“The deaths of innocent people, particularly children, is heart-breaking,” said Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, without any signs that his heart was breaking. All Palestinians, including children, have been regarded as legitimate targets by Israel for decades, and in a densely populated strip of land such as Gaza, the Israeli government cannot claim to have any sympathy for civilian deaths when it knows in advance of its military offensives that it will kill innocent people. All of this happens under the pretext of Israel’s fake “security” and “self-defence” narrative, which the international community accepts without question.
However, another dimension has been added to the Israeli narrative, one which yet again illustrates how former US President Donald Trump’s legacy cannot be discarded just because the deal of the century has been sidelined by the dominant diplomacy of the two-state compromise. Crushing Palestinian resistance has been a decades-long endeavour for Israel. Adding the Abraham Accords into the mix exposes how Israel utilises all forms of exploitation, coercion and violence to break down the legitimate Palestinian anti-colonial struggle.
“There is another way to live,” Lapid warned in his address to Palestinians in Gaza after the latest aerial bombardment of the enclave, the first in his role as prime minister. “The path of the Abraham Accords, of the Negev summit, of innovation and economy, of regional development and joint projects. The choice is yours. Your future depends on you.”
Pressure is already being exerted on the Palestinian Authority to subjugate itself to the Abraham Accords. While PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has so far rejected the US calls for normalisation, it must be said that the outrage expressed in Ramallah two years ago has been quenched. The minimal economic prospects which Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz offered in order to enable the PA to hold on to power may just be the beginning of what Abbas will agree to in order to maintain his relevance and position.
For Israel, it would be a simpler task if Gaza could take the route which the occupied West Bank has taken through the PA. While the international community is not particularly enraged by Israel’s colonial violence in Gaza, it would face less scrutiny, as would Israel, if the Abraham Accords become the new foundation of the Israeli government’s colonial enterprise. After all, if the Palestinians agreed to normalisation, the whole world would be on the same political page. Annihilating Palestine through economic prospects which do not damage Israeli colonialism is a win-win for Israel and the international community. It would spell the end of public relations dilemmas for the occupation state, while its violations of international law and war crimes would have even less public prominence than they do now. If Israel’s security narrative has been used to justify previous aggression, why should the international community object to the Abraham Accords being used to justify this new chapter of violence against Palestinians in Gaza?
Lapid has made a contradictory move, stating that Israel has renewed its deterrence and that it achieved all its goals. Yet forcing Palestinians into agreement with the Abraham Accords is Israel’s ultimate aim. The UN is merely speaking about a humanitarian catastrophe which existed long before this current round of aggression. Will the international organisation now speak up about the Abraham Accords being the new foundations for violence against the Palestinian people?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.