Two years on, Jerusalem’s agreements with multiple Arab states have started to prove their durability; yet, argues Meir Ben-Shabbat, much still must be done to deepen these newly established relationships and to broaden them to include more countries. Ben-Shabbat notes those factors that have slowed such developments and suggests what both the U.S. and Israel can do to encourage them. He also stresses the role of Muslim-majority countries outside the Middle East:
While it is not counted among the Abraham Accords countries, Chad should also be noted in this survey of Israel’s changing relations in the region. Led by the late Idriss Déby, this nation made its way to Jerusalem on its own, neither with a regional framework nor a supportive U.S. position. Diplomatic relations were resumed in November 2019 but kept at a low profile. In May 2022 Israel’s ambassador to Senegal presented his letter of accreditation to Chad’s current president, Déby’s son Mahamat. The focus now should be on building trust in the peace process by manifesting the fruits of peace to the people in Chad. If the people see the balance sheet of normalization with Israel as negative, this could increase the risk of negative momentum, which could block and harm the achievements of the Abraham Accords.
Ben-Shabbat has several recommendations as to how Jerusalem and Washington can proceed in other arenas, among them:
First, do not take the Abraham Accords for granted or assume they are irreversible. The acts of signing the Accords did generate a true sense of celebration, gave rise to a new spirit, mobilized fresh energies, restored optimism, and offered new hopes. But as in matrimony, real life begins after the party, including the challenges of consolidating the relationship, enhancing and expanding it, preserving its vitality, its spirit, and its passion.
Second, change course on Iran. The U.S. administration should take the next steps from its current, growing expression of frustration and displeasure with Iran, given its involvement in the war against Ukraine. A firm approach toward Iran . . . would serve the broader interests of the American administration and respond to the main challenges the West faces: weakening Russia’s ability to pursue the war, taking actions to resolve the global energy crisis, reversing the Gulf states’ drift toward Russia and China, blocking Iran’s destructive ambitions, and enhancing the process of normalization.