By Arlene Bridges Samuels, CBN—
Evangelical Christians have long venerated President Harry Truman for his boldness as the first world leader to recognize Israel’s statehood in the United Nations vote on May 14, 1948. Now, 72 years later, another momentous decision has taken place.
When President Trump and a trio of Middle East leaders signed the Abraham Accord last week, it signaled a shift in the region’s alignment. In fact, the two Arab Gulf nations—United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain—disproved a decades-old mantra regarding Arab Palestinians: that an Israeli-Palestinian peace had to occur before any agreements with other Arabs. Clearly, recent events proved that abandoning conventional wisdom forged new pathways in the Middle East.
The increased willingness to normalize relations with Israel traces back to President Obama’s damaging Iran deal in 2015. In addition to Israel’s security concerns, the Arab Gulf nations also considered the Iran deal an affront since the Persian nation poses a security threat to them. They are further concerned that the Iranian Imams want to take control of the holiest sites in the Muslim world—Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The Arab states grew to realize that Israel was a friend worth having, because Israel can (and has proven it will) stand up to Iran’s relentless quest for a nuclear weapon. They also gained trust in President Trump when he canceled the defective Iran deal and reimposed sanctions. In his speech at the virtual meeting this week at the annual United Nations General Assembly, President Trump once again emphasized, “As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.” Israel and the Gulf states once again welcomed the good news.
Yet with the Abraham Accord, here we are again—with Palestinian political and religious leaders still clinging to their victimhood narrative. Not surprisingly, Palestinian officials erupted in outrage, with accusations from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. As the Muslim religious leader on the Temple Mount, Hussein issued a fatwa—a religious ruling—thundering, “I forbid UAE Muslims to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque!” (Normalization had opened the door for the Gulf state Muslims to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque.) The Palestinian Authority said the landmark Accord was a “betrayal,” calling the UAE Crown Prince a “tumor” and a “traitor” who had committed “political prostitution.”
This, despite billions of dollars in aid from Arabs, Europeans, and Americans over the years. In addition, a frustrating succession of failed diplomatic deals since the 1993 Oslo Accords has been met with Palestinians’ broken agreements, insincerity, and/or terrorism. Impatience is growing among Arab nations and even the Palestinian population with President Abbas’s exasperating policy of “a thousand no’s.” Last week Wassem Yousef—a UAE Islamic religious leader—tweeted about Palestinian leadership and other Arabs: “Israel did not destroy Syria; Israel did not burn Libya; Israel did not displace the people of Egypt; Israel did not destroy Libya, and Israel did not tear up Lebanon. Before you Arabs blame Israel, take a look at yourselves in the mirror. The problem is in you.” Continue Reading….