Development Site - Changes here will not affect the live (production) site.

The Text of the Abraham Accords Emphasizes Not Just Common Interests, but Mutual Respect

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 accords] include in the ninth preambular paragraph a specific and unique reference to the Arab and Jewish common heritage, as descendants of Abraham, and the concomitant need “to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians, and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs, and nationalities live in, and are committed to, a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding, and respect.”

Preambular paragraphs nine and ten refer to efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive, realistic, and enduring solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict that “meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples, and to advance comprehensive Middle East peace, stability, and prosperity.”

The use of the term “realistic” in this context is indicative of an acknowledgment by both parties of the need for practical and pragmatic ideas to solve the conflict with the Palestinians, rather than unrealistic claims, empty clichés, and buzzwords.

In other words, the Abraham Accords constitute an acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state and a permanent fixture in the Middle East, and the rejection of the anti-Semitism that has permeated Arab societies for the past century. Baker continues:

The instruments signed in Washington [thus] represent a significant symbolic and substantive breakthrough in the relationships between Israel and the Arab world. This will undoubtedly be further developed as the relationships strengthen, and mutual confidence and good faith are enhanced. It is regrettable that critics of this development and the documents signed in Washington prefer to allow partisan views and personal antagonism to color their reasoning, rather than to acknowledge this development on its merits.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Bahrain, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Muslim-Jewish relations, United Arab Emirates

The Summary: 10/7/20

Two extraordinary events demonstrate something important about Israel’s most fervent adversaries. One was a speech given at something called The People’s Forum (funded generously by Goldman Sachs), which stated, “When the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism.”

The suggestion that this tiny state is the linchpin of a global, centuries-old phenomenon like capitalism goes well beyond anything resembling rational criticism. Even if Israel were guilty of genocide, apartheid, and oppression—which of course it is not—it would not follow that its destruction would help end capitalism or imperialism.

The other was an anti-Israel protest that took place in front of New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, deemed “complicit” in Israel’s evils. At organizers’ urging, participants shouted their slogans at kids in the cancer ward, who were watching from the windows. Given Hamas’s indifference toward the lives of Gazan children, such callousness toward non-Palestinian children from Hamas’s Western allies shouldn’t be surprising. The protest—like the abovementioned speech—deliberately conveyed the message that Israel is the ultimate evil and its destruction the ultimate good, cancer patients be damned.

The fact that Israel’s adversaries are almost comically perverse does not mean that they can be dismissed. If its allies fail to understand the obsessive and irrational hatred that it faces, they cannot effectively help it defend itself.

Read more at Mosaic