Removing the Palestinian veto led to the Abraham Accords

 Stacey Lennox:

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The U.S. isolating the Iranian regime economically and politically reinforced Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s willingness to speak out fiercely against the Iran Deal during the Obama administration. In some ways, the Obama administration’s approach to the region had consolidated the feeling among the Sunni Arab nations that Iran was a more significant existential threat than Israel.

When the Accords were signed, Levine provided insight into the attractiveness of economic and technological exchange in the region. Appealing to economic ties and going around the Palestinians was a different approach but not unheard of in global politics. The European Union was formed partly as a mechanism to prioritize economic cooperation and prosperity rather than the regional and political differences that had led to two world wars. One of the most effective barriers to war and revolution is a prosperous and content middle class.

Israel has highly sophisticated water desalination technology that Bahrain needs to provide a reliable, clean water supply. Likewise, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been turning towards the future, and technology exchange was a highly attractive idea. Dubai is a modern, international city, and expectations among its citizens are increasing. Even Saudi Arabia, though not a party to the Accords, had to confront the idea that in the future, reliance on an oil-based economy is not realistic. America became a net exporter of energy, and cleaner forms of power are on the horizon. At the time, Joseph predicted if Trump won reelection, the Saudis would eventually join the Accords. They were widely viewed as having given a tacit nod to the other Arab countries moving first.

During the recent military conflict between Israel and Hamas, Levine joined me on a special edition of a podcast I sometimes join called The Red Whine. During our hour-long conversation, he provided insight and information that indicate the Abraham Accords are durable and relations between the Arab nations and the Palestinians are changing.

Levine noted that condemnation and reprisals are predictable anytime Israel and Hamas have an armed conflict. This time he said, it was strangely quiet. While there was some criticism, direct statements against Israel did not come out of the leadership in Dubai or even Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Prominent Emirati in the UAE even condemned Hamas as terrorists. At least one also confirmed the durability of the Accords....

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There is also a notable shift in Arab Israeli voting patterns according to Levine:

“There have been some overtures made by Bibi to Arab-Israeli citizens who, like we were talking about with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, they’ve become more self-interested. They are not interested in any kind of nationalistic conflict. They just want jobs and opportunities to go to college and to raise their families, et cetera.

And having successfully made peace with the UAE and with Bahrain, Bibi was sort of able to bridge some political issues and that yielded a surprising amount for Likud and other non-Arab candidates during the last election. And that is a very frightening reality for Hamas.”

Arab countries are also increasingly distrustful of just sending money to the Palestinians. After sending billions and seeing no benefit to the citizens of Gaza and the West Bank, they are making different demands....

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Biden is returning to the failed policies of the past.  Hopefully, those who joined the Abraham Accords will resist that mistake.  Iran is still the biggest threat to the region and Biden is making the Islamic religious bigots of Iran a bigger threat. 

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