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Take it from a Palestinian: The Abraham Accords reward human rights abuses

People around the world are proclaiming an end to an era of conflict. Two Arabian monarchs have signed a peace deal with an Israeli prime minister. The American president now deserves a Nobel peace prize for facilitating this landmark agreement, right?

Wrong.

What are the Abraham Accords but a publicity stunt designed to reward Israel for its breach of international law?

All ruthless governments work together. This has been the case for Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain for years. Now, it is just out in the open.

The irony of it all is that this comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of the self-purported “only democracy in the Middle East” faces corruption charges while running for another four-year term. The world watched as two unelected monarchs who have mercilessly stamped out any local resistance against their autocratic regimes signed an alliance with an Israeli politician that has been in power for 15 years.

Democracy wasn’t a guest at the ceremony.

I saw regular Americans and world leaders applaud and hail this agreement as a means to an end of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict while knowing all too well that this deal only entrenches brutal governments accused of rampant human rights abuses.

Where were the Palestinians?

Where they’ve always been, on the front lines of protests around the world, in the occupied West Bank, in besieged Gaza, in cramped and unsanitary refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan,

Palestinians weren’t celebrating the Abraham Accords. They were organizing, leading sit-ins, and facilitating virtual events because they know all too well that this “peace deal” is a farce. As Southern Israel and northern Gaza exchange missile fire, as Palestinians continue to be kicked out of their homes in Jerusalem, and unable to travel freely in their own land, it’s hard to think of the word peace as a description.

What does this “peace deal” mean to them?

To a Palestinian like me, this deal means nothing but a paper signing ceremony. The kingdoms of Bahrain and the UAE have only given the Israeli government their blessing to continue the incremental erasure of all things Palestine. While the Arab autocrats purported that this agreement would stop Israeli attempts at annexing the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already publicly declared that Israel only agreed to “delay” applying sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.

So what exactly was achieved? What has President Donald Trump thinking he deserves a Noble peace prize?

We Palestinians know the answer: Nothing. This “peace deal” is a reward fo abuse.

Samer Hassan is a Palestinian activist and graduate of Columbia University New York City.

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