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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/24/20

The Abraham Accords Are Not a "Peace Deal"

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White House Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony White House Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony with President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE's Foreign Minister Abdullah ...
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Last week, the New York Times ran an article about the current hostilities in the Middle East under The Abraham Accords and what they mean for an incoming Biden administration. These accords diplomatically linking Israel with several Arab states were negotiated by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose father, Charles, is a longtime donor to pro-Israeli causes and is said to be friends with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a central figure in The Abraham Accords.

The figure of Abraham is a Semitic link between Jews and Arabs. This is how the relationship is described by Natalie Hilder, a writer supportive of the accords on the pro-Israel website The Algemeiner. (Algemeiner means universal in Yiddish):

"A 4,000-year-old sibling rivalry originated in the tents of Abraham, when a rift over inheritance divided two sons of the same father. Since then, Ishmael and Isaac have lived at enmity a historic animosity that made the fact that Arabs and Jews have more commonalities than differences seem ironic to many. Besides their genetic ties, Arabs and Jews have similarities in language (sharing many of the same words), culture, and faith."

The real story is not so simple and is certainly not about the search for peace in the Middle East. For instance, referring to the presidential transition, the Times story in the print edition ran under the following headline:

Change in U.S. Imperils Peace Deals With Israel

I used to edit the world news off the AP wire and write headlines for a daily newspaper in a small city in Pennsylvania. So I know how headline writers can often get the story totally wrong. This is a case in point. The starting point for The Abraham Accords was, of course, Donald Trump's total trashing of a working "peace deal" with Iran over that nation's building of nuclear weapons. According to all involved, the peace deal with Iran was working pretty well; maybe there were some glitches here and there, but nothing that couldn't be worked out diplomatically in good faith.

Then along comes Donald Trump and his Middle East diplomatic corps led by the callow Jared Kushner who blundered in and completely pulled the rug out from under a promising regional peace deal. In its place, the world got The Abraham Accords. To keep this current, just this week, Jared's father, Charles, who did federal time for financial crimes, was pardoned by Donald Trump, along with four Blackwater mercenaries convicted of murder in Iraq. The world is on tenderhooks: Will Jared and his wife, Ivanka Trump, be next with preemptive pardons?

Whatever a Times headline writer chooses to call The Abraham Accords, it isn't a "peace deal." When you think about it, although the term is not in the language, it's much more of a war deal an entity whose reason for existing is belligerence. What the accords do is establish military ally relationships among The Abraham Accord nations -- against Iran.

Would one call a deal made in the 1960s between, say, Australia and the United States to be allies in Vietnam fighting against the forces of Ho Chi Minh a peace deal? No. It's a military ally contract to fight against a certain enemy. The Abraham Accords are a deal meant to unite Jewish and Arab nations in their mutual hostility toward Iran; this is a dead giveaway when you realize the critical glue that facilitated the deal is the provision of lethal modern weapons from the United States for use against Iran.

In the spirit of the first casualty of war is truth and the long history of propaganda in war, calling these accords "peace deals" is a distortion of language; it insults the intelligence. The whole purpose of the accords is to saber-rattle, to kill and destroy, to augment an already simmering state of war notable for two high-profile assassinations of Iranian national heroes and an assortment of bombings and cyber attacks. In fact, much of the world is already involved in fighting a cyber war, right now. Iranians may not have an A-bomb, but they're far from toothless; they mounted a very impressive conventional weapons attack on a huge Saudi oil depot that really shook the Saudis. And there's nothing like formalized hostilities to goose a nation's martial resourcefulness.

While Saudi Arabia has not technically joined the accords, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently made a secret, not-so-secret trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon, the Bedouin despot now ruling that oil-rich nation with an iron fist. The Saudis have been bombing the dirt-poor nation of Yemen (with which they share the Arabian peninsula) into famine and oblivion for years due to the Houthi rebels having a tangential relationship with Iran. Of course, everybody knows bin Salmon ordered the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist.

According to Sixty Minutes, US intelligence agents regularly help Saudis in the US slip back home to avoid hit-and-run, rape and other serious charges. Sixty Minutes found "dozens" of such cases. Amazingly, we have no extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia, which means Saudi criminals are getting away with crimes in the US thanks to the help of US agents. If he were interested to escape from criminal indictments here in the US, an ex-President Donald Trump could set up headquarters in a palace in Saudi Arabia and be totally free to run his business and political operations from there.

Why do we allow the Saudis literally to get away with murder? It used to be the oil, as wits would have it, "our oil that somehow got under their sand." But since we now like to brag about being oil-independent, that can't be it. Even the Saudis and the other Arab oil states can see their golden goose is unsustainable and the future is in alternative energy. Thus, the very savvy murdering prince is desperate to diversify the Saudi's vast wealth. This suggests, if it's no longer oil, it's that the Saudis want world power and to be part of the world's globalized plutocracy. So, they're still untouchable.

Israel, of course, is the ultimate hands-off Middle Eastern ally. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his far-right Likud Party have become part of the global plutocracy. The two-state solution with Palestinians is dead in the water, to the point the West Bank is becoming a militarized colonial attachment to the state of Israel. Given the so-called "demographic bomb" of a one-state situation where democracy will become impossible for Israeli Jews to abide by lest Israel vote itself into being an ecumenical, non-Jewish state militarized colonial control is the only alternative. While Netanyahu faces serious criminal charges that are coming to trial soon he continues to hold onto power. Israel seems to be a powerful, tiny nation terrified to let go of the arrogant, reckless driver they've become addicted to.

The George Bush, senior, administration set a precedent by getting tough with the Israelis 30 years ago. With James Baker as secretary of state, they threatened to cut aid to Israel, and it led to negotiations with the Palestinians. If Bush Republicans can get tough with Israel, why can't Democrats?

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I'm a 72-year-old American who served in Vietnam as a naive 19-year-old. From that moment on, I've been studying and re-thinking what US counter-insurgency war means. I live outside of Philadelphia, where I'm a writer, photographer and political (more...)

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