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Benefits of new and prospective Abraham Accords diminish support for anti-Israel Palestinian militancy

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Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE sign the Abraham Accords on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

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Since the publication of Part 1 of this paper, Sudan signed the largely symbolic document to indicate Sudan’s intention to move forward with normalisation.

In late December the Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that he expects “many more countries” to enter into normalization agreements with Israel. He added, “We’re going to see many, many more countries, a lot more than people expect and perhaps a lot sooner than people expect.” 

Earlier this month, he informed the Likud caucus that he had visited a number of Arab states, without identifying them.

In the meantime, insofar as the already existing accords are concerned, there is a great deal of exuberance in the relations between Israel and UAE, satisfying ones and pleasant feelings with Bahrain. 

The King of Morocco has yet to sign the peace accords leading to their second normalisation treaty, the first having been repudiated by Morocco during the Second Palestinian Intifada. In the meantime, the International Union of Muslim Scholars headed by a Moroccan jurist considers Morocco’s decision to be “shocking” and is “committed to nullify and refute all pro-normalisation efforts of the parties associated with …….the crime of normalisation.”

In parallel developments, 

1. According to David Rosen, the Saudis began to change the substance and orientation of their text books a few years ago under their previous monarch by encouraging a more accepting and embracing approach towards other religions. Rosen further reports that a just released study by  Dr. Eldad Pardo of IMPACT-se, the Saudis have carried on  with changes in the substance and orientation of the books  recently  by removing  a great deal of antisemitic and anti-Israeli materials from them. According to Dr. Pardo the contents of the books require some further pruning and the addition of materials they ought to contain together with further related improvements of their contents.

2. The Saudis outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood.

3. The Saudis took the initiative to resolve the conflict running for nearly four years, setting Saudi Arabia the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt against Qatar, with the assistance of Kuwait acting as intermediary and Jarred Kushner working towards the resolution of the conflict. The Gulf Arab Summit convened by and held in Saudi Arabia restored the ties and re-established the unity of purpose among these four Gulf States.

While the terms of the agreement that restored the ties that have yet to be disclosed the Saudi foreign minister indicated that the agreement represents a “turning of the page on all points of difference”. 

Based on the demands made by the Saudis, the two other Gulf countries, and Egypt  the points of difference on which Qatar has been forced to address and  fix, among others, include; to remove the Turkish base from its territory and to distance itself from the various Turkish  neo-Ottoman Islamist schemes such as those concerning Hamas and  Jerusalem; to shutter its flagship Al-Jazeera news network that irks Arab polity across the board; put an end to her close relations with Iran; terminate its support for terrorist movements and in particular the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

4. The second item on the agenda of the Summit dealt with Iran to address what Saudi Prince Mohammed described as “the threat posed by Iran… and its subversive and destructive plans” that necessitated “serious action” by the global community.

In a bizarre “Believe it or not” kind of turn of events, the IDF’s new online initiative to recruit manpower attracted Arabs from enemy states volunteering to serve in the IDF.

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The reception of the Accords -The Arab voices

According to Khaled Abu Toameh, a prestigious commentator and writer on Middle East affairs, Arabs hate Palestinians because the latter are known for betraying their Arab brothers, even effectively stabbing them in the back as they did in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion by siding with Saddam Hussein. 

They are also hated, among other things, because of their refusal to with peace plans instead of opposing them. The hostility and hatred has been expressed in particular by a number of Saudi writers fundamentally attacking the Palestinians’ claims to constitute a “people” and with respect to Al Aqsa.

To make matters worse for the Palestinians, in 2019 the Arab League rejected the P.A’s demand that it condemn the normalisation process which at the time was making progress.

Abu Taomeh interviewed George Kurdahi a Lebanese described as one who enjoys huge popularity and influence in the Arab world and its most influential TV presenter. He reported that Kurdahi is reported to have surprised many of his followers when he stated that Arab countries are entitled to normalise their relations with Israel while he also worked up the anger of many Arabs and Muslims by criticising the destructive policies and actions of Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist organisation and referring to the widespread disillusionment with Palestinians residing in Arab countries.

