The Fall of Afghanistan Will Strengthen the Abraham Accords—for All the Wrong Reasons

Although the date went largely unnoticed in the U.S., last week marked the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords. Elliott Abrams examines what the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan signifies for their future:

What is happening in Afghanistan will deepen the impression among Arab governments that they cannot rely on the United States to protect their security as they used to. So those states have increasingly drawn the conclusion that they have one neighbor who unlike Iran or Turkey poses no threat to them, and who continually displays a firm willingness to use military power against its enemies. That’s Israel.

Israel in addition has a modern economy based on exceptional high-tech achievements, and maintains not only a close alliance with the United States but working relationships with Russia and China. For the Arabs, then, the Abraham Accords were at long last the victory of self-interest over ideology—and over outmoded versions of Arab nationalism and support for Palestinians.

This is a boon for Israel, and seeing Arab states draw closer to Israel is a benefit for the United States as well, because we maintain close relations with many of them. But the reason for this development is problematic. It does not primarily reflect U.S. pressures or urgings, especially under the Biden administration. Instead it reflects a Realpolitik judgment about the U.S. role in the region, and about our willingness to act to protect allies, friends, and even ourselves. The collapse in Afghanistan will only deepen the doubts and fears many countries—including Israel and the Arab states—have about America’s role in the world, and about the Biden administration’s understanding of the challenges we face.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Abraham Accords, Afghanistan, Israel diplomacy, Middle East

A Catholic Reporter Attends Anti-Israel Protests and the Pro-Israel Rally

Mary Margaret Olohan has spent much of her career in journalism covering demonstrations of various kinds. Since October 7, she has attended numerous anti-Israel gatherings, an experience she discusses with Robert Nicholson and Dominique Hoffman. Olohan explains the ways protestors intimidate outsiders, the online instruction booklet for protests distributed by Students for Justice in Palestine, the systematic avoidance of any condemnation of Hamas, and much else. To this, she contrasts her experience at the joyous yet serious November 14 rally for Israel. Olohan also talks about how her own Christian faith has influenced her journalism. (Audio, 61 minutes.)

Read more at Deep Map

More about: American Jewry, Gaza War 2023, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict