On August 13, 2020, Israel and the United Arb Emirates announced that they will normalize diplomatic relations and establish new broad-based ties.
This represents a pivotal moment in Middle Eastern politics, as the hot-button political issues shift from the issue of Palestine to Iran. The Trump administration helped broker this deal.
Under this new agreement, Israel has nominally agreed to stop its plans to annex the areas of the occupied West Bank. This agreement also solidifies opposition to Iran, which has become stronger ever since the U.S. launched its disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the moment, the U.S. views Iran as the principal threat in the Middle East.
Israel previously signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Up to this moment, the UAE and most other Arab countries did not maintain formal diplomatic or economic relations with the country until now. In normalizing relations with Israel, the UAE became the first Gulf Arab country to reach such an agreement with the Jewish state.
According to White House officials, the agreement was the result of extended discussions between Israel, the UAE, and the U.S.
In a joint statement featuring President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, they declared that they had “agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement read.
Reuters reported that in another statement, the crown prince highlighted that the agreement would prevent further Israeli annexation of Palestinian land, which Israel claims to have been waiting for U.S. approval.
The agreement is known as the Abraham Accords. It provides Trump a foreign policy accomplishment as he pursues re-election in November.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump Tweeted.
HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020
In a separate tweet, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, announced that the Trump administration was able to get Israel to agree with Palestinian people on a two-state solution.
The White House’s Twitter account announced this development:
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory.
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory. pic.twitter.com/8r3DWmzzOx
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 13, 2020
The Trump administration revealed that deals similar to the UAE and Israeli agreement are being crafted by Israel and other Arab states.
This marks a change in strategy from the nation-building of the Obama and Bush administrations, which largely benefited the defense industry, and relied upon misguided hard power instead of smart diplomacy to settle disputes.
Time will tell if such policies will last.
Southern Baptist Convention Reverses Course on Name Change After BLP Reporting
They say they’re not changing their name.
The Southern Baptist Convention has sought to dispel reporting from Big League Politics on the organization’s planned name change, arguing that the institution isn’t formally changing its name.
To correct multiple inaccurate reports, “We Are Great Commission Baptists” is the 2021 Annual Meeting THEME.
The GCB descriptor was approved in 2012 for churches to use if it would be helpful in their local context.
The Southern Baptist Convention remains our official name.
— SBC Executive Committee (@SBCExecComm) September 17, 2020
But a close look at the American Christian church’s plans relating to its name reveal that it’s played with the idea far more seriously than they’re making it seem.
Reports of a name change first emerged in a Washington Post article published on Tuesday. SBC President JD Greear told the Post that “hundreds of churches” affiliated with the denomination had “committed” to using the phrase “Great Commission Baptist” as an alternative to the denomination’s longtime moniker. The change would come as Greear touts his support of the Black Lives Matter, although he’s been careful in pointing out he doesn’t support any formal organization related to the movement. Greear also is renaming the church he personally pastors with the term.
The SBC’s 2021 convention will also organize under the motto of “We Are Great Commission Baptists.” Sounds a lot like a name change, even if the SBC’s leadership is steadfastly maintaining it isn’t.
The name ‘Great Commission Baptist’ is theologically sound in the Christian religion, but it’s somewhat questionable that the organization’s leader appears to be emphasizing it at a moment in which political correctness is making its entryism into many Christian churches and organizations.
It seems as if the organization’s figurehead is keen to present himself as a liberal-style suburban Evangelical to the Washington Post, but he changed his tune quite quickly when the rank and file membership of Southern Baptist churches learned that he was promoting the idea of a name change.
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