Arab workers and fellahin: this is the time to end the Abraham accords

Yossi Schwartz ISL (RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 13.03.2024

The Abraham Accords, and other forms of Arab-Israeli normalization that have since followed, were presented as a peace agreement between opposing sides of a conflict. However, none of the signatories of the accords were in direct conflict with Israel. It is true the Arab states to the accord are members of the Arab League and were signatories of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which emphasized Palestinian state in the borders of 1967 as a key objective. Nevertheless, none of these countries have ever been at war with Israel. Moreover, unlike Israel’s neighboring countries, they were at low risk of involvement given their geographic distance. Thus, to frame the Abraham Accords as a “peace” that increased stability between signatories is deliberately misleading.

In the secret parts of the accord the agreement aimed at greater repression. For example, the UAE has expanded the scope of its engagement with Israeli companies specializing in repressive technologies, and has invested in the Israeli defense industry. The Moroccan government has similarly taken advantage of normalization to acquire similar capacities. The impact was felt very directly in some cases, with journalists and activists who have been targeted and often imprisoned. The genocide in Gaza is going on while the Arab states that signed the Abraham accords did not break from the accords. Their fear of the Arab revolution motivated them. This should not surprise us as secret treaties are the normal norm of the bourgeoisie whose real enemies are the working class and the popular classes.

Needless to say, American imperialism has been involved in the agreements between the Zionist apartheid state and these Arab states, in spite of the cynical rhetoric regarding democratic accountability or human rights. The argument for supporting Arab-Israeli normalization has been couched in terms of “stabilizing” the region and facilitating economic development in order to offset the influence of the evil international intervention—in particular, by Russia, China, and Iran.

When they teach international relationships, the lectures tell the students that a key aspect of contemporary international treaty practice is a requirement that treaties be registered with the United Nations. All states that are UN members are required to register any treaty into which they enter. They also tell us that this requirement was written into the Covenant of the League of Nations and those treaties be communicated to the League for publication. This innovation is widely attributed to US President Woodrow Wilson, who drafted the language of this convention for the League. What they hide is that behind Wilson’s initiative lay an action by Leon Trotsky, Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the fledgling Soviet Russian government, who revealed treaties that had been concluded secretly on the Allied side during

World War I in which various states were promised territorial gains upon the anticipated successful conclusion of the war. Trotsky’s revelation gained world attention and mobilized public sentiment against secret arrangements between governments.

Wilson took his initiative to fight the influence of the Bolshevik revolution. The registration of treaties, which later was supposedly carried over into the Charter of the United Nations, has become one of the most important institutions of the modern international imperialist order.

 For centuries, states used secret agreements with other states to conceal actions they desired to take but that might not have played well had they been publicly known. An example is a secret protocol, the33 public 1797 treaty concluded by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in connection with the third partition of Poland. The public treaty affected the division of Poland among the three powers, effectively ending the existence of Poland. As we have seen this practice of secret treaties continue our days in Abraham accords.

During WWI Britain and France concluded a secret agreement during the war that was to attract much attention after the war. The agreement related to the Arab territory in the Ottoman Empire.

Britain and France hoped to drive Turkey out of this territory. In 1916 the two of them agreed that if they succeeded, they would allow the Arabs to form a state, or perhaps a confederation of states, in this territory. Importantly, however, they would keep a major role in governance for themselves. This arrangement was memorialized in a 9 May 1916 letter written by France’s ambassador in London, and a brief response letter dated 16 May 1916 from the British foreign secretary. The exchange of letters came to be called the Sykes-Picot agreement, named for the British and French representatives who negotiated it. The agreement included a map that used colors to code the areas of anticipated British and French control.

“Sykes-Picot Agreement, (May 1916), secret convention made during World War I between Great Britain and France, with the assent of imperial Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French- and British-administered areas. Negotiations were begun in November 1915, and the final agreement took its name from the chief negotiators from Britain and France, Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot. Sergey Dimitriyevich Sazonov was also present to represent Russia, the third member of the Triple Entente. Its provisions were as follows: (1) Russia should acquire the Armenian provinces of Erzurum, Trebizond (Trabzon), Van, and Bitlis, with some Kurdish territory to the southeast; (2) France should acquire Lebanon and the Syrian littoral, Adana, Cilicia, and the hinterland adjacent to Russia’s share, that hinterland including Aintab, Urfa, Mardin, Diyarbakır, and Mosul; (3) Great Britain should acquire southern Mesopotamia, including Baghdad, and also the Mediterranean ports of Haifa and ʿAkko (Acre); (4) between the French and the British acquisitions there should be a confederation of Arab states or a single independent Arab state, divided into French and British spheres of influence; (5) Alexandretta (İskenderun) should be a free port; and (6) Palestine, because of the holy places, should be under an international regime.”[i]

Time to kill the Abraham treaties!

Time to kick out the imperialists and their servants!

For Palestine free from the river to the sea!



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