KUWAIT - Will Be Last to Normalize Relations with Israel

Arno Froese

On the surface there’s no reason why Kuwait, the kingdom at the end of the Persian Gulf, would be a leading critic of Israel. 

Not only does it have no historical connection to Israel, either positive or negative, it is also far away from the Jewish state. 

However, in the wake of the UAE decision to normalize relations with Israel, Kuwait has appeared to be the coldest toward Israel of all states in the Gulf.  

Kuwait has indicated it would be the last country to normalize relations with Israel, according to a report in the Al-Qabas daily newspaper. 

Clearly, Kuwait feels pressure to comment after the Abu Dhabi decision. It is known that Oman and Bahrain are more keen on relations with Israel and that Qatar holds discussions with Israel in the context of funding Gaza. This leaves Kuwait as an exception. 

The explanation for Kuwait’s exceptionalism is complex. In the 1960s and 70s, many Palestinians moved to Kuwait, and the country played a formative role in their life. 

Later when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait the Palestinians supported him, seeing him as the region’s most anti-Israel leader.

However, Kuwait does express support for Saudi Arabia on other issues, such as recent missile attacks by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Houthis are backed by Iran.

On the Palestinian issue, Kuwait continues to pay lip service to supporting the Palestinians. It has other issues to worry about—its aging ruler recently underwent surgery. 

It also has had to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and unrest in neighboring Iraq’s port city of Basra. All this means that the Israel-Palestinian issue is an easy one for it to express a hardline position on, without actually doing much.

-www.jpost.com, 18 August 2020

Arno's commentary

To be anti-Israel is fashionable within the Arab League. What is the Arab League? The organization was founded on 5 May 1945. Presently, 22 states are members, with a combined estimated population of 423 million, living in an area of 13,132,327 square kilometers (larger than the USA). The organization—representing a rather gigantic block—does not have the power of enforcement. The diversity among the various states often hinders the implementation of resolutions.

Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel on 20 March 1979, and Jordan on 26 October 1994. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is doing likewise. As the article indicates, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar have expressed interest in normalizing relations with Israel as well. These developments are a cause of great concern for the Arab League and its repeatedly united voice against Israel.

From the prophetic Word, we know that not only the Arab League, but also the whole world will seek favor with the Jewish nation. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23).


Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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