After the signing of the Abraham Accords, media influencers rushed to claim that the accords didn’t matter, were fake, or a sham because the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel had never been at war. Many Democrats on social media were just looking for an easy one-sentence put down and don’t know anything about the region, but the same meme was spread by people who know better like The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, fresh off embarrassing himself with the false “suckers” story.
“Peace treaties are made between warring parties, and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have never been at war with Israel,” Goldberg writes.
This is a ridiculously dumb and dishonest argument.
Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty some 20 years after their last formal war. And even during the Yom Kippur War, the two countries had a secret understanding.
Does Goldberg believe that peace treaty was a sham? Of course not, it was a Clinton affair.
The US and USSR signed numerous agreements and treaties without ever being at war with each other. Those were considered a big deal despite the lack of a formal declared war.
The UAE achieved its current form in the 70s and it doesn’t share a border with Israel. Nevertheless it played a crucial role in the oil embargo of the US, bought the PLO its embassy, and was quite hostile to Israel in the ways that most of the countries in the region were. After the 70s, such hostilities were expressed not with direct warfare, but indirect support for terrorists. That led Israel to carry out a famous assassination in Dubai.
While writing on behalf of the Obama administration, Goldberg had complained at the time about Israel’s actions. But now he’s conveniently forgotten about them.
Bahrain is essentially a Saudi colony and the Saudis have declared war on Israel in the past.
Would Goldberg consider a Saudi agreement to be a big deal?
Don’t worry. The fallback talking point is that these agreements are a victory for “authoritarians”.
Since the entire region consists of authoritarian regimes, this is a Catch 22 argument. Every agreement Israel signs is going to be with authoritarians. The persistence with which Democrats and their media allies make this argument demonstrates that they’re a messaging operation with no interest in discussing the actual issues.
Instead they seek out false and misleading arguments that they know are dishonest in order to serve their own political agendas.