A historic ceremony was held on the White House lawn on Tuesday: an agreement, brokered by the Trump administration, normalizing relations between Israel and two Arab nations, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, was signed. The agreement, the fulfillment of prophecy, was appropriately named the Abraham Accords.
OVERVIEW OF THE ACCORDS
The accords were signed in front of a crowd of approximately 800 people by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayan.
In a manner hinting at the prophesied beating of swords into plowshares, the agreement called for “the further development of friendly relations meets the interests of lasting peace in the Middle East and that challenges can only be effectively addressed by cooperation and not by conflict.”
This would be accomplished through “diplomatic engagement, increased economic cooperation and other close coordination.”
The agreement explained the Biblical roots of the name:
“Recognizing that the Arab and Jewish peoples are descendants of a common ancestor, Abraham, and inspired, in that spirit, to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs and nationalities live in, and are committed to, a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding and mutual respect…”
The nations agreed to establish embassies, though it is unclear whether the UAE and Bahrain will locate theirs in Jerusalem.
Much of the agreement was based on economic cooperation and interaction with the accords specifying finance and investment, civil aviation, visas and consular services, innovation, trade, and economic relations.
The accords open the doors to bilateral tourism. This is highly attractive to the Arab nations as several significant sites considered holy to Islam are located in Israel.
The accords also specified joint efforts to combat terrorism, stating that the countries will “take the necessary steps to prevent any terrorist or hostile activities against each other on or from their respective territories, as well as deny any support for such activities abroad or allowing such support on or from their respective territories.”
PALESTINIANS/JUDEA AND SAMARIA
The accords referred to the issue of the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, stating that the countries were “committed to working together to realize a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples, and to advance comprehensive Middle East peace, stability and prosperity.”
The accords did not mention land or territories in reference to a solution for peace with the Palestinians. This may be significant or not and will only become clear in the future.
A LOOK FORWARD: NINE MORE COUNTRIES TO MAKE PEACE WITH ISRAEL
During the media conference after the signing, President Trump told reporters that additional peace deals are in the works with eight or nine countries.
“We have many other countries going to be joining us, and they’re going to be joining us soon. We’ll have I think seven or eight or nine. We’re going to have a lot of other countries joining us, including the big ones. We already have the big one, but including the big ones,” Trump said.
Israel 365 News managing editor David Sidman conjectured that the “big one”, what Sidman referred to as “the elephant in the room”, would be Saudi Arabia, the head of the Sunni Muslim world and a close ally of the US.
“At the right time, I do think they will come in,” Trump said, referring to Saudi Arabia. “This is a very big and very historic moment, and I think everyone agrees to that. But we’ll have other countries coming in fairly rapidly.”
ISRAEL365 NEWS INTERVIEWED FORMER ISRAEL AMBASSADOR TO THE US
Before the signing, Israel365 News covered the event, interviewing Michael Oren who served as the Israeli Ambassador to the US during the difficult years of the Obama administration. Oren described the accords as a “stunning diplomatic breakthrough.”
“It upends all the political assumptions going back over 30 years,” Oren said, noting that the peace agreement with Egypt required Israel to relinquish the entire Sinai Peninsula. “The notion of territory for peace has been hardwired into the process for 70 years. We didn’t give up a single millimeter of Eretz Yisrael (land of Israel) for this peace agreement.”
“Also, for all this time people have been claiming that the core conflict in the Middle East was the Palestinian conflict,” Oren added. “And that the core of the Palestinian-Israeli was Jerusalem and the settlements. All that has been dispelled by these agreements.”
“Beyond that it is an enormous economic, financial,and strategic accomplishment. It is the wedding of the most innovative country in the world with two of the wealthiest countries in the world. That wedding can be transformative, not just for the Middle East but for the entire world.”
“It also allows Israel and these moderate Arab countries to establish a strategic alliance against Iran, on one hand, and against Turkey, on the other. These Arab states were put in a bind with the Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran and the radical Sunni state of Turkey which is allied with Hamas and other Jihadists which are threatening these regimes almost as much as they are threatening us.So we have a natural alliance with them. So they concluded that there was on other power in the Middle East that not only did not threaten them but was able to strengthen their defense.”
Oren noted that the US played “a very interesting role”, noting that the Trump administration’s rejection of the Obama-brokered deal with Iran increased the US’s leverage to negotiate.
“If America went back to the Iran deal, it would stop the peace process dead,” Oren said.
He noted that the nature of the Abraham Accords could be seen by in the embassies in Jordan and Egypt where, despite the peace agreements with Israel, the Israeli diplomats live under constant threat. In Bahrain and the UAE, diplomats are not under threat.
PROPHETIC BASIS FOR ACCORDS
Israel365 feature articles reporter Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz was asked during the broadcast what he saw as the prophetic implications of the Abrahama Accords.
“It’s all Biblical,” Berkowitz said. “This is not only a hugely historic event but it is also incredibly prophetic. We’re seeing a period of peace focused on Jerusalem, the city of peace.This was the condition that preceded the building of Solomon’s Temple. He built the First Temple out of peace and not out of war.”
