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Normalization Continues Between Israel, Arab World … and Bhutan

Two more countries jumped on Israel’s diplomatic bandwagon over the weekend as Jerusalem announced it had normalized relations with the kingdoms of Morocco and Bhutan. The more significant agreement with Morocco was first revealed by US President Donald Trump, who managed to persuade Rabat to formalize its ties with Israel in return for Washington’s recognition of its annexation of Western Sahara and a $1 billion arms sale, including advanced US drones. The deal makes Morocco the fourth Arab country in three months to make its under-the-radar relations with the Jewish state official, following the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, and was applauded by countries like Oman and Egypt. In what has become a bizarre normal, the agreement was reached without the notification of Israel’s foreign and defense ministers, for the sole fact that they are members of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s rival party. In an unfathomable tit-for-tat between government ministries, the declaration of Israel’s new relations with Bhutan was made a day later by Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi without the prime minister’s prior knowledge and the Ynet news site quoted ministry officials as saying, “This is real peace – no jets, no drones, no American pressure or conditions.”