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

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


Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security