The Abraham Accords and the Birth of Arab Zionism

December 22, 2021 | Einat Wilf
About the author: Einat Wilf, a former Labor member of Israel’s Knesset, is the author of Telling Our Story and The War of Return (with Adi Schwartz).

While the detractors of Israel’s recent peace treaties with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have argued that they are purely “transactional” and that they somehow foster the abandonment of the Palestinians, Einat Wilf makes the case that the reality is very different. Drawing on numerous interactions with denizens of the Persian Gulf, especially young ones, as well as matters of public record, Wilf argues that the accords have opened the doors for Arabs to sympathize openly, and sometimes fervently, with Zionism. For the UAE in particular, they represent a maneuver in a “battle for the soul of Islam,” striking a blow for those who embrace tolerance over the fanatics. And by their very name—as well as by the way their signatories have put them into practice—the Abraham Accords suggest an acceptance of Jews and the Jewish state as part of the Middle East. And such acceptance, Wilf explains, can in turn make it possible for Palestinians themselves to make peace with Israel. (Video, 64 minutes.)

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