Reaping the Religious and Cultural Benefits of the Abraham Accords

Jan. 11 2023

When the historic peace deals among Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates were concluded in 2020, it was hoped that—unlike the earlier treaties between Jerusalem and both Jordan and Egypt—they would foster not only diplomatic relations and military cooperation, but “people-to-people” contacts as well. In this vein, the first-ever Abraham Accords Global Leadership Summit, intended to be an annual event, recently took place in Rome, bringing together diplomats, clergy, and others from 40 countries. Rabbi Elie Abadie of the UAE, Imam Mohammad Tawhidi, and Pastor Carlos Luna Lam of Guatemala—all of whom attended the summit—write:

Significantly, the central focus of the summit was not only to celebrate the successes the historic Accords have brought to the region in just two years but, most importantly, the promise to bring people together to explore innovative ways to promote the values of the Accords—tolerance, religion, traditional family, economic peace and prosperity—in as yet unfathomed ways. The goal was to find ways to widen this new regional paradigm and explore novel approaches to replicate the peace and coexistence attained in the Middle East in other parts of the world, including in Europe, the Americas, and beyond.

It was truly meaningful for us, as representatives of the Abrahamic religions, to unite on stage in a conversation about our future. All three of us recognize the shared past that unites us and acknowledge that we must strive to build a common vision for our future.

Critical to this collective future is our celebration of the traditional family unit and its core role in preserving the identity and culture of society. We all agreed during the conversation that our traditional family values are at the forefront of our Abrahamic heritage, and form the cornerstone of our societies, connecting us and preserving our identity and unique cultures. It is these traditional values that have sustained and allowed religions and cultures to impact the world constructively, resulting in society’s commitment to a strong sense of humanity.

Read more at JNS

More about: Abraham Accords, Interfaith dialogue, Jewish-Christian relations, Jewish-Muslim Relations

The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship