Abraham Accord: What an irony that Trump and Biden agreed on something

by Eli Mshomi
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After coming face to face on hundreds of policy measures, Donald Trump and Joe Biden seem to have agreed with each other on one specific topic, the Abraham Accord.

Despite the resistance of the progressive faction of the party, Joe Biden is ready to extend his support for the historic series of agreements initiated by Donald Trump in a bid to bring Arab countries closer to Israel

Progressives often opine that America should roll back from its traditional Middle East allies, including Israel.

Undoubtedly, the Abraham Accords have started bearing fruit with the normalization of Arab-Israeli relations and guarantees long-term peace in the Middle East.

However, as the world continues to accept Israel’s annexation of Palestinian land publically, the Palestinians move one step closer to losing their territory and the support of the Middle Eastern countries they garnered for years.

President Joe Biden will leverage the Arab-Israeli momentum made by Trump, yet the exact strategies between both of them can vary according to the circumstances.

The new US Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, has already extended his support for the Jewish state, which clearly portrays the plans of the Biden administration.

Amid all of this, the prominent thing to note is that Biden and Trump finally agreed on something in common.

Trump’s Only Applauded Work in his Tenure: the Abraham Accords

The Abraham Accord is probably the only thing from Trump’s presidency deserving applause. The war-torn Middle East had a sectarian conflict, with many proxies fighting each other in countries like Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

In between this violent Middle East lies the state of Israel, the only non-Muslim nation in the Middle East. The problem worsened as the country was not in existence before 1948.

As the British paved the way for the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the persecuted Jews started migrating into the territory from Europe and began making settlements in Palestine.

To date, they were opposed by mainstream Middle Eastern countries as the voices for Palestinians rights grew. 

Most Muslim countries from the Middle East and beyond supported the Palestinian cause against the Jewish state, so Israel’s very existence remained in question.

Jerusalem is sacred to all the followers of the Abrahamic religions, including Muslims, Christians, and Jews, so the name “Abraham Accord” was given to the series of agreements by the Trump-led White House.

In his support of the Abrahamic Accord, Trump said,

 

“As a result of our bold diplomacy and principled realism, we achieved a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East… Nobody believed it could happen. The Abraham Accords opened the doors to a future of peace and harmony, not violence and bloodshed. It is the dawn of a new Middle East, and we are bringing our soldiers home.”

(Donald Trump)

 

The US was involved in the matter from the beginning of the Trump administration. Trump also announced his so-called “Deal of the Century” to sort out the everlasting Israel-Palestinian conflict, a deal that many countries vehemently denied.

Biden Following Trump’s Path: Biden’s Extension of the Abraham Accord

Many believed that Joe Biden might go against the Abraham Accords, but now President Joe Biden seems to extend his support for the agreement. 

Antony Blinken, the incumbent Secretary of State, said,

 

“We think that Israel normalizing relations with its neighbors and other countries in the region is a very positive development.”

(Antony Blinken)

 

This dictum also evinces that the Biden administration will build on Trump’s work on this issue, which can bring other mainstream countries into the Accord also.

However, for Biden, the journey would not be as easy as it was for Trump. Progressive Democrats are against the Accord as they want the US not to intervene much in the matter. 

This could pressure the Biden administration in years to come. Progressives think that Israel annexed the Palestinian land and hence violated international law.

They voice that the Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, is then gifted the Palestinian land with the help of this Accord.

Due to bipartisanship, the division in the US Congress is already evident, and the relatively liberal Democrats could try to repel Biden’s foreign policy measures both in the House and  Senate.

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And as Democrats cannot afford to lose even a single vote in the Senate, they will be played by the likes of Joe Machin.

 

Peace or the Progressives? The Choice Lies with Biden

Progressives, no doubt, live in the ideal world, but the rise of realism doctrine in international politics has changed the way the world works.

Even though the United Nations has its own resolutions to sort out the Israeli-Palestinian issue, going against such an important country is never an option for the United States.

It is also an opportunity for the United States to reestablish its global image, which was lost in the last four years. 

If Israel and Arab nations are together, only then can they indulge in the economic activity in the region, which has been torn by different state and non-state actors, mostly after the 9/11 attacks.

As the Abraham Accord has already been signed by the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, the peace in the Middle East seems nearer.

It is pertinent to note here that Israel was on the receiving end of the violent existential threats for years. It is necessary that it is accepted by its neighboring countries so that economic activity can be regulated within the region. 

Amid all of these agreements, Iran is on the losing end, as it is one of the most vocal enemies of Israel.

Saudi Arabia, which has not signed the agreement yet, would be more than happy to join the Accord, considering the US’s unquestionable support to them in the Yemen war and beyond.

Saudi Arabia would also like to join the Accord based on its enmity with Iran, as both countries are at the proxy war in different countries.

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So, anything harmful for Iran would be welcomed by Saudi Arabia instantly. The only problem stopping Saudi Arabia from entering the Accord is public pressure, as it is considered a sacred place for Muslims.

The countries opposing the Accord mostly opine that Israel must exit from the territories of the West Bank according to the pre-1967 war borders.

The chances of the Biden administration compelling Saudi Arabia are even tougher than those of the Trump administration.

This is because the Biden administration is already eyeing to pull the United States back from the Yemen war, which was the primary reason for the US-Saudi relations.

Biden’s approval of the Abraham Accords will also give Iran a fair warning to discontinue its violent ambitions in the Middle East.

With every country joining the Accord, Iran would lose an ally, and at the end of the day, it could remain all alone in the region.

Although the Accord promises long-term peace in the region, Progressives believe that this will provide a license to all other authoritarian regimes to promote violence and later seek agreements with the superpowers.

For the Biden administration, the mission would no doubt be tough if he wants to promote the Abraham Accords all over the world, as many countries could show resistance against it.

But if Biden does pursue this thing without pulling back, the United States can enjoy the benefits in the long run.

 

Final Thoughts:

The Biden administration is often termed to be the continuity of the Obama administration; however, for the Abraham Accords, this is not the case. 

For the more inclusive deals, the Biden administration can move forward with some further provisions in the Abraham Accords so that the concerns of the marginalized ones can also be heard.

In the Middle East, Iran is probably the only country posing a threat to the existence of these accords.

With the nuclearization of the Middle East, the importance of these accords is even greater, so Biden must continue watering this treaty, or the Middle East would be back in the previous times.

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