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Abraham Accords have some lessons

Reader comment on item: Israeli Victory, Palestinian Prosperity

Submitted by Dave (United States), Jul 22, 2021 at 14:39

Israel's burgeoning rapprochements with the states of the Abraham Accords have taken place because of mutual self-interest.

The Gulf states and others feel threatened by violent radicals like Iran and various Muslim Brotherhood linked organizations, which would like to see them overthrown. This means that Israel and some Arab states have common enemies. Since Israel has developed superb military and cyber technology to help deter these forces, her help is welcomed, despite rumblings of discontent from the "street". It is also true that trade agreements can be very valuable for all parties. In sum, there are negative and positive reasons for cooperation: fear of Islamic radicals, and economic opportunities.

The PA already has trade with Israel, but that its importance is diluted as the PA leadership has already become filthy rich via foreign patronage. As for fear, despite the rivalry with Hamas, the PA does not appear to be directly threatened by Iran or other radicals as much as the Gulf states are, probably because the Palestinian cause is such a valuable propaganda asset for the Islamists, and the PA does not sit atop any oil reserves or occupy very strategic geography. The PA and even Hamas thus find their self-interest mainly in the prestige, power and aid that the conflict brings.
Undoing that situation would require international coordination to reduce that prestige and aid, and it would also require Israel to introduce negative incentives through harsh measures against terror and rejection, i.e. via the victory gambit. I have zero confidence in the first suggestion being carried out, and I have serious doubts about the second, especially considering the influence of the current American regime, but that doesn't mean that all hope should be abandoned.

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