Trump’s Accidental Diplomacy in the Middle East

Trump’s Accidental Diplomacy in the Middle East

  • How a Botched Peace Plan Produced the Abraham Accord

In the long annals of Arab antagonism toward Israel, the Abraham Accord should be celebrated as a historic breakthrough: the agreement makes the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the first Gulf state and the third Arab state behind Egypt and Jordan to recognize and fully normalize relations with Israel.

In the annals of American peacemaking diplomacy in the Middle East, however, the breakthrough looks more like the latest in a long chain of unintended consequences. When the United States pushes on one door, as often as not another door opens. In 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter pressed to reconvene the Geneva Middle East peace conference—and Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat traveled to Jerusalem to avoid it. In 1993, President Bill Clinton pursued a deal between Israel and Syria—and Yasir Arafat embraced the Oslo accords for fear of being left behind. 

This time, President Donald Trump gave Israel the green light to