Berkowitz also noted that according to Jewish tradition, the Bnei Yishmael (sons of Ishmael) are destined to repent in the end of days. He cited a verse in Genesis.
“We are seeing a reconciliation between Yishmael and Isaac,” Berkowitz said. He explained that according to Jewish tradition, Ishmael should have gone first since he is the older brother. By allowing him to go first, Ishmael is acknowledging the spiritual superiority of Isaac.
“The Abraham Accords is not peace,” Berkowitz noted. It is normalization. It is a meeting of brothers, as in the prophecy, with the Arabs recognizing the worth of Isaac.”
SANCTIFIED WITH PRAYER
Jews are required to pray the afternoon prayers before the sun sets and, as the timing would have it, there were approximately 20 religiously observant Jews on hand after the event, which included h US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and many of those responsible for the negotiations. The worshipers wore masks and observed social distancing.
— Just Own It. (@JustOwnItIsrael) September 15, 2020
MEDIA AND DEMOCRAT PARTY LEADERS SNUB THE HISTORIC EVENT
The media’s ambivalence to this historic event was shocking. As three nations joined together in peace, CNN focused on the lack of social distancing, reporting the event under the headline, “White House largely disregards coronavirus precautions during Abraham Accords signing.”
The New York Times focused on the event’s impact on regional peace but with a decidedly lackluster headline reading, “Trump Hosts Israel, U.A.E. and Bahrain at White House Signing Ceremony” and the subhead, “President Trump said the agreements to normalize relations marked ‘the dawn of a new Middle East,’ but some analysts said his claims were overblown.” The lead paragraph noted that the tri-nation agreement was unacceptable as it “failed to address the future of the Palestinians.” Ironically, the article compared Tuesday’s event to the signing of the Oslo accords in the same place 27 years ago. At that event, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin agreed to give money, weapons, and land to PLO chieftain Yasser Arafat. The NYT attempted to claim that the Oslo accords that have resulted in almost non-stop terrorist attacks was a far greater achievement than the signing of the Abraham Accords which “lacked the feeling … that something both psychically and historically profound was taking place at the White House.”
NPR downplayed the significance in an article titled, “Abraham Accords Fall Short Of Becoming ‘The Deal Of The Century.” The audio-article disparaged the Abraham accords for two shortcomings.
“Initially, the White House was trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the, quote, ‘deal of the century’,” Michelle Keleman said. “But the Palestinians were not among those signing the so-called Abraham Accords today.”
“Neither Bahrain nor the United Arab Emirates were at war with Israel,” she added. “They had been working quietly together to counter Iran.”
It should be noted that the White House invited a large number of politicians from the Democratic party but in a tragically ironic statement about the schism in US politics, none of the party leaders attended the event that brought together three nations in peace.
A LOOK BACK: THE BOMB THAT FAILED TO EXPLODE
In his speech at the event, President Trump was overflowing with optimism:
“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” he said.
An article in WND noted that when President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, some predicted this would be the spark that would set off a war in the region. In 2017, former secretary of state John Kerry predicted that moving the embassy would enrage all the Arab nations.
“You’d have an explosion – an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region,” he warned. “The Arab world has enormous interest in the Haram al-Sharif, as it is called, the Temple Mount, the Dome [of the Rock], and it is a holy site for the Arab world.”
Robin Wright wrote in the New Yorker:
“President Trump threw a diplomatic bomb into the Middle East peace process with his twin decisions to formally recognize Jerusalem.”
PALESTINIAN REACTION TO PEACE: ROCKETS
While the ceremony played out in Washington, Color Red sirens went off in southern Israel as a barrage of 15 rockets was fired from Gaza. Eight rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. 13 Israelis were injured in the rocket attacks. One man in his 60s was hit by shrapnel. He is in critical but stable condition.
In response, the Israeli Air Force launched ten airstrikes, hitting Hamas targets in Gaza including a weapons and explosives manufacturing factory and a military compound. A tunnel was also reportedly destroyed in the IAF strikes.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) September 15, 2020
No Palestinian casualties were reported.
“I’m not surprised that the Palestinian terrorists fired at Israel precisely during this historic ceremony,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said from Washingtonl.
“They want to turn back the peace. In that, they will not succeed,” he told reporters. “We will strike at all those who raise a hand to harm us, and we will reach out to all those who extend the hand of peace to us.”
Though the rocket fire came from Gaza, the Palestinian government in Ramallah expressed support for the attack. Monir al-Jaghoub, who heads Fatah’s Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, said in a statement:
“A question to the United States of America, Israel, Bahrain and the UAE: Will the signing of the normalization agreement at the White House now prevent these missiles from leaving Gaza tonight to Israel? Peace begins in Palestine and war begins in Palestine.”
It was reported last month that Hamas and Israel had achieved a ceasefire agreement concerning rockets and aerial incendiary devices.