Weekly Update: Normalisation

editor - 18 September 2020

This week at the White House PM Netanyahu of Israel signed “normalisation” agreements with representatives of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in the presence of US President Trump.

The recent “Abraham Accords” and these bilateral agreements commit the countries to (inter alia) open diplomatic relations, pursue peace and stability, and cooperate at many different levels.

Given Israel has never been at war with these countries, why are “normalisation” agreements necessary? Because since 1948 the Arab world, as a whole, has refused to treat Israel as a normal member of the community of nations.

The developments over the last few weeks are proof of a paradigm shift that has been going on for some time within the “Arab”/Islamic world, and as a consequence relations with Israel and other Western nations.

This places a new perspective on the so-called “Israel-Palestine” conflict. It will be especially interesting to see how Europe deals with this change. While the EU has formally welcomed the agreements, the willingness of Arab nations to place their interests ahead of resolution of the Palestinian problem challenges the fundamental assumptions underlying EU’s policies concerning the conflict.

Let’s hope and pray that these developments are a glimpse of the peace that will come when Messiah reigns in Jerusalem and the law shall go forth from Zion
(Isaiah 2).

We wish all our readers a Shana Tova!

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

The Absent Peacemaker

David Horowitz at Times of Israel: “The US has been repeatedly inviting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to reengage and advocate for his people’s interests. Isn’t that supposed to be his very purpose?” Read more..

Arabs: Israel Is Not Our Enemy

Khaled Abu Toemeh in Gatestone: “A growing number of Arabs, particularly those living in the Gulf, say they finally understand that Israel is not the enemy of the Muslims and Arabs. This change of heart manifested even before the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed peace agreements with Israel during a ceremony at the White House on September 15. It is the direct result of the expansionist ambitions of Iran and Turkey in the Arab world and the feeling among Arabs that those two states pose the real threat to their national security.” Read more..

The UAE-Israel Breakthrough: Bilateral and Regional Implications and U.S. Policy

Ebtesam al-Ketbi, Dore Gold, Barbara Leaf and David Makovsky at the Washington Institute: On September 14, The Washington Institute held a virtual Policy Forum with Ebtesam al-Ketbi, Dore Gold, Barbara Leaf, and David Makovsky. Ketbi is founder and president of the Emirates Policy Center, the UAE’s leading foreign policy and security think tank. Gold is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and former Israeli permanent representative to the UN. Leaf is the Institute’s Lapidus Fellow and former U.S. ambassador to the UAE. Makovsky is the Institute’s Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and former senior advisor to the State Department’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Read more..

Rosh Hashana – New Life in a New Year

Anna Klechenova reports from Israel: Rosh Hashana is one of the key religious holidays for Israelis. In the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Rosh Hashana will be totally different. Read more..


 “Terrible news” – Video teaching by Johannes Gerloff

Episode 37 in the series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

Abraham was the first human being to whom God revealed what He was going to do. Abraham was the first prophet. Abraham’s reaction to God’s revealing His plan to him sets standards for any human being functioning in a prophetic capacity.



Scripture for the week: Isaiah 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

2 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.


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