Saudi Crown Prince fist bumps Biden upon his arrival in Jeddah
Saudi Crown Prince fist bumps Biden upon his arrival in Jeddah Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

On September 13, 2020 twenty-two months 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.

Despite what he said as he was about to depart for the Middle East the Biden Administration destroyed any chance of expanding the Abraham Accords because he rejected all the strategies that enabled the accords. Instead, he returned to the decades-long land for peace strategy that failed for Presidents of both the Republican and Democratic Parties,

The Abraham Accord negotiations were successful because of “out of the box” thinking. Biden and his team (many with an anti-Israel history) have crawled back into the box.

The Abraham Accords moderated by Trump and his team took a totally different approach. Instead of pushing Israel into an unsuccessful “land for peace” deal, they demanded all involved accept “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—the Trump team proved them wrong.

The Abraham Accords were the result of a multi-step strategy that most (especially Biden and his team) still don’t understand.

Step One: In January 2020, the Trump team introduced the “deal of the century,” A plan designed to make peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. But it was more than a peace plan because, in a way, it “set up” the Palestinians. Trump understood the deal would have one of two results:

  • The Palestinian Arabs will work with the administration and eventually adopt the plan (with changes), resulting in peace.
  • The Palestinian Arabs will choose to not even participate in the creation of a deal. The patience of moderate Arab states, already strained because of the Palestinians’ refusal to compromise in previous deals would have their patience strained even further if Abbas declined to work with Trump on a peace proposal. This would create an opening for the make peace deals with individual countries.

Trump correctly understood the moderate Arab States were tired of the Palestinians’ refusal to even try to make peace. They were tired of carrying the Palestinians— many of the moderate states were already dealing with Israel behind the scenes. Biden is trying to push the two-state solution as a first step.

Step Two: Some Arab countries that were working with Israel behind the scenes were Sunni Muslim states such as the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and even the Saudis; They were working with Israel (quietly) because they believed that Shia Muslim 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 that, unlike Obama, he had their backs against Iran.

Biden promised to go back into the JCPOA and normalize relations with Iran He filled his foreign policy team with people who helped to negotiate the deal under Obama. Thus he removed one of the incentives for the Sunni states to make peace with Israel. And his overtures to Iran angered many of our Sunni allies.

When he met with Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman later he had to answer for calling Saudi Arabia a pariah state during his campaign for President and face the wrath of Salman for his attempt to reenter a flawed nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia’s biggest enemy, Iran.

Step Three: Before the Abraham Accord deals, Jerusalem had to be recognized as Israel’s capital for the sake of making a deal. Thus following a law passed when Bill Clinton was President, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. embassy there.

What this move accomplished was to take the religious component out of the equation. The Arab States who made peace would not be conceding what the Muslim’s third holiest city to Israel. It was a done deal.

Biden is doing his best to put the status of Jerusalem back on the table. He has promised to put a Palestinian Arab mission in what is now recognized as the capital of Israel. The mission would be placed in Israel’s capital over the objections of Israel.

During his trip, Biden’s team rejected an Israeli government request to join him when visiting the eastern part of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, which is still claimed by the Palestinian Authority. It was team Biden’s way of rejecting Israel’s sovereignty over their capital city.

Step Four: Another move that helped with creating the Abraham Accords was to make America energy independent. With that independence, no oil-producing nation could claim economic leverage over the United States and force Middle East policy. President Biden destroyed America’s energy independence on purpose as a concession to his far-left supporters who want him to enact the “Green New Deal”.

Of course, when he visited Saudi Arabia, Biden was begging Prince Salman to produce more oil.

Step Five: 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.

The other Abraham Accord deals have similar sections because a strong economy is a powerful inducement to make and maintain peace. And by July of last year, the deal was showing economic effects.

But what about the Palestinian Arabs? If the Abraham Accords process continued, they would eventually jump in. The Trump administration understood that the Palestinian Arab leaders were reluctant to make peace because they fan the hatred of Jews and Israel to prevent the people they rule to revolt.

But the accords would eventually force the Palestinian’s hands. As additional countries joined the accords, the Palestinian Authority would begin to feel isolated. Eventually, the number of countries in the Accords would reach a tipping point and the Palestinian Arabs would find themselves with just a few supporters. Then, instead of blaming Israel for the Palestinian Authority’s failings, to survive economically, they would be forced to make peace to continue to receive the aid critically important to running the territory.

Biden’s strategy is to start with a two-state solution rather than setting up a strategy that would force the Palestinian Authority to make peace over their fears of losing power,

There are people who believe President, Trump was a failure. The purpose of this post is not to slam or endorse his tenure in the oval office. However, the belief that everything Trump accomplished was somehow bad, is harmful to the future of America, and it ended a Middle East peace process that was actually showing results/

A new President is returning to the old ways that didn’t work. Particularly, before Israel makes peace with any Arab countries, it must first make peace with the Palestinian Authority. In other words, thanks to Biden and his team, the Abraham Accords will not expand to other countries. The peace process which was showing results, is dead.

Jeff Dunetz is editor/publisher of the blog "The Lid." and a contributor to Israel National News and The Jewish Press. He is a weekly Thursday Guest on The Schaftlein Report, a National Board Member of Herut North America and Herut Representative on The AZM Board

Reposted from The Lid.