What is wrong with the 'Abraham Accords'?
While enthusiasm for the "Abraham Accords" is confined to the elites, 80% of respondents to a survey consider that the US and Israeli policies "threaten the security and stability of the region."
At a time when Washington and "Israel’s" political elites are celebrating the emergence and progress of the "Abraham Accords", Palestinian and Arab masses are expressing their disappointment. Indeed, to some in the Arab World, the accords are a major setback for any hope of just and comprehensive peace in the region. Those who are not intimately familiar with how the Accords came about and or who only have a remote understanding of the heart of the issue in the Middle East are left confused.
President Biden, like his predecessor, has projected the Accords as a milestone achievement. He has underscored his support for the Accords, as he thinks they “deepen Israel’s integration into the broader region and establish lasting ties for business, cooperation and tourism.” The President appears to be motivated by political and economic opportunities for "Israel". It is these perceived opportunities that have captured the minds of the political elites in the West but have chilled the Palestinians and the Arab people. Despite differences in emphasis, Biden and Trump have viewed the Accords strictly as a mechanism for the subjugation of Christian and Muslim Arabs. While Trump may have placed more emphasis on his duties toward Evangelical Christians in creating the Accords, Biden, on the other hand, treats the Accords as a fulfillment of a divine design and a politically acceptable maneuver to achieve Israeli supremacy.
On January 24, the Jewish Telegraph Agency contrasted the feelings of the US political elite, who have not bothered to find out whether the Arab people support the Accords, stating “that enthusiasm for the accords in the Arab countries was for now confined to the elites.” This point was validated by a recent survey by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies which found about “80 percent of respondents said that the U.S. and Israeli policies ‘threaten the security and stability of the region.’” The same respondents did not have positive attitudes toward the Accords.
Though Trump credited himself for forcing some Arab countries to normalize relationships with "Israel", it was Kushner, his son-in-law, who conceived the scheme. Kushner, according to the New York Times (Feb. 11, 2017), since the early days of his life as a student, admired Netanyahu and “was instructed to protect Israel” in his Jewish schools. Palestinians “were regarded at a distance, in part as security threats who committed acts of terrorism.” To this day, his ties to "Israel" “are personal and religious.” As Kushner positioned himself as the most senior advisor to Trump, he was motivated by a strong belief that "Israel" “wasn’t a political discussion...; it was his family, his life, his people.” Thus, the Accords are a means for ensuring "Israeli supremacy" in the region and an instrument for ending Palestinian aspirations for statehood.
Some Middle East and international relations experts overlook the power of personal belief and attachment to a certain cause. Instead, these experts underline that the elite’s political goals are driven by concerns either for oil, commercial interests, or domination. In general, there might be some truth to this as Washington has, in part, been driven by one or a combination of these factors. However, in the context of the Middle East, cultural and religious considerations take priority.
Indeed, President Trump stressed the religious motive stating, “And we moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. That’s for the evangelicals.” Likewise, President Biden’s recent announcement, when he met with the Israeli President, reinforces the notion of a domination motive and/or religious belief. He stated, "And I — I’ve often said, Mr. President, if there were — if there were not an Israel, we’d have to invent one." President Biden’s statement expresses a deeply religious and colonial mindset that has not been so concisely displayed by his predecessors.
Those who are intimately familiar with Middle Eastern affairs assert that the Accords have frightening and threatening policy implications for the people in the region. These Accords have not only made peace in the region a far-reaching possibility, but they have also set the stage for ending any prospect of peaceful coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Holy Land. Indeed, in their present content, the Accords are a gathering storm that will deepen instability, chaos, and bloodshed. Washington’s political elites have been steering events in the region toward calamity.
This push toward calamity in the region is more likely driven by fanatical beliefs that "Israel" is "God’s kingdom on earth." This may explain why the US House of Representatives has disregarded the human rights of Palestinians and the entire Arab World. The Hill (May 1) reported that the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, did not endorse a two-state solution with the Palestinians and instead was clear where he stood, telling the Israel Knesset, "Our values are your values. Our heritage is your heritage. Our dreams are your dreams. . . America is grateful for our friendship with Israel. We are a better nation because of it, and we must never shy away from defending it."
The belief that America is “a better nation” because of "Israel" is telling. For fundamentalist Republicans, what is happening in the Middle East is a divine design. Their job is to make sure that the plan is executed diligently.
Washington has used both carrots and threats to force countries to be part of the Accords. Washington promised Morocco that it would recognize its rights over Western Sahara if it normalized ties with "Israel". The condition for removing Sudan from the list of countries that support terrorism was to normalize relations with "Israel". Countries like Lebanon and Syria that have repeatedly refused to entertain the idea of normalization are paying a heavy price politically and economically.
The most dangerous aspect of the Accords is denying the existence of the Palestinian people. This gives justification for preventing them from realizing their aspiration for freedom and dignity. The Jewish Telegraph Agency (April 26, 2023) reported that “the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to congratulate Israel on its 75th birthday . . . But the encouragement of peace deals did not extend to the Palestinians, in a breach with the language typical of U.S. lawmakers’ past Israeli Independence Day resolutions — and, insiders say, a departure from the language originally drafted for this one.”
The passing of the resolution and the omission of the Palestinians are politically alarming and tragic. Concerned politicians recognize the devious motives of those who drafted the Accords and point to its devastating consequences. For example, Jewish democrats in the House of Representatives condemn the Resolution stating that it disregards the “longstanding bipartisan tradition of acknowledging the importance of achieving a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Ignoring Palestinians and denying their existence is the underlying value of the Accords. This amounts to exclusion and a form of racism. Furthermore, the Arab masses are not only ignored but are threatened with severe punishments if they call for justice and liberty. The Accords are designed not to ensure peace and prosperity but to shatter any hope for normalcy in the lives of people in the Middle East.
Kampeas, Ron (2023, April 26). Republicans nix two-state solution language in resolution marking Israel’s 75th birthday. Jewish Telegraph Agency. https://www.jta.org/2023/04/26/politics/republicans-nix-two-state-solution-language-in-resolution-marking-israels-75th-birthday
Kantor, Jodi (2017, Feb. 11). For Kushner, Israel Policy May Be Shaped by the Personal. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/us/politics/jared-kushner-israel.html?searchResultPosition=1
Kelly , Laura and Brooks, Emily (2023, May 1)). McCarthy underscores bipartisan US support in speech to Israeli Knesset despite tensions . The Hill. https://thehill.com/policy/international/3981529-mccarthy-underscores-bipartisan-us-support-in-speech-to-israeli-knesset-despite-tensions/