U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged, during a virtual Zoom event, that the Biden administration would actively work to support and expand the growing diplomatic ties between Israel and the Arab nations at the one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords.
Blinken hosted the virtual event called “One Year Anniversary of the Abraham Accords: Normalization Agreements in Action,” which was attended by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, former U.A.E. foreign minister Anwar Gargash and Bahrain’s U.S. Ambassador Abdullah Al Khalifa.
Israeli, Emirati, and Bahraini government officials had been pressing the Biden administration for the past two months to hold some kind of commemoration for the anniversary. However, Washington has been lukewarm about acknowledging the agreements, which were the crowning achievement of the Trump administration. President Biden won’t even mention the agreements by name.
Democratic Hostility Towards the Agreements
Secretary Blinken broke with that during the virtual meeting and used the term Abraham Accords, something the rest of the Biden administration has avoided in an attempt to ignore everything that the previous administration did.
With the continuation of hostilities between Democrats and Republicans in Washington, the Biden administration and major media outlets have been loath to give any sort of acknowledgment to the accords.
Part of the reason for this silence has been that the Abraham Accords went against the grain for many of the far-left progressives in the Democratic party.
The Abraham Accords bypassed the terrorist Hamas organization and the Palestinian Authority after decades of appeasing Palestinian demands. The accords cut out the Palestinians from the equation and showed that they have to compromise and that begins with recognizing that the Israelis belong in the region.
While many progressive Democrats clamor for boycotts against Israel and call it is an apartheid state, the Abraham Accords flipped the script, hence the silence.
Blinken said that the U.S. urges a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians but stopped short of calling for a two-state solution, something Foreign Minister Bourita said.
“Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, security and opportunity and dignity,” Blinken said.
While President Biden praised the accords as a presidential candidate, his administration has now basically dismissed them. Back in May, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked about the status of the Trump administrations’ accords.
“Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival, we don’t think they did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.”
Abraham Accords Are Open to More Countries
Secretary Blinken added that the U.S. would continue to work toward encouraging more countries to join the accords and normalize relations with Israel.
“We want to widen the circle of peaceful diplomacy,” said Blinken, “because it’s in the interest of countries across the region and around the world for Israel to be treated like any other country.”
The curious part of the virtual meeting was that while acknowledging the one-year landmark agreement, there wasn’t a mention of two of the primary architects of the Abraham Accords, President Donald Trump or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said that Israel must play a central part in the future of the Middle East and not be an outsider in its own region.
“There is a need for a new regional order where Israel is a stakeholder and no longer an outsider in its own region,” Bourita said. “This new regional order should not be perceived as against someone but rather to benefit us all.”
“Also, this new regional order should be based not only on an updated joint assessment of threats but also [on] how to generate opportunities that favor stability and development for all,” he added.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid began his statement by noting that the date of the virtual meeting fell on the 43rd anniversary of the Camp David Accords which was brokered by President Jimmy Carter and signed by the Israelis and Egyptians.
“This Abraham Accords club is open for new members as well,” said Lapid.
President Carter received a phone call from Israeli President Isaac Herzog, congratulating him on the groundbreaking first agreement between Israel and an Arab country and wishing him an early 97th birthday.
“You did something really holy: This was the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab state, which led all the way to the agreements we had last year with the Gulf states,” Herzog said to former President Carter.
The Abraham Accords were signed on September 15, 2020, on the White House lawn by former President Trump, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the foreign ministers of the U.A.E. and Bahrain.
The agreement initiated the normalization of relations between Israel and the two Gulf states. A month later, Israel and Sudan announced they would also normalize relations.
Morocco joined the accords in December as it renewed diplomatic relations with Israel in return for the U.S. recognizing part of the disputed Western Sahara as Moroccan.
The Abraham Accords directly encourage cultural, financial, and tourism ties among the signatories.