The Puerto Rican-American General Who Gave the Abraham Accords Their Name

When he retired from the army as a two-star general last fall, Miguel Correa had spent years in special operations, trained troops for winter warfare in Alaska, and served as a military attaché in Abu Dhabi. In his final posting, to the National Security Council, he helped negotiate the peace treaty between Israel and the United Emirates, which he suggested should be called the Abraham Accords. Correa was born in Puerto Rico and spent part of his childhood in the U.S. and some in Kuwait—where his father worked out of the American embassy as an engineer, and where Miguel would return during the Gulf War—before moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for high school. Gabby Deutsch writes:

Correa completed eighth and ninth grades at the American School of Kuwait, which catered to the kids of diplomats and wealthy Kuwaitis. It was there that Correa learned Arabic and studied Islam, and it was also the first time he learned about Israel. Sort of.

“You spent the first three or four days of every single semester taking your textbook, and you’d have a teacher at the front, and there was a Ministry of Education [directive] that would mandate what parts of your book you had to take out,” Correa recalled. Armed with a pair of scissors and a marker, he went through his textbooks, looking for offensive language and imagery. Any depictions of the Prophet Mohammad were cut out. Maps that showed the state of Israel were colored over in dark permanent marker.

A couple years later, he found himself staring at an Israeli flag hanging in a friend’s dorm room at the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, where he attended high school as a boarding student. He did not understand. “I remember taking this all in, like, ‘OK, what does this mean? He doesn’t have horns,’” Correa said of the first time he met Greg Wald, a Jewish teammate on the Pine Crest football team. Back in Kuwait, “anything that was derogatory to Jews was good.” His friends had taught him curse words in Arabic: inta kalb. You’re a dog. Inta yahoodi. You’re Jewish. “And that was at the same level,” Correa said. “Think about that.”

Correa’s understanding of the Arab world helped him during his stint in the United Arab Emirates, where he built the relationships that helped him during the normalization talks:

Throughout the negotiations, the Emiratis were not talking to the Israelis — everyone went through the Americans, and for the Emiratis, Correa was a key point of contact. . . .

The name came to Correa out of nowhere: the Abraham Accords. “All three of the religions have a different name. It’s translated in their religion, and we immediately make this people-to-people and religious,” rather than just a political agreement, said Correa. . . . Correa had insisted that the name be plural, aware of the fact that future normalization agreements might follow if his central thesis—that the Arab world could befriend Israel without solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—proved correct.

Read more at Circuit

More about: Abraham Accords, Arab anti-Semitism, Kuwait, U.S. Foreign policy, United Arab Emirates

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus