Abraham Accords and Happy Rosh HaShanah!

Tricia Miller, Ph.D.

Dear Christian Leaders,

We think it is safe to say that we live in unparalleled times! And for  those of us who love Israel, this week was particularly significant. We  had the privilege of witnessing the making of unprecedented history in  the Middle East - an event even more noteworthy because it occurred in  the same week as the beginning of the biblical New Year, or Rosh  HaShanah in Hebrew. Indeed, the establishment of peaceful relations  between Israel and two Arab nations is quite a meaningful New Year's  gift for the Jewish State and for all those who yearn for peace.

The Abraham Accords

On  Tuesday, September 15, we watched as the Abraham Accords - the agreement  that normalizes relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates  (UAE) and Bahrain - were signed on the South Lawn of the White House.  The accords were signed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  UAE Foreign Minister  Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Bahrain Foreign  Minister Abdullatif Al Zayan.

The accords are named for Abraham in recognition of the fact that "the  Arab and Jewish peoples are descendants of a common ancestor, Abraham."  The agreement between the Jewish State and two Arab nations intends "to  foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians  and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs and nationalities live  in, and are committed to, a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding  and mutual respect.”

In the words of Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the US during the  Obama presidency, the Abraham Accords are a  “stunning diplomatic  breakthrough.” Not only are they stunning, but their immediate and  long-term results are groundbreaking. Perhaps most notably, the terms of  the accords are unprecedented.

This is the first time in Israel's history that Arab nations have made a  mutually beneficial agreement with the Jewish State without Israel  being required to give up land, as it did in past treaties with Egypt  and Jordan, and in the Oslo Accords. This unique accomplishment  contradicts all traditional wisdom and practice that required Israel to  exchange land for an uncertain promise of peace.

And, the fact that two Arab nations would sign an agreement that commits  them to working with Israel to build a "spirit of coexistence" in the  region without resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict refutes the  long-held erroneous notion that peace would only come to the Middle East  through the establishment of a Palestinian state - the absence of which  is falsely blamed on the Jewish State.

The unfortunate reality that the Palestinian leadership is not  interested in the establishment of a state through a peace agreement  with Israel was demonstrated once again on Tuesday. Even as Prime  Minister Netanyahu was signing the Abraham Accords in Washington DC -  demonstrating Israel's intent to make peace with all neighbors so  inclined - fifteen rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel.  Eight of those rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, but thirteen  Israelis were injured by the rockets that reached their marks.

Thankfully, Arab nations are now moving past the point of being held  hostage by the Palestinian refusal to make peace. The signing of the  Abraham Accords signals a paradigm shift in the Middle East, and the  possibilities and implications of the new accords extend far into the  future. Because of the stated goal to "advance comprehensive Middle East  peace, stability and prosperity,” this agreement provides unlimited  opportunities for economic partnerships and establishes a strategic  alliance against Iran and Turkey, both of which are common threats to  all in the region. And, as a result of the example set by the UAE and  Bahrain, there are now as many as nine other countries lining up to sign  similar agreements with Israel.

Indeed, the accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain demonstrate  that the path forward towards stability in the Middle East is found by  abandoning the unsuccessful ways of the past, which include the  rejection of Israel's right to exist, the rejection of normalization  with the Jewish state, and the rejection of peace. The Abraham Accords  also make it clear that the intransigent Palestinian leadership,  emboldened in their continual refusal to resolve the conflict as a  result of the Oslo Accords, no longer has the ability to discourage Arab  nations from making groundbreaking agreements that will bring stability  and prosperity to the Middle East.

Happy Rosh HaShanah!

As  phenomenal as the Abraham Accords are in themselves, it is somehow even  more special that they were signed during the final days leading up to  Rosh HaShanah, the biblical New Year, which begins Friday evening,  September 18. The traditional greeting for Rosh HaShanah is Shanah tovah  u'metukah, which means a good and sweet year. Not only does this  greeting invoke a blessing, but the prayers on Rosh HaShanah do as well.  The signing of the accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain,  combined with the probability of more agreements in the near future,  means that Israel and all who love peace have much reason to rejoice  over such a good and sweet development at the beginning of this new  year.

For the sake of Israel,
Tricia Miller and Dexter Van Zile

Recent Articles from the Partnership

"Who Are Evangelical Christians and Why Do They Support Israel?" by Tricia Miller

NOTE:  This article was originally written for a Jewish audience to explain  who Evangelical Christians are and why they stand with the Jewish State.  It was written to answer valid concerns Jews have concerning the  motivation behind Evangelical support for Israel in order to encourage  Jewish-Christian relations and strengthen inter-faith cooperation for  the sake of Zion. It is republished here in the hope that it can also be  a helpful resource for Christian leaders who understand the importance  of strengthening relationships with the Jewish people as we work  together in support of Israel.

Evangelical  Christians make up the single largest segment of Christendom in the  world today and the vast majority of them stand with the Jewish people  and support the Jewish State. However, in spite of the fact that  significant progress has been made in the last 30-40 years in  Jewish-Christian relations, there is still a lack of understanding in  much of the Jewish community as to who Evangelicals are and why they  stand with Israel. This article has been written to answer the who and  why questions in order to address valid concerns Jews have concerning  the motivation for Evangelical support for Israel in the hope that  Jewish-Christian relations and cooperation for the sake of Zion will be  encouraged and strengthened.

​In  light of the horrible history of Christian persecution of Jews for most  of the last two millenia – persecution that, at times, included forced  conversions – it is perfectly reasonable for Jews to wonder: Do  Evangelicals only profess to love and support Israel and the Jewish  people as a cover for an underlying agenda, such as the desire to  convert Jews to Christianity?

​And  because of the popularization of particular beliefs concerning the End  Times in recent decades, it is also logical for Jews to ask: Are  Christian Zionists only excited about the restoration of the State of  Israel because of a particular belief concerning the End Times, which  says that the regathering of the Jews to their ancient homeland is a  necessary prerequisite for the return of the Christian Messiah?

​The  following discussion will answer these two questions by demonstrating  that the vast majority of Evangelical Christian Zionists love and  support Israel and the Jewish people for legitimate theological and  historical reasons.

Read More

"Christian Century Still Keeping Its Eye on Those Sovereign Jews in the Holy Land" by Dexter Van Zile

The folks at Christian Century have  always paid close attention to what Those Sovereign Jews (TSJs for  short) have been doing in the Holy Land. It’s a little hyperbolic to  assert that if a Jew blows his nose in Jerusalem, Christian Century will  cover it. But it is fair to say that when Palestinian suicide bombers  blew themselves up during the Second Intifada, the magazine would either  ignore it or downplay it by providing exculpatory “context” as to why  they did so. And invariably, this context would circle back to the evils  perpetrated by TSJs in the Holy Land (TSJITHLs for short).

​The  Palestinian Authority has used television to teach kids to hate,  praised people who have stabbed Jews in the Old City, and paid salaries  to the families of terrorists who have murdered Jewish men, women, and  children, with little complaint or coverage from Christian Century.

​It  might mention these things in an article about Israeli efforts to  defend its citizens, but publishing a story that leads with and is  focused on bad things Palestinians — and not the Israelis — do in the  Holy Land? That’s simply out of the question.  

That’s not how the magazine rolls. Its coverage of events in the Holy  Land is devoted to scrutinizing how Jews use their agency. TSJs simply  can’t catch a break in the pages of Christian Century, while the Poor  Poor Palestinians (PPPs) get a pass.

Read More

Would you please consider supporting the work of CAMERA's Partnership of Christians and Jews so we are equipped to:

  • Tell the truth about Israel

  • Oppose antisemitism

  • Combat anti-Zionism in the Church

  • Raise awareness about Christian persecution
    in the Middle East

  • Promote cooperation between Christians and Jews