— I’ve been asked why a pro-Israel Jewish peace organization like mine is not enthusiastically
celebrating the signing of a peace deal between Israel and two important Arab states.
We do welcome the agreement that Israel will sign here Tuesday with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. In
and of itself, the trend of Israel’s normalizing relations with Arab states is a positive development.
But this is not happening in a vacuum. It’s happening at a time that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is
under multiple indictments for corruption and bribery, at a time when tens of thousands are gathering
in protest around the nation and calling for his removal. And most important, it’s happening
at a time when his government continues to entrench the occupation and undermine even the hope of a two-state
Normalization with the UAE and Bahrain is great for the venture capitalists who will benefit from it, but
does nothing to remedy Israel’s existential problem: its conflict with the Palestinians and the occupation that
does so much damage.
I’m sure that Tuesday’s White House ceremony will provide a beautiful photo op, but I’m not eager to take part in
festivities that are intended to paper over the real threat to Israel’s national security by celebrating a “peace
deal” with countries that Israel was not at war with, as Israel fails to contain even the immediate threat of the