largely abandoned U.S. efforts to remain somewhat neutral. Siding firmly with Israel, Trump brushed aside Palestinian concerns, relocated the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to disputed land in Jerusalem and recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
His administration invited other Arab countries, especially from the Persian Gulf, to explore a new relationship with Israel.
In fact, several of those gulf countries already had quiet, behind-the-scenes business and security relations with Israel. But this would be the first public display.
On Sept. 15, 2020, in an elaborate White House ceremony, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed an agreement called the Abraham Accords for “peace, diplomatic relations and full normalization” with Israel.
The UAE insisted Israel back off from any plans for a wholesale annexation of the West Bank in exchange for its agreement.
But otherwise, few demands were made of Israel regarding the plight of Palestinians. Critics say Trump squandered an opportunity to make progress on the conflict, in essence handing Israel the better relations it long sought without making any significant concessions to the Palestinians.