It’s often overlooked that in 2020, a miraculous and world-changing event occurred. With all the ink being spilled on the pandemic, George Floyd, and the presidential election, the most underreported story of that year was the normalization of relations between Israel and three of its Arab neighbors.
The historical nature of this should not be understated. This wasn’t historic like the first minority race from a distant country becoming the first head of a small part of a federal machine. This was historic like the formation of NATO, the Camp David Accords, or NAFTA. This was a group of nations getting together for common purpose and growth and creating a binding and (hopefully) lasting agreement which will change the directory of their relationship indefinitely.
Yet, because the deal was done by Jared Kushner, whom the media hates because he is the son-in-law of Donald Trump, whom the media thinks is Hitler, this was overlooked. What should have been a shoe-in Nobel Peace Prize award turned into a footnote. Until that point, in its 72-year history, Israel was able to make peace with two of its Arab neighbors. In one fell swoop, three more signed a peace treaty with Israel, and more countries were on the way.
Then political reality set in, with Trump losing in 2020, Bibi losing soon after, and all the major political players that brought the Arab nations to the table were gone.
Now, at least one of those players is back, and presumed-Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants Saudi Arabia to sign on the dotted line. The question is: Will the Biden administration going to get in the way?
Biden’s history with Saudi Arabia is a real liability to any negotiations Israel has publicly. When campaigning, Biden made Saudi Arabia enemy number one over what they allegedly did to Jamal Khashoggi. He did this because it both appeased his base and it gave him credibility with another regional power he was hoping to assuage: Iran.
Biden’s overtures to Iran in hopes of reigniting the disastrous Iran Deal crashed and burned, as Iran has been engulfed in a series of protests at home. Meanwhile, back in the USA, Biden’s war against domestic oil production took a major hit when the gas prices began to skyrocket, sending him hat in hand to the Saudis. The Saudis, in turn, exposed Biden’s quid pro quo that had him asking to hold off on their reduction of oil exports to keep the price high until after the 2022 midterm elections.
Bibi knows how fraught the relationship between these two players is, and he is working to overcome that friction to help deliver yet another peace deal to Israel. In an interview with Al Arabiya, Bibi said, “I’m committed to deepening and strengthening the remarkable Abraham Accords that we’ve had with our neighbors, but I think the peace with Saudi Arabia will serve two purposes. It will be a quantum leap for an overall peace between Israel and the Arab world. It will change our region in ways that are unimaginable. And I think it will facilitate, ultimately, a Palestinian-Israeli peace. I believe in that. I intend to pursue it.”
Saudi Arabia is giving mixed signals regarding their interest in signing the Accords. On the one hand, they have opened up their airspace to Israeli commercial airlines, a sign of normalization that would have been unthinkable a generation ago. On the other hand, the Saudi Foreign Minister has said that a Palestinian state is a precondition to the fully normalized relationship with Israel. This mirrors the language of foreign policy “experts” like John Kerry.
Like many of the foreign-policy intelligentsia, Biden believes that the only road to peace in Israel runs though the Palestinian Authority, which has never shown itself to be a true peace partner. When they were using one hand to shake, the other hand was concealing a knife. The only way to overcome this overwhelming hurdle is to do what President Trump did and ignore the PA. Only when there is overwhelming Arab pressure will Mahmoud Abbas come to the table.
This can only be accomplished if Biden gives up on his dream of giving Iran a path to a nuclear weapon. As the Zionist Organization of America said: “Israel and Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf Arab countries, share a common foe, the Iranian regime; the oppressive, theocratic, nuclear weapons seeking, number one state sponsor of terrorism. American policy under the Trump administration was more forceful against Iran and friendlier to Israel and the Gulf Arab states, enabling the historic Abraham Accords peace agreements. The Biden administration has undertaken a rapprochement with Iran and distanced the United States from traditional Middle East allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.”
ZOA President Morton Klein expanded on this sentiment. “We call on the Biden administration to use every element of American diplomatic and economic power to facilitate peace and normalization of relations between two long-standing U.S. allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia,” he said. “Instead of coddling the mullahs of Iran who are racing toward a nuclear arsenal and brutally repressing their citizens, even executing freedom-seeking protesters, America must focus on growing the circle of Middle East peace initiated under the Abraham Accords.”
Given the Biden administration's weakness on the world stage, including debacles in Afghanistan, Russia, North Korea, and China, it's unlikely that they will have the political fortitude and prowess to help facilitate peace in the region. Maybe with Bibi back at the head of a more stable Israeli government, and Republicans in charge of at least one lever of power, peace could be thrown in Biden’s lap, despite his best efforts. Knowing the double standards at play, it will likely earn him a Nobel Peace Prize.
Can Netanyahu Expand on The Abraham Accords With Biden in The White House?
- Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
- Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times
- Reading Mode