What Are the Abraham Accords?

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Bayla Rothschild

Photo Creds: The Jerusalem Post

An astonishing series of events has been quietly unfolding in the Middle East: some Arab countries have begun to normalize relations with Israel. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recently signed peace treaties with Israel, something that many people thought would never happen, and Saudi Arabia agreed to let Israeli planes fly over its land. 

 

On Tuesday, October 27, President Donald Trump announced that there are five countries in the Middle East that have made a commitment to normalize relations with Israel soon, with up to five other countries considering it but still not committed. While the identities of these countries is not certain, some Israeli officials think that Oman may be one of the countries that the President referenced. Sudan has already made some progress on their treaty with Israel, and Kuwait also seems very likely to reach a peace agreement with Israel.  Israel and Lebanon are negotiating their disputed borders, indicating that they may eventually reach some form of a peace treaty, as well. Saudi Arabia is also moving towards a peace treaty, although they are waiting for the final results of the American election before moving ahead with negotiations. It seems the Saudis are seeking a deal with the United States that will allow them to obtain advanced weapons if they sign a treaty with Israel.

 

In the past, Arab countries tried to stay united in their determination not to make peace with Israel as long as there was no independent Palestinian state. Israel’s traditional response was always a reminder that the Palestinians had opportunities for independence, but those opportunities were lost because of the violence perpetrated by Palestinians against Israel. Today, Arab countries are no longer united in this view, and many are seeking treaties with Israel, hoping for long-term benefits if they do so.

 

There are many advantages for countries that reach agreements with Israel, including a boost to their economies as a result of increased trade and tourism. Israelis enjoy traveling to other countries, and many plan to visit Arab countries for vacations. In addition, the United States is encouraging peace treaties with Israel, and the Arab countries are hoping to win American favor and possibly trade deals with the U.S. if they sign agreements with Israel. 

 

At this point, the exact nature of the negotiations between Israel and additional Arab countries is unclear, and not all the details are being made public. Interestingly, this series of agreements between the Arab nations and Israel has been named after the common ancestor of both sides: Avraham Avinu. The peace treaties are being called the Abraham Accords.

 

Sources: https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-says-up-to-10-middle-east-countries-lining-up-to-normalize-with-israel/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-middle-east-accords/2020/10/31/f0585dec-19fc-11eb-aeec-b93bcc29a01b_story.html