Nevertheless, Kurdahi qualified his opinion by stating that, “In principle, I’m against normalisation so long as the Palestinians are not given an independent state and as long as they do not achieve their rights” only to somewhat backtrack with respect to the normalisation Accords signed by three Arab countries as he went on to say that “…there is a certain reality now… [after supporting Palestinian cause and people for 74 years] we see that the Palestinians are divided. They can’t agree among themselves. They are unable to speak with one voice…As far as I am concerned, Arab states are sovereign countries. If the [UAE] normalizes with Israel, that is its own business. I don’t want to intervene in [her] internal affairs.”  

I quoted Kurdahi in some length because his views appear to represent the consensus among Arabs who seek normalisation and the specific benefits afforded by normalising their relation with Israel.

George Kurdahi, the former host of the Arabic version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, holds significant sway with Arab TV viewers (Photo: IMDB)

Reception of the Accords-The Jewish voices

Obviously, save for the so-called “progressive” organisations and members of the American Jewish community, pupils and disciples of former President Obama, obsessed by the rights of the Palestinians who militate against the Israeli government ideologically and politically and object to the manner in which the country has handled the Palestinian conflict, the normalisation process has been and remains an unwelcome distraction. And no doubt, having voted against Trump in favour of Biden, they hope that Biden will pick-up and carry on with Obama’s Middle-Eastern foreign policy, which, by any rational standard, has been a total failure.

Beyond those folks, the responses of the “intelligent” Jewish communities in the U.S. and Canada, have been rationally welcoming and supportive of these developments

The joint diplomatic achievements of U.S and Israel

Clearly these and future Accords are diplomatic achievements for Israel and the United States that strengthened Arab signatories’ resolve

a.  To detach themselves from their self- identification with the Palestinian cause and claims against Israel and from their view of Israel through the prism of the conflict from the Palestinian side; and

b. Not to allow the Palestinians’ interests  to stand in the way of protecting and promoting their respective national self-interests, namely; to secure financial  relief and technical agricultural assistance for Sudan; formal acceptance of Morocco’s territorial claim to the entire territory of the Sahara and support for its position; or  in terms of dealing with the threats to their national security by Iran; the various Islamists and terrorist movements supported and financed by  Iran and others and  take defensive action against the unwelcome encroachment of Turkey in the affairs of the Arab Middle-East as is the case for UAE and Bahrain.

Israel together with the United States further reinforced the resolve 

a. of the first two signatories, the prospect of  enhancing their security and  their economy by  benefitting immeasurably from Israel’s military might and technology as well as her civil technology and economic strengths through trade and joint projects, and 

b. In all four cases, capitalising on the generous inducements offered and undertakings given by the United States to them to sign an Accord. 

The Accords are certainly fully in keeping with what I would conjure to be Abraham’s concerns with safe, business interests and objectives.

Following President Donald Trump’s decision to remove Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the United States and Israel agreed to partner with Sudan in its new start, and ensure that it is fully integrated into the international community. (Image: StandWithUs)

Clearly, the Accords now stand as a mutually “feel good’ economic agreements although it remains to be seen whether the good feelings will be lasting ones. 

At all events, so far, the Accords short-change Israel on the diplomatic side. More specifically, at present the UAE and Bahrain continue to vote against Israel at the United Nations General Assembly and at its various emanations and I fully expect Sudan and Morocco to continue to do the same.

Further, in the light of the repeated public assertions of UAE and Bahrain, it would appear that the cooperation with Israel under the Accords does not include intelligence and security sharing. It remains to be seen whether the assertions are factual or fibs in keeping with the long honoured political practice of saying different things in public and in private.

And starting in Part 3, I propose to address the questions as whether, First, the timing of the initiatives to secure the Accords was right in the light of the alternative venue open to Trump and Israel, Second, and more importantly where does the departure of Trump leave Israel vis- a-vis -Iran’s atomic ventures and financing of its satellite terrorist affiliates Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthi, and -the P.A.; PLO Fatah and Hamas, in the light of the abject behaviour patterns of Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union and its Minister of Foreign Affairs; France; Germany and some other member states towards Israel regarding the Palestinian claims and  the related Israeli actions; the USSR; the United States; the Arab world with respect to the Palestinians and of late, the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC)

Doğan D. Akman is an independent researcher and commentator. He holds a B.Sc. in sociology, an M.A. in sociology/criminology and an LL.B in law. He held academic appointments in sociology, criminology and social policy; served as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and occupied the positions of Crown Counsel in criminal prosecutions and in civil litigation at the Federal Department of Justice. His academic work is published in peer-reviewed professional journals, while his opinion pieces and other writings are to be found in various publications and in blogs.  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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