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Israel- Palestine Conflict: Abrahams Accords are a Naive Approach -Diplomacy can still Save the Region

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I put down my views related to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I have closely followed the conflict during the last 20 years . These views are mainly based on my discussions with primary sources representing  stakeholders involved in the conflict.

The Abraham Accords are, in my view, a somewhat naive approach that underestimates the risks involved. I believe that this agreement is not in the best interest of Arab countries, Palestinians, or Israel. The Accords may inadvertently provide recruitment opportunities for Iran within the signatory Arab countries and neighboring nations. The United States might need to significantly increase its military presence and resources in the region to safeguard Israel and the involved Arab nations while countering Iran’s influence. I see serious security threats associated with the Accords, particularly for countries like Bahrain (with a 55% unhappy Shi’a population), the UAE (proximity to Iran), and Morocco (The Polisario front and Western Sahara Issue). The normalisation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel could be seen as Iran’s biggest prize similar to the Invasion of Iraq of 2003. While Saudi Arabia is modernising, it was, until recently, a major source of recruitment for groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. Additionally, the presence of a substantial Shi’a population in Saudi Arabia and the neighbouring Houthi military’s loyalty to Iran pose challenges. Iran could exploit this situation to establish a strong foothold in the holy land via a hybrid Militia. From Israel’s perspective, the Abraham Accords delay addressing the core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (the occupation of Palestine) while inadvertently allowing its main security threat, Iran and its proxies, to expand. The Accords are primarily championed by the extreme right in Israeli politics, which embraces a zero-sum approach to the conflict and empowers like-minded counterparts. As for the Palestinians, the Accords undermine the Palestinian Authority and bolsters military resistance factions, while limiting the leverage of involved Arab countries in their dealings with the Palestinians.

Displacement of Palestinians could jeopardize the existing functional peace agreements. The actual peace agreements currently in place and functioning involve Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Attempts to displace Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt’s Sinai Desert in Egypt or from the West Bank to Jordan would have severe consequences for these hosting countries, potentially undermining the peace deals that have endured past challenges. The presence of large Palestinian refugee camps and the associated social, political, and economic issues in these countries could lead to instability and disorder. Various scenarios and potential alliances arising from this displacement could harm both regimes. The conventional wisdom that peace with Israel should be maintained, given the absence of territorial disputes, might be disrupted. From Israel’s perspective, this displacement doesn’t resolve the core issue, as there would still be legally recognized refugees with the right to return, potentially dismantling the Palestinian Authority and requiring a fresh start for future solutions.

The use of extreme force may backfire on Israel. Extensive military campaigns, such as the one currently underway, can inadvertently serve as recruitment drives for militant groups. This phenomenon has been confirmed by Israeli military and is based on past experiences. The destruction, disorder, and civilian casualties left in the wake of such campaigns create an optimal environment for the growth of militant and militia groups. This pattern has been observed in various regions, including Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Sahel, and Syria, where these groups have proliferated in terms of numbers, territorial control, resources, equipment, and training over the past two decades since the Iraq Invasion. Another two decades of the same approach could pose a significant existential threat to Israel. Moreover, international public opinion may shift against Israel.  The leader of Hezbollah said in his speech on 3rd of November 2023  “ We are now winning with points against Israel, We haven’t got to knock out stage yet “

Extreme rights and extreme lefts globally play with the emotions of both sides : The Israel-Palestine conflict has become highly politicized worldwide and is used by different groups to attract support, whether from antisemites, Islamophobes, racists, or genuine pro-Palestine and pro-Israel advocates, for their political projects. These groups often manipulate the emotional connections that Jews, Muslims, and Arabs have with Israel and Palestine. While most of these political groups do not exert significant influence over the foreign policy of influential nations, there are exceptions, such as Evangelical Christians in America, particularly under President Trump. They believe in Armadogen and the return of Christ necessitates Jews controlling Jerusalem and they eventually kill the ones who don’t convert to Christianity. This polarization has hindered collaboration between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel groups in pursuing sustainable solutions for the conflict, instead fuelling efforts to discredit and defeat each other.

The Nuclear Option: In the event that the conflict escalates to a level similar to the Pearl Harbor moment, where the perceived existential threat to Israel is significant and the response must be extreme to deter or eradicate the threat for an extended period, the outcome is not straightforward. It may result in a temporary calm in the region, or it could escalate into a larger world or nuclear war. Such a scenario could set a dangerous precedent for the use of extreme weapons, including nuclear weapons, and potentially prompt actions by other nations like Russia to do the same in Europe. Furthermore, the circumstances differ from the time of the initial use of nuclear weapons when the United States was the sole possessor of such weapons, and Japan was geographically distant from the USA.

Diplomacy may offers the potential for a win-win scenario. While diplomacy can be arduous and costly, its outcomes are far less tragic than prolonged conflict. This can be achieved through a transitional period in which countries that already have peace deal with Israel help with the security. Re-invigorating the Palestinian authority with new leadership that rule over the whole state including Gasa. Marwan Barghouti may represent the optimal new leader who has a strong support among Palestinians and has credibility amongst all factions and can transform the authority that can rule over the whole state. I would believe, he is the type who wouldn’t accept to have military faction outside his authority.