One election down and two or three to go – that is the score as US President Joe Biden gets used to sleeping above his new Oval Office, the political campaign in Israel heats up, Iran prepares its own presidential contest and Palestinian Authority head Mahmud Abbas also declares his decision to put his own position and his parliament up for a vote.
This is certainly a time of transition, of choosing leaders and of getting used to a mix of old and new faces.
It is also the right moment to take stock and consider Israel’s position vis-a-vis the Arab world.
– Jonathan Hessen, Host.
– Amir Oren, Analyst.
– Dr. Nir Boms, Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.
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
In a discussion with the Israel Gulf Report, Nir Boms, a Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University and co-chairman of Israel-UAE policy forum, talks about exciting new developments with Bahrain.
“Today I met Sheikh Khaled bin Khalifa al-Khalifa along with a delegation of Bahrainis from the King Hamed Global Center for peaceful coexistence.”
Can you describe how this came about?
“In the last few weeks and months we have spoken a lot about the UAE which is important and significant and they are the larger players and they were there first and much of the attention went in their direction. But it is important to recognize that although Bahrain is smaller and we heard less about the country in the recent weeks, the normalization process there is significant and, has not been completely new. I have met emissaries from Bahrain first here in 2017 in a delegation that became public and received a lot of backlash from anti-normalization forces.Continue reading