In many ways, the wedding of Levi Duchman and Lea Hadad in September was a typical Orthodox Jewish wedding with a ḥuppah, traditional blessings, and much dancing. In other ways, writes Meir Soloveichik, it was an epochal event:
It was held in Abu Dhabi, the 1,500-person guest list made up of both Jews and Arabs, including Emirati royalty, with rabbis arriving from Israel, America, and Morocco. It was the largest Jewish event ever held in the Gulf region. One video captures a moment after the ḥuppah ceremony: the dancing with the groom in which all engage. As Jewish music is played and sung, we see Rabbi Duchman, a Ḥasid clad in kapote [caftan] and black hat, dancing in the center of the circle with an Emirati Arab guest, wrapped in his own traditional white thobe and headdress, with similarly clad Ḥasidim and Arabs surrounding them, holding hands and revolving to the rhythm.
It is striking therefore that as the wedding marked the anniversary of the historic agreement, the astounding success of the Abraham Accords still continues to be denied in publications whose own “expertise” was so challenged by the Accords themselves. We are told that the failure of the compact to address the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a fatal flaw. “Why the Abraham Accords Fall Short,” one headline in Foreign Policy declared several months ago, with the subhead: “Sidelining the Palestinians Is a Recipe for Violence, Not Peace.”
All this, of course, gets it exactly wrong. The further warming of the Emirati-Israeli relationship in the face of tensions with Palestinians—however regrettable those tensions might be—reflects the strength of the Accords, and their central insight: the fact that one localized conflict over the future of Judea and Samaria need not be “solved” in order to build bridges to the rest of the Arab world and to the Muslim world beyond.
More about: Abraham Accords, Jewish-Muslim Relations, United Arab Emirates