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Team Biden seems determined to dismantle all its predecessor’s policies — even those that promised to transform the dysfunctional Middle East for the better.
The White House “suspended the Abraham Fund indefinitely,” Israeli financial paper Globes reported last week, citing US and Israeli sources. The public-private partnership was established last year after Israel signed the US-brokered Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the first peace deals between the Jewish state and Arab nations in decades.
The Trump administration called the Abraham Fund “an integral part” of the peace deals; it would “mobilize more than $3 billion in private-sector-led investment” to demonstrate “the benefits of peace by improving the lives of the region’s peoples.” It was opened to Morocco and Sudan when they joined the accords too.
It was smart diplomacy: The fund would nurture more peace deals as it showed how Arab-Israeli cooperation brought prosperity all over the Middle East.
Fund officials had approved more than a dozen projects in the energy, financial and food-technology sectors and were reviewing hundreds of others when President Donald Trump left office. But the day President Joe Biden succeeded him, the fund’s head, Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, stepped down, and Biden never replaced him. Worse, administration officials made it clear to the Israelis that he had no interest in continuing the fund’s work.
Why? Team Biden says it wants to keep the cash to spend in this country. Funny: This has to be the only area (besides wall construction) where the new administration is pinching pennies.
Then again, Biden quickly started moving to undermine the accords themselves. He froze for months, for example, a weapons deal with the UAE as an incentive to bring it on board.
It seems the administration won’t even permit use of the name “Abraham Accords.” In April, State Department spokesman Ned Price went through contortions as he tried not to use the term, instead calling them simply “normalization agreements.” An ex-Trump official tells The Post a friend in the Energy Department was told to avoid the term.
Yet the Abraham Accords enjoy wide bipartisan support: Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a bill, cosponsored by more than half the Senate, to “build on the success of the Abraham Accords.”
It’s pretty low for the White House to choose petty politics at the expense of the most positive Middle East development in decades.
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