The monumental peace deal that was signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain came as a welcome interlude in the American foreign policy apparatus both inside and outside of the State Department.
But the main question remains: what does it mean to the American people who by and large see this as just another peace deal.
Is it a “game changer” or is it just another exchange of platitudes?
To answer this question, one might be advised to turn to the best minds who have been long entrenched in Israeli politics and the Middle East itself.
To no one’s surprise, most of the mainstream media outlets were quick to gloss over this historical occasion and, of course, provide as little context as possible. In effect, they obfuscated their coverage even more.
Here are second opinions:
“I am very enthusiastic about the deal,” Professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax. “It is almost as significant in my view as the peace deals with Jordan and Egypt [made in the Camp David Accords of 1978], but not quite as much because those two countries had been at war with Israel and the UAE [and Bahrain] have not.
“It may be the first step to broaden the chances of a future peace deal with Qatar, and perhaps, eventually, the ultimate prize, Saudi Arabia. A number of the Gulf states have been having a warmer relationship with Israel, but it is done confidentially. This is the first open statement, and I think other countries will come forward.”
Another in-depth analysis to the current peace deal came to us from David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Far East Policy.
Regarding the Abraham Accord, Makovsky told Newsmax, “Americans need to understand that the peace deals that were made previously with Jordan and Egypt were three-way deals — in which there would be U.S. involvement.”
Makovsky warned “we don’t know for certain if President Trump is going to win in November, but if he does not, there could be a restoration of the Iran Nuclear Deal.”
This present deal, Makovsky strongly believes, “helps Israel get all the help it can right now out of the Trump administration and provide political insurance after January.”
When it comes to how the domestic Israeli population would view the deal Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed at the White House, Makovsky told us: “All I know is that if you look at the poll of whether people would prefer annexation or the peace deal, 77% want the deal. That is great [because] people think that this could be strategically an economically beneficial to Israel. Netanyahu has not incurred significant political damage, and I don’t think that is the issue. The economic and COVID are what he has to worry about.”
Makovsky believes the much-feared Israeli annexation plans will most likely not happen.
“You have to think about the next four years,” he said. “Israel will most likely not annex if Trump gets another four years in office. There is a senior official in the Israeli government who told me ‘we can’t do anything [on annexation] without a commitment from the United States.'”
Professor Guy Ziv of American University, in fact, believes the Abraham Accord spells the end of the annexation era for Israel.
“I think that the most important effect of this deal, [something] that Netanyahu is himself downplaying, is that the plans to controversially annex parts of the Jordan Valley and West Bank are now off the table,” he said.
“For all intents and purposes, as far as I can tell, annexation is off the table because former Vice President Biden has already stated that he will not support it, and the Trump administration itself is unenthusiastic about it.”
When it came to the idea of normalizing a relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Makovsky offered the caveat: “The Saudis are always complicated, and I don’t see them being like Bahrain, Oman, or Sudan. I think that the Saudis have a very complicated issue regarding how they would convince their people. Having said that, I would not rule out them agreeing partially to certain measures of the deal.”
All told, this peace deal between Israel, the UAE gives hope the region might be one step closer to cementing the existence of the Jewish state in the region and creating a multilateral alliance against the hostile Iranian regime.
As Makovsky noted, “There had been some deals that were made previously under the table, but seismic shift here is that everything is going to be above board and across many sectors. It essentially got rid of the table, and I think it is very exciting.
“But just remember one thing: It still is the Middle East and everything in this region is nonlinear.”
Much like a weatherman forecasting the seasonal pattern of a given area, the informed observer of the Middle East believes this tumultuous region remains the hardest to politically prognosticate.
For now, however, it does appear the Trump administration has made tomorrow’s skies in the region a bit clearer for the United States and its strongest ally in the region.
(Michael Cozzi is a Ph.d candidate at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.)