The Abraham Accords, which brought about normalization and a quick warming of relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, can easily be seen as a silver lining in an otherwise challenging year, as the world was beset by the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis. The Accords not only open new relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, but also triggered movement towards normalization between Israel and Sudan and the formalizing of ties between Israel and Morocco. Surely the region is positively transforming before our very eyes.
Forty-two years ago, the late president of Egypt Anwar Saadat called upon the sons of Abraham to lay down their arms and seek peace. Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978, he uttered “Let us put an end to wars. reshape life on the solid basis of equity and truth.”
We saw other moments of hope, such as the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002 and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s offer of a two-state solution in 2008 – but those did not alter the reality. Indeed, the last decade was one of turmoil, instability, and civil war throughout much of the region. It is in this context that the announcement of the Abraham Accords caught the attention of those who still hoped for peace, and also of a new generation that did not know hatred and war.Continue reading