On September 13, 2020, a little more than two years ago, President Trump announced the first of the Abraham Accords deals. The UAE agreed to recognize Israel, exchange diplomats, and begin economic cooperation. Over the next four months, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan were added to the list of countries making peace with the Jewish State, and we were told that other countries wanted to hop on the peace train. The Foggy Bottom rumor mill suggested that the big fish, Saudi Arabia was on the edge of joining the accords. But on January 20, 2021, the process ended as soon as Donald Trump left the White House.
The deals the Trump administration mediated were the product of thinking outside of the box. The Biden Administration has crawled back into the box.
The peace deals that team Trump moderated took a totally different approach. Unlike previous administrations (both Democratic and Republican), the deals did not involve “land for peace,” only “peace for peace.” The supposed peace experts of previous administrations had always bloviated that no Arab country would ever formalize ties with Israel before a Palestinian state was created, but the Trump team proved them wrong.
The Abraham Accords resulted from a strategy that most still don’t understand.
Outside the Box In January 2020, the President introduced the “deal of the century,” A plan designed to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians or push them into negotiating. It was more than a peace plan. It was a “setup” of the Palestinians. Trump understood the deal would have one of two results:
- The Palestinians will work with the administration and eventually adopt it with changes, which means there will be peace.
- The Palestinians will choose not to participate in the deal’s creation. The patience of moderate Arab states, already strained because the Palestinians refused to compromise in previous deals, would have their patience strained even further if Abbas declined to work with Trump on a peace proposal. Opening them up to make individual peace deals.
Trump correctly understood the moderate Arab States were tired of the Palestinians’ refusal to make peace. They were tired of carrying the Palestinians. Remember that many moderate Arab states were already dealing with Israel silently behind the scenes.
Fake Field Goal/ Punt Pass PlayJCPOA (Iran nuke dead) The Arab counties working with Israel behind the scenes were the Sunni-led states such as the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan (and the Saudis). They were working with Israel (quietly) because they believed that Shia Iran was an existential threat. By pulling out of the Iran nuke deal (the JCPOA) and pressuring Iran with increased sanctions, Trump proved to the Sunni countries who see Iran as an existential threat that he had their backs against Iran.
This Year in Jerusalem: Before the Abraham Accord deals could be made, the religious argument had to be removed from the conversation, and Jerusalem had to be recognized as Israel’s capital. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. embassy there. This move took the religious component out of the negotiations The Arab States who made peace would not be conceding the Muslim’s third holiest city to Israel—it was already a done deal. It opened the mount to Muslims who always wanted to visit.
Last June, I accompanied a few Emiratis visiting the Temple Mount for the first time. After they prayed one of them started weeping. I asked him why. He said, "Since I was 5, I was told go become a martyr and liberate AlAqsa. At the end, I just came to it in a taxi."
— Hussein Aboubakr Mansour 🐪 (@HusseinAboubak) August 25, 2021
We Don’t Need You Another move that Trump had to make before mediating these peace deals was America’s energy independence. With that independence, no oil-producing nation could claim economic leverage over the United States and force its Middle East policy. On his first day in office, President Biden embarked on a strategy of backing away from energy independence. Making the U.S. vulnerable to other nations for parts of our energy needs, increasing gasoline costs, and helping the U.S. economy to have the highest inflation in 40 years.
Biden blames the increase in the Ukraine/Russia war. He also claims he’s brought oil prices down. The first is a lie the second is spinning the truth.
Note the source of all the prices below is the AAA.
On Inauguration Day 2021, the average cost of regular gas was $2.38/gallon. Thirteen months later, on Valentine’s Day 2022—ten days before the Russians invaded Ukraine, the price was $3.64/gallon. That was 53% higher than on inauguration day.
Once the war started, prices did go up significantly. As of Friday, June 10, 2022, the U.S.’s national average cost of a gallon of gasoline stood at $5.00, according to the AAA. For many reasons, including the fact that demand is down because people are driving less to save money.
Today (11/29/22), the average national cost for a gallon of regular gas is $3.50. The President is correct when he says the cost is much lower than in June. However, he doesn’t mention, and the press doesn’t ask about, is the price is almost 50% higher than when he took office.
Because of the higher prices of petroleum products, the United States has lost leverage with oil-producing Sunni countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
I Love You/ I Hate You Biden’s state department is still working to return to the JCPOA and normalize relations with Iran. Despite that, sanctions were working. But since Biden had most of the sanctions killed and put the Accords on the way back burner, they have purified their uranium to the level needed for a bomb. They have taken advantage of other holes in the JCPOA that Obama and Kerry lied to America about. Reports are that the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism is either very close or has passed the nuclear bomb threshold.
Money Makes The World Go Round: Unlike the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, the Abraham Accords were economic deals. The Trump vision was economic peace. Strong trade between the countries will create lasting peace. For example, the Israel/UAE deal announcement language included:
Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit. Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations
But what about the Palestinians? If the Abraham Accords process continued, that would eventually happen also. Trump understood the Palestinian leaders were reluctant to make peace. So the ultimate goal of the accords was to isolate the Palestinians. As the number of countries in the Abraham Accords process grew, the Palestinians would find themselves alone, and instead of blaming Israel for their failings, they would be forced to make peace themselves.
If this strategy was so great, why wouldn’t the Biden team try to continue the process?
Part of the reason is the process began under the presidency of Donald Trump. The Biden Administration’s policy about almost everything is “bad orange man” programs must be canceled. Thus we have a southern border crisis and a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. Team Biden’s rejection of anything involving Trump damages their attitude toward the Abraham Accords process.
Many in Biden’s foreign policy team not only supported the JCPOA but helped to negotiate it. By working on getting back into the JCPOA (and now abandoning Afghanistan), Biden has destroyed the trust of the Sunni states, who no longer believe that the U.S. has their backs.
Much of the Biden foreign policy team has a history of anti-Israel actions, including Antony Blinken, John Kerry, Robert Malley, Avril Haines, and others. Among other reasons, they have no interest in making peace deals between Israel and Arab states without Israel first making a deal with the Palestinians. Per the Palestinians, to make a deal, Israel would have to make all the concessions before a deal can even be discussed—team Biden agrees.
The bottom line is that like him or hate him, Donald Trump had a strategy for Arab/Israel peace that was actually working. It stopped when Biden became President because of his belief that everything Trump accomplished was terrible. Instead, they returned to the old ways that never worked—before Israel makes peace with any Arab countries, it must first make peace with the Palestinian Authority. And Jerusalem should be divided. Biden’s foreign policy team believes Israel should be the only party making concessions in negotiations with Palestinians. In other words, thanks to Biden and his team, the Abraham Accords will not expand to other countries and build a complete Middle East peace.