April 19, 2024

 

 

By Sara Kira

Founder and Director of EUNACR

PHD Candidate in Faculty of Law and Economy, CEU – San Pablo University – Madrid

 

This article examines the interests that Israel gained out of the use of soft power within the U.S., and how it used a group of religious supporters into its favor and compares it to the strategic gains for Israel within the Arab Region using soft power tactics through the Abraham Accords.

This article also highlights the Abraham Accords as a successful example of the use of soft power tactics to achieve strategic interests.

 

 

 

What are the Abraham Accords?

 

On 15 September 2020, the U.S. hosted the signing of the Abraham Accords.

The Abraham Accords are a combination of accords between Israel and the following Arab States: Morroco, UAE, Sudan, and Bahrain. the Accords are an agreement of mutual understanding, cooperation, and a declaration of coexistence between Israel and each of the Arab States.

As per the U.S. State Department, the Abraham Accords is projected as a new peace project for the Middle East, and as State Department declared: “We encourage efforts to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue to advance a culture of peace among the three Abrahamic religions and all humanity.”[1]

 

Source: Middle East Institute

 

Integration for Peace:

Going through the discourse of history and studying the pattern of Israel in using soft power tactics and diplomacy to reach its pragmatic goals and interests, one would easily figure out that Israel is using the same tactics for the sake of full integration in the region.

 

Moreover, we would find that a similar discourse of events that took place within the United States of America in 1921, when a group of Zionists found support in a group of Christians of who believed that supporting Israel is a divine duty.

Israel is beginning a similar movement within the Arab Region for full integration and guarantees of sustainable peace with the mentioned four states and then, the region.

The use of soft power has been proven of success to Israel even before the establishment of Israel as a state!

 

Tactics of Soft Power:

 

The comparison of the Abraham Accords to the Christian Zionist Conference, comes from the similarities between the tactics used by the Zionist movement in the U.S. at the time, and the tactics used by Israel in the Arab region.

The Zionist movement in the U.S. has been using soft power tactics to gain support and pressure decision makers. Israel is using the same tactics today in the region to achieve its strategic interests and guarantee development and growth.

Establishing a Christian Zionism movement in the U.S. has been of a great influence on Israel’s recognition as a state.

 

Source: Politico

 

Historic background of Christian Zionism?

 

In 1891, Zionists in the US pressured political and business elites to persuade US President, Benjamin Harrison (1889-93), to persuade the Ottoman Empire to return Palestine to the Jews.

This pressure ended up with the US adopting a form of the Balfour Declaration. In 1921, “Zionist Organization of America Convention” was established. ZOA was the first organization to support Ideological Zionism.

Christian Zionists supported Israel through a variety of activities and forms. One of the forms is direct lobbying at the congressional level, forming alliances with the Jewish pro-Israel lobby and the Israeli Likud party.

“Christian Zionists were active in pressuring Congress to oppose arms sales to Arab countries and gaining recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The rise to political prominence of the Christian Right during the 1980s and 1990s facilitated the growth and influence of Christian Zionist efforts, connecting dispensationalism to political power as never before”.[2][3]

The question yet remains, who are the Christian Zionists? This term is called upon Christians who believe they have duty towards supporting Israel because the Jews remain to be God’s chosen people according to the old testament

“American Christian Zionists are evangelicals who believe that Christians have a duty to support the Jewish state because the Jews remain God’s chosen people.”[4]

To further explain; “Some Christians believe that the Jews were chosen to bring forth the Christ, and now that this has happened Jews and gentiles who have accepted Christ are now co-heirs to the promises given to Israel. Other Christians say that the Jews are indeed still the chosen people because God’s promises made to the Hebrews of old can never be annulled. In this interpretation, Christians are in a sense grafted onto the older Jewish heritage.”[5]

This is only a brief on how the Zionist movement sought its power in the U.S. and what sort of gains it brought back to the state of Israel and still does.

 

 

 

 

 

Future Gains of the Abraham Accords:

Under the umbrella and the blessings of the U.S., Israel is widely spreading the use of its soft power in the region, and the Abraham Accords is the evidence.

Israel is lobbying in the region with states in need through cooperation that leads to its full integration in the region.

Countless ideological, geopolitical, and economic interests lie in Abraham Accords for Israel.

The Abraham Accords are projected as the new era for peace in the Middle East”. (GÜNEY, 2021)[6], this is highlighted in the use of the name of prophet Abraham which testifies that Israel is eager to establish a religious common ground with Muslims of the region through unifying our interests with the name of the father of all religions “Abraham”.

Establishing an ideological and religious common ground is a successful soft power tactic, aiming at regional integration of Israel.

 

 

 

 

Israel is trading peace for regional integration using soft power tactics.

Finding mutual interests is also another successful soft power tactic combined its interests with the four states in the accords in return of cooperation and forming a regional alliance that guarantees lasting peace.

Israel is seeking integration through opening channels of cooperation in sectors that allows people to people interaction, such as the tourism sector[7], education, and civil aviation.

People to people diplomacy is a very functional soft power tactic that leads to achieving strategic interests successfully.

The Abraham Accords are an affirmation of coexistence and a guarantee of peace to Israel with the four Arab States, the accords also state “normalization” of relations between Israel and Sudan, Bahrain, UAE and Morroco, which means more people-to-people interaction and acceptance of Israelis among some of the Arab population.

This would normally increase the amount of Israeli investment in the mentioned Arab States and consequently means economic growth for Israel as well as its regional integration.

In conclusion, Israel has siezed a one lifetime chance given by the circumstances the region has been facing over a decade in its favor using successful soft power tactics.

 

 

 

[1] https://www.state.gov/the-abraham-accords/

[2] https://case.edu/ech/articles/z/zionist-organization-america-convention

[3] Kyle, M. Smith, A Congruence of Interests: Christian Zionism and U.S. policy toward Israel, 1977-1998

[4] https://theconversation.com/evangelical-support-for-israel-is-neither-permanent-nor-inevitable-164209

[5] https://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/2019/08/22/professing-faith-reader-asks-are-jews-still-the-chosen-people-of-god/

[6] NURŞİN ATEŞOĞLU GÜNEY and VİŞNE KORKMAZ, A New Alliance Axis in the Eastern Mediterranean Cold War: What the Abraham Accords Mean for Mediterranean Geopolitics and Turkey. Insight Turkey. Winter2021, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p61-76. 16p.

 

[7] abraham accords peace agreement: treaty of peace, diplomatic relations and full normalization between the united arab emirates and the state of israel