The Far-Reaching Potential of Sudan’s Entry into the Abraham Accords

Feb. 24 2023

On February 2, Israel and Sudan agreed on the text of a normalization agreement, finalizing a process that was set in motion in the fall of 2020 but subsequently frozen. The symbolic significance of Africa’s third-largest country joining the Abraham Accords is great, writes Yechiel Leiter, as it was in its capital, Khartoum, that after the Six-Day War the Arab League issued its famous declaration of: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” But, Leiter explains, the consequences go far beyond symbolism, and Israeli-Sudanese cooperation can have positive repercussions for Israel’s security, Sudan’s political and economic development, East Africa as a whole, and global great-power competition. Among them:

Sudan has for years been a transport depot for weapons sent by Iran to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza. . . . Growing normalization with Israel will significantly augment military cooperation between the two countries. It will strengthen intelligence-gathering and sharing capabilities and empower the Sudanese military to contend with and ultimately curtail the arms trafficking running through its ports and territorial waters. Such collaboration can potentially cut off one of the primary sources of weapons from the Iranian-backed terrorist groups of Gaza.

The strengthening of Sudan’s military cooperation with Israel to help secure its maritime borders and protect its sovereignty is a regional, indeed an international, interest, not just an Israeli one.

There are those in the West, and in the Biden administration in particular, who want any normalization with Sudan to be contingent on the country’s full and complete transition to civilian governance. This is a mistake with potentially calamitous consequences. Africa is not America and Sudan is not Switzerland. Cultures differ, as do the historical processes of political development. The differences should be respected; to do otherwise is to condescend and worse.

Sudan is now saying “yes,” and we dare not say “no.”

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Abraham Accords, Africa, Iran, Israeli Security, Sudan

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