Abraham Accords – Peace in the Middle East?

For over seven decades, peace in the Middle East and the relationship between the Arab world and Israel has been at the center of foreign policy. There have been many attempts at Middle East peace deals in the past that have ended in failure. So what changed in recent years that led nations like the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco to join the Abraham Accords, starting the process of normalization, and signing on as Israeli allies? After watching the video, use the prompts below to learn more and get your students thinking.

  1. What is peace in the Middle East often referred to as?
    • The Arrival of the Messiah
    • The Abraham Accords
    • The Holy Grail of foreign policy
    • Easy to achieve
  2. Before 2020, which Arab countries had signed peace deals with Israel?
    • Egypt and Jordan
    • Syria and Lebanon
    • Egypt and Saudi Arabia
    • Iran and Jordan
  3. The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative insisted that peace can not succeed unless:
    • Israel agrees to return to the 1967 borders, makes peace with the Palestinians and finds a just settlement to the return of refugees
    • Israel stops building new homes
    • Hummus is officially declared Lebanese
    • Hamas has representation in the Israeli government
  4. True or false? Israel has had behind the scenes relations with UAE and Bahrain for years.
  5. In the 1940’s, what percentage of Moroccans were Jewish?
    • 5%
    • 10%
    • 50%
    • 2%
  1. In a New York Times Op-Ed, Thomas Friedman wrote “there are really two coalitions in the region today — those who want to let the future bury the past and those who want to let the past keep burying the future. The U.A.E. is taking the helm of the first, and it is leaving Iran to be the leader of the second.” Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?
  2. Critics of the Abraham Accords have argued that that the countries who made peace with Israel were partially or majorly motivated by what they were given in return, rather than wanting genuine peace with Israel (i.e: curbing Israeli annexation of the West Bank, the US declaring Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, Sudan being removed from US’s terror list). From the Israeli perspective, do the reasons behind making peace matter? Or is all that matters the fact that peace was made?
  3. The Palestinian leadership came out strongly against the Abraham Accords much like they did against peace between Israel and Egypt in 1979. Why do you think the Palestinians are frustrated by Arab and Muslim countries making peace with Israel?
  4. What do you think these peace deals teach us about Israel’s place in the modern Middle East? How do you think these deals will affect future peace prospects vis-a-vis the Palestinians?
  5. Only 4% of Moroccans and 13% of Sudanese are in favor of peace with Israel (6% of Jordanians and 13% of Egyptians too). Is a peace deal still valuable if the vast majority of citizens are opposed to it? Why or why not? Keep in mind that Israel has peace with Egypt and Jordan.
  1. After learning about Israel making peace with so many of its neighboring countries, do you think Israel can also make peace with the Palestinians? Watch our video about the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process and compare the two situations.
  2. Watch our video about the rise of Mizrahi pop music in Israel. How can the rise of Mizrahi pop in Israel help to bridge cultures between Israel and its neighboring countries?
  3. Utilize the following videos and educational resources to learn about the Arab-Israeli conflict with your students:
  4. Give your students our Kahoot on the Abraham Accords!

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