Prince Moulay Hicham writes that the Abraham Accords are an expression of a fundamentalist religious alliance.

12 October 2023
Prince Moulay Hicham writes that the Abraham Accords are an expression of a fundamentalist religious alliance.

By : Moulay Hicham Alaoui 

The Gaza war has pushed into the background the normalization agreements forged in 2020 between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco. Beyond its geopolitical dimension, one aspect of this alliance has been overlooked: despite their theological differences, fundamentalists of the three major monotheistic religions have benefited from it to form a united front against moral liberalism and secular values — even though Israeli repression in East Jerusalem and violations of holy sites also threaten this aspect of the pact. (This text was written before the recent events in the region).

At the time of the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, their detractors denounced them as a cynical exercise in geopolitical opportunism. The United States, under the presidency of Donald Trump, sought to revive declining hegemony by negotiating new Israeli-Arab peace treaties, thereby consolidating the anti-Iranian front and strengthening their ties with Arab allies. And these allies (the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco) dangled the prospect of normalization with Israel to secure new trade agreements, military assistance, and other benefits. Morocco highlighted the specificity of its historical heritage (the presence of a significant Jewish minority in the country) to justify rapprochement with Israel, hoping that extending a hand to Tel Aviv would alleviate pressure on it regarding the Western Sahara, with the possibility of recognition of Rabat’s sovereignty over the territory.

Finally, Israel improved its international positioning through agreements with Arab countries that also share, not coincidentally, its goal of containing an Iran with military nuclear capability.


All these actors benefited from the marginalization of the Palestinian cause, which became disconnected from the rest of the crises in the Middle East during the “Arab Spring” uprisings. Thus, the Abraham Accords were the epitome of cynical realpolitik. However, other Arab states positioned themselves differently on the geopolitical chessboard. Algeria gambled that the accords would fail, while Qatar preferred to stay above the regional fray by seeking to play the role of mediator, as it had done in Afghanistan.

Yet, while the new series of Israeli-Arab normalization agreements began as an exercise in geopolitical opportunism, it has evolved into something quite different. The strategic logic that gave rise to these treaties is no longer entirely valid. As the United States withdraws from the Middle East, the states in the region no longer need American validation to discuss peace and innovate in their foreign policy.

Antisemitism, because much of this diaspora has secularized or rejects their political and theological views. Thus, this Jewish fundamentalist wing sees no issue in allying with Western populist antisemites who also support white Christian nationalists. For example, Benjamin Netanyahu referred to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as a “true friend of Israel,” despite his antisemitic attacks against American billionaire George Soros. More recently, in May 2023, a delegation from the far-right Swedish Democrats, whose program calls for the banning of circumcision, toured Israel.

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