Three years ago this week, I had the extraordinary opportunity to sit on the South Lawn of the White House as the most dramatic Arab-Israeli peace and normalization deal in a generation was signed.

Brokered by President Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the Abraham Accords soon consisted of a deal between Israel and four Arab countries: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Sudan, and the Kingdom of Morocco.

It was a powerful and deeply emotional moment for me, as a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen with several sons who have served in the Israeli Defense Forces, to see history in the making.

I knew I was witnessing a huge answer to the prayers of millions of Evangelicals who, for decades, have taken very seriously the command of King David in Psalm 122:6 to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

I was also seeing a promise that UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nayan made to me in 2018 fulfilled.

True to his word, MBZ told me and a group of Evangelical leaders that I brought with me – much to our astonishment – that he was going to be the next Arab leader to make peace with Israel.

PEACE TO PROSPERITY – CONSIDER THE NUMBERS

With the passage of time, I can now report that the Accords have been a huge success story.

They have endured multiple rocket wars between Palestinian terrorists and Israel.

Riots on the Temple Mount.

High tensions in East Jerusalem.

And never-ending threats from the Iranian regime.

The Accords have been embraced most by the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco – Sudan is having too many internal problems to benefit yet, or possibly ever.

But nowhere have the positive benefits been greater than for Israel and the UAE.

Just consider the numbers, released today by the Emirati embassy in Tel Aviv.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Bahrain and Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates wave to the crowd during the Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony at The White House on Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA)

Over the past three years:

  • More than one million Israelis have visited the UAE, mostly going to Dubai (the commercial capital) and Abu Dhabi (the political capital)
  • The number of flights between the two countries has soared from zero to 106 weekly.
  • Israel’s first free trade agreement with any Arab Gulf state was with the United Arab Emirates.
  • More than 70 Israeli companies are now operating in the UAE.
  • The two governments have signed more than 120 agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU’s).
  • Bilateral trade has skyrocketed from near zero to $5.6 billion.

EVANGELICALS CAN HELP EXPAND TIES, TOURISM & TRADE – AND STRENGTHEN THE CHURCH IN THE GULF

I’ve seen the fruits of this success first-hand on multiple visits to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including leading the first-ever Abraham Accords Delegation of Evangelical Business & Media leaders last year.

“The Abraham Accords have the potential to change the region strategically with goals of peace, prosperity and stability,” then Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash – now a senior advisor to the UAE president, told me in 2022. “We’re very excited. It really represents the seed for us to work for a new region, for a new Middle East, and hopefully, together, we will be successful.”

Indeed, things are going so well, I’ve been encouraging Evangelical businessmen and women to seriously consider investing in the region.

That said, much more is needed, especially in Bahrain.

Earlier this year, I visited Manama, the capital, and met with senior Bahraini officials, business leaders, and investors.

They remain deeply committed to peace with Israel and much closer alliance with the United States.

But they are definitely looking for more investments, more tourism, and closer commercial ties with both countries.

Recently on THE ROSENBERG REPORT, I described Bahrain as the “Hidden Pearl of the Gulf.

I sat down with Eitan Na’eh, Israel’s ambassador to Bahrain, to better understand relations between our two countries.

I also made a YouTube exclusive video to go into more depth.

Three years into the Abraham Accords, I’m bullish on the state of Israeli relations with these two Gulf countries.

I’m also praying that Evangelicals will get far more involved in helping expand ties, tourism, and trade between them, and strengthen the Church in these beautiful and important countries.

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