Is it Finally Time for Peace In the Middle East?

It is a historical time for the State of Israel. Israel has just signed a peace deal with one of the Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates, in the area that has been both terrorizing Israel since Israel gained its independence in 1948 and supplying other countries that have been attacking it as well. This peace deal has many interesting effects and can bring monumental change to the entire region.  

         To begin, Israel already has made peace with two of its neighboring countries: Egypt and Jordan. At its time, this was a huge step in the development, foundation, and flourishment of the newly established State of Israel. Israel did not have an easy time in its youth; its victory in the War of Independence was nothing short of a miracle, followed soon after the Six-Day War and then the Yom Kippur War. In the Six-Day War, Israel gained control of a large plot of land that did not belong to them previously, including the Sinai Desert and Gaza, previously owned and militarized by the Egyptians, and the West Bank, previously a property of Jordan. Although the agreement with Egypt came after heavy negotiations and a lot of compromises, the peace treaty with Egypt was signed in Washington, D.C by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, American President Jimmy Carter, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the signing of the Camp David accord on September 17, 1978. This was a huge step forward for Israel because, for the first time ever, an Arab country had publicly recognized and accepted the existence of the State of Israel. 

The peace agreements with Jordan came next. Peace talks between Jordan began just before 1994, when, under Israeli President Shimon Perez, the two countries created a framework for an accord.  They signed an agreement defining a framework for a Middle Eastern peace conference, but the proposal was not consummated due to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s objection. The following year, Jordan abandoned its claim to the West Bank in favor of a peaceful resolution between Israel and the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization. Later on, in 1994 when talks between the PLO and Israel were getting more prominent and the Oslo accords began to get drafted, Jordan was going to get left behind.  “If it weren’t for the development of the Oslo accords and the involvement of the PLO, Jordan would have never signed,” says Mr. Yativ, the Israel Education teacher at Scheck Hillel. It was imperative that the PLO had reached a more serious and formal agreement with Israel because that caused Jordan to sign on to the peace treaty, becoming one of the first few Arab countries to recognize Israel as a legitimate country.

         Where does that leave Israel right now? Recently, Israel drafted resolutions with the Arab Kingdom of Bahrain and a peace treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The White House announced that there was going to be an official ceremony for the signing of the treaty between the UAE and Israel, which, surprisingly, has bigger effects than imagined. “The more public and out there this deal is and the more official, the more formal, and the more circumstance there is for this deal, the greater it will look to other Arab countries. All of the Arab countries are looking at the UAE and asking themselves, ‘Ok, what were the ramifications, circumstances, and benefits that the UAE are under to accept this deal with Israel?’” commented Rabbi Uri Pilichowski, leader of the HAIPAC club and Capstone Israel Advocacy teacher. Later on in the month, Bahrain joined in on the peace deal, which kept the peace train rolling and offered Israel the opportunity for a strong relationship with another country in the Arab region. This will hopefully continue the momentum flowing with countries offering peace throughout the region. Countries like Morocco, Syria, and Lebanon, along with the PLO, are still rejecting the idea of peace with Israel.  Their backward ideals are preventing them from recognizing that the idea of peace is still possible and that sooner or later, if they don’t start to create peace talks, they will be left like sitting ducks and be stuck with a lost cause and no one to back it up. Peace with the UAE will start a trend that will bring other countries to start signing in on peace treaties and bring Israel into a new era of history.

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