Scott Krane
always fresh, never stale

The ‘Abraham Accord’ is a bad move for the region

The historic deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of last week (August 13, 2020) is a mistake for Israel and will not lead to peace. The UAE is the third Arab nation to broker a peace deal with the United States and the Jewish state, but think back: when have these deals ever brought peace to the region? Never. Instead, they send the Middle East falling backward, back down the ever-enduring quagmire. The diplomatic influence of the Trump administration is not helpful and neither was the diplomatic influence of the George W. Bush administration, which pressured Israel to bulldoze Jewish homes and leave the region of Gaza. Let’s start with that.

Saturday morning in southern Israel, the last Shabbat of the month on the Jewish calendar, rockets were fired by Hamas in Gaza at targets within Israel and were thankfully blocked by the Iron Dome. Alarms were sounded in the Israeli town of Sderot at 1 a.m., according to the Israel was forced to respond, hitting Hamas targets.

Here, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is shaking diplomatic hands with Arabs in Abu Dhabi, while fighting for the lives of Jewish civilians along the Gaza Strip. The same Gaza Strip that the Jews were forced to abandon in the early 2000s, for the futile sake of peace.

The reason Israel should continue stretching their sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, and not spur a moratorium, and not do business with the United Arab Emirates is because of that country’s long history of anti-Semitism, and reactionary tendencies towards the Jewish state. Those with Israeli passports, formerly, were not permitted entry into the country. They were seen as dogs. A further example is the case of Shahar Pe’er, Israeli tennis pro, who was denied by the UAE a visa to compete at the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, 2010. Venus Williams was amongst the international bank of athletic colleagues who protested the action. As was Andy Roddick, who refused to defend his title at the Dubai ATP, according to an article in Fox Sports, from February 22, 2009. According to the article in Fox Sports, Roddick was quoted by the Los Angeles Times, saying, “I really didn’t agree with what went on over there…

I don’t know if it’s the best thing to mix politics and sports, and that was probably a big part of it.” A Jewish, Israeli judoka, in October 2017, won gold in a judo championship in the United Arab Emirates, and officials neither flew the Israeli flag as prescribed for champions, nor played Ha’Tikva, according to CNN. The UAE even prohibited Israeli athletes from wearing patriotic symbols on their uniforms, also according to the archives of CNN.

And what has Israel ever done to the United Arab Emirates to deserve to be treated like such filth? The UAE has hated them with a hatred that permeates the constructively competitive world of international sports. It’s as I started off by saying, just look what happened in the Gaza Strip during the Bush administration, after 9/11. Where even now after a historical concession brokered by the Republican party, bent on restructuring Iraq, we’re back at it again, back at war, back at square one, cutting down one another’s children.

Back to the so-called “Abraham Accord”: And how to do the Palestinians, the stars of the show, see things now? Let’s turn to an article in Al-Jazeera (August 15, 2020). Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas (known to the Palestinians as Abu Mazen) decried the peace deal (as did representatives for the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas). Nabil Abu Rudeineh, senior adviser to Abbas, read from a statement outside Abbas’ headquarters in Ramallah and Al-Jazeera recorded some choice quotes to sum up the tenor of the PA reaction. “The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the UAE, Israeli and US trilateral, surprising announcement…” He said the accord was a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.” This is proof that the deal will not bring peace.

Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said: “Annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president,” as quoted by Al-Jazeera.

About the Author
Scott Krane has been blogging for TOI since 2012. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Tablet, Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post and the Daily Caller, among others. He was a columnist and breaking news editor for Arutz Sheva. In addition to a degree in Judaic Studies and a Master's in English from Bar-Ilan University, he has learned at Macon Ha'Gavuah L'Torah in Israel and Hadar Ha'Torah Rabbinical Seminary in Brooklyn.
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