US senators from the Democratic Party are claiming there is no contradiction between the Abraham Accords and the two-state compromise over Palestine-Israel. If we consider the two-state diplomacy to be obsolete as it stands, their point is made succinctly. The Abraham Accords halted Israel’s intended annexation of Palestinian territory temporarily, while colonial — and illegal — settlement expansion continued. However, the senators are referring to the two-state compromise as if it is still a viable option, which contradicts the fact that the Abraham Accords confirm the impossibility of “two states” ever materialising. In that sense, the accords expose international hypocrisy over Palestine.
For years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has talked of how irrelevant Palestine has become to Arab leaders, and the Abraham Accords proved him right. While the current focus is on bringing other Arab countries to join the normalisation agreements with Israel, Netanyahu knows that allegiances will change as a result; as do the US senators, who are currently downplaying the effect of the Abraham Accords on the repercussions which Palestinians face as a result of Israel’s settlement expansion.
When asked if settlement expansion can occur while pushing forward the Abraham Accords, US Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated, “I think you can have these negotiations about the Abraham Accords regardless of any local political issue.” Gillibrand was part of a delegation touring Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
US President Joe Biden has appeared rhetorically to move closer to the futile international consensus over Israel’s settlement expansion, claiming opposition but failing to act. He mirrors the rest of the international community.
According to Democratic Senator Jackie Rosen, who was part of the delegation, “We were very clear when we spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu that it is important that they would maintain the status quo and they not do anything that would impede the progress of the Abraham Accords and a negotiated two-state-solution.”
Nothing will impede the Abraham Accords from progressing if Arab countries decide to join, but the two-state paradigm is already defunct. Gillibrand has suggested that the US entices Arab countries that joined the normalisation agreements to invest in humanitarian projects for Palestine in return for military technology from the US. However, the Biden administration is not keen on this so that Israel’s qualitative military edge over other countries in the region is preserved.
Netanyahu knows that there is no need to hasten formal annexation of Palestinian territory, because there is an understanding that two states will never become reality. It is only the international community and the Palestinian Authority that maintain their self-deception, to the detriment of the Palestinian people, of course. With the international community’s help, Netanyahu is buying time for Israel’s colonial expansion and annexation plans. Meanwhile, the international community’s insistence on the two-state paradigm does nothing for Palestinians, or for peace and justice.
No Israeli government will agree to a Palestinian state and the Abraham Accords are fast becoming the new paradigm because there is no validity to two-state politics. Normalising the Abraham Accords has been possible because the two-state “solution” is defunct and the international community is keen to maintain Palestinians as a humanitarian project under different auspices. Meanwhile, the PA is beholden to its donors, and this does not bode well for the Palestinians, especially when decolonisation is the only option for them to reclaim their land.