February 3, 2023

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A New Threat in Iraq to Peace in the Middle East

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The gains the U.S. has made toward peace between Israel and its neighbors are in danger. The Abraham Accords, established in 2020, have created economic and diplomatic benefits for the four countries that agreed to normalize relations with the Jewish state. But an opposing coalition has effectively formed out of states, political parties and militias allied with Iran, Qatar and Kuwaiti extremist financiers.

Last month Iraq’s Parliament passed an “anti-normalization law” prescribing death for the slightest contact with an Israeli citizen. Last week saw calls to enact similar laws by Parliament members and militias from North Africa to the Gulf. Yemen, controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi movement, passed similar legislation Thursday. Ahead of President Biden’s trip to Israel, the Palestinian areas, Saudi Arabia and possibly other Arab states, this axis of resistance threatens to block diplomatic efforts to expand the Abraham Accords or even to reverse some of the progress. The administration must help Arab peace advocates stop it.

2022-06-05 16:51:00

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