The Abraham Accords Aren’t Dead, and Peace with Saudi Arabia Remains on the Table

January 18, 2024 | John Allen Gay
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Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken—fresh from a meeting with the Saudi crown prince—was asked about the possibility of normalization between Riyadh and Jerusalem, and responded that there remains a “clear interest” in the prospect. There is no reason to believe that he was engaged in wishful thinking. John Allen Gay observes that, since October 7, “the Abraham Accords states and their near-partner Saudi Arabia have not retreated from their stance on Israel, but are digging in to defend it.”

The Israelis and the conservative monarchies share three fears. First, they fear Iran and its network of proxies and partners around the region. Second, they fear Islamist agitation in the region—not only violent jihadism, but also brands of Islamism that give jihadism running room or that threaten to change the regional order. Third, they fear that the United States will abandon them or drift toward neutrality in their rivalry with Iran. The Abraham Accords, for them, respond to all three challenges by deepening ties in a U.S.-backed, anti-Islamist, anti-Iranian partnership.

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