In a world defined today by disruption and disarray, the Abraham Accords signify an historic moment of co-operation and realignment, write the Rt. Hon. Stephen J. Harper and Shuvaloy Majumdar in the National Post. Below is an excerpt of the article, which can be read in full here.
By the Rt. Hon. Stephen J. Harper and Shuvaloy Majumdar, October 5, 2020
The Abraham Accords are truly transformative and will pave the way for historic realignments across the Middle East. Yet one of the most interesting aspects of this development is not what has been achieved, but how it has been achieved.
We were told that moving embassies to Jerusalem would lead to irreparable diplomatic strife. That accepting Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights would raise the spectre of violence. That ending the Iranian nuclear deal and eliminating its terror chief would provoke regional war. That standing behind Arab allies confronting Iranian proxies in Yemen and elsewhere would inflame conflict. That dispensing with Palestinian obstruction as a condition for Arab-Israeli relations would forever damage the prospect of peace.
These have been axioms of Western diplomacy. And they were all proven wrong.
Instead, the Trump administration framed events in a new paradigm, culminating with a treaty ceremony on the lawn of the White House, the first Arab-Israeli accords in a quarter century, and the promise of more to come. The outlines of the new framework are clear enough: pursuing peace through strength, supporting Israel unequivocally, backing the region’s moderates and opposing its extremists.
In short, this breakthrough was achieved by breaking with doctrines that had produced no results for decades. While critics may never give the administration the credit it deserves, let us insist that they at least absorb these lessons.The same critics will have the same qualms in congratulating Benjamin Netanyahu. They should not. Netanyahu has once again demonstrated the strategic and political skills that have made him Israel’s longest-serving leader. He effectively used the threat of West Bank annexation to get the most consequential progress in Israel’s international relations in decades. In the process, he shelved an issue that splits both Israelis and their friends, incentivized Arab co-operation, and isolated the Palestinian strategy of relentless rejection. The day Palestinian leaders move past this historic error and genuinely embrace a two-state solution, a new world of Arab-Israeli coexistence and advancement awaits them.