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Essay: The Abraham Accords: A Façade of Diplomatic Victories

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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  • Words: 955 (approx)
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A Façade of Diplomatic Victories: The Abraham Accords

The Middle East is home to myriad of conflicts and has been since a millennia. There has been constant devastation in the region involving hundreds and thousands of casualties as a result of the wars between Israel and the various Arab states. There is so much polarization between these countries that when the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in a quarter of a century was signed on the White House South lawn on Tuesday, pledging the normalization of relations, one could believe the words of President Trump, promising “the dawn of a new Middle East”. However, all this agreement is, is a business deal, holding up the illusion of a diplomatic breakthrough.

While the agreement is beneficial for all the countries involved in regards to stronger economic, cultural and political ties and in the creation of an alliance against Iran, but the inherent problem with the Abraham Accords is that it has been labelled as a peace agreement, but there has never been a war between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Instead of being called what it is – a strategic business decision made to benefit political agendas, the Accords have been misrepresented as something aiming to resolve conflict and advance peace, when it does neither.

The only active dispute Israel is invested in, is the one that has been depriving Palestinians of a home since half a century, but the conflict that actually matters – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been nudged away. The Abraham Accords seem to be doing more for Donald Trump and Netanyahu, than for peace in the Middle East. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has not had a good year. Over the past months, thousands of citizens of Israel have demanded the resignation of the Prime Minster. This act can be attributed to the inability of the government to handle the second wave of the coronavirus, the ongoing economic crisis, the unemployed masses and fact that the man is currently on trial for three corruption charges. Netanyahu’s focus is on rebuilding public favourability and the tag of making peace with Arabs can help him do so along at some level, and create a distraction, on all those levels.
In light of the administrative failures of Donald Trump’s government when it came to literally anything that occurred during his tenure, the peace deal in the Middle East sounds like a plus point he can exploit during campaigning for the upcoming elections. Unfortunately for him though, it seems as if the disastrous handling of the pandemic, the economic crisis, police brutality, the burning of the West Coast and now his tax returns will draw away the attention of the American voters.
For Bahrain, amid the ongoing threat from Iran, strengthening ties with the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Israel is a strategic decision that would provide them with security and stability, along with other benefits when it comes to cooperation amongst states. For United Arab Emirates, the deal comes with cooperation in defense, medicine, technology, tourism et cetera. Additionally, the two nations have been conducting business under the table for years, this is simply just making their so called secret relationship, public.

A normalization of regional relations, especially those that do not need normalization that does not address the actual problems. What is important for us to observe is the way this was portrayed to the general public. The United Arab Emirates claimed that the deal was essentially formed on the basis of the promise that Israel would suspend their plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and this promise was portrayed as something that is a boon for the Palestinians. There was a whole media circus as to how this deal is essentially stopping the annexation of the people of Palestine and how the Palestinian cause is being supported. The deal was built on the promise to suspend, not the promise to withdraw, or to evacuate or provide any form of relief to the Palestinian cause; all Israel did was promise to hold off on annexing parts of the West Bank. The issue of the colonization of Palestine has been sidelined entirely. The Palestinians are condemning this deal, for them it is a violation of the Arab consensus that Palestine should have a state of its own.

In this entire scenario, there is no peace deal that is being brokered. The only thing happening is a PR stunt for Trump and Netanyahu, along with bringing about additional regional tensions in the area – be it internal or external. With not only Palestine condemning this deal but Iran, other Arab states and citizens of these respective nations themselves, questioning the essential nature of this deal. At this stage, everyone can recognise the fact that the portrayal of the Abraham Accords as the bringer of peace in the Middle East, especially Palestine, is a farce. The so-called brothers of Palestine, normalising their relations with Israel, has highlighted the fact that now the Palestinian cause has become secondary to the world. The focus now, is not on putting pressure on Israel to do something about the statelessness of Palestinian people, it is on the politics of their own countries – be it an effort to regain public favour by Trump and Netanyahu, or it be strengthening the security of the Bahraini’s and the United Arab Emirates. For all the players involved in this, the Accords are promising something that benefits all of them in some way or another – there is no peace that is going to be achieved. The pain that the Palestinians have been suffering for decades on end has been pushed aside – and the entire cause has now become a tragic story.

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