Until last week, the actual text of the agreement signed on the White House lawn between Israel on the one hand and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the other was not available to the public. Now that it is, it is clear just how revolutionary this event is—contrary to those critics who have claimed that it is merely a pro-forma acknowledgment of political realities. Alan Baker explains.
The Text of the Abraham Accords Emphasizes Not Just Common Interests, but Mutual Respect
A Senior Saudi Political Figure Takes the Palestinian Leadership to Task
In an extended television interview with an Arab broadcaster, Prince Bandar bin Sultan—who served for twenty years as the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., for a decade as head of the Saudi National Security Council, and two years as intelligence chief—responded forcefully to the Palestinian claim that the Gulf states have, by normalizing relations with Israel, “stabbed the Palestinians in the back.” Defending Saudi devotion to the Palestinian cause, Prince Bandar delivered a lengthy history of his country’s role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, in which he bluntly upbraided Palestinian leaders, and Yasir Arafat above all, for squandering chances at statehood and for their lack of “ethics.” While Bandar’s sentiments can hardly be described as pro-Israel, he asserted that the Palestinian leaders are every bit as responsible as the Jewish state for the plight of their people: