The last few months have seen a lot of talk about how the Abraham Accords, which were ratified on 15 September 2020, have had their “short moment in the spotlight” and how their potential is disappearing as the priorities of Israel, the US, and the rest of the Arab world change. But this isn’t really the case. In fact, in some ways, this year has been the biggest one yet for normalization in the region, especially in terms of business and personal connections. Last year was all about celebrating the “firsts” of peace – the first flights, the first diplomatic visits, the first business meetings, and the first cultural events – but this year has been all about consolidating the relationships made and aiming for a more unified region.
In the past year, Israel’s trade with the UAE has skyrocketed, surpassing everyone’s expectations for the depth of our growing business relationship. In 2023, we’ll have more than $3 billion in bilateral trade, not to mention the trade we do with other Arab countries, South Asia and beyond. Morocco’s trade with Israel has skyrocketed 110% compared to the same period last year, while Bahrain’s trade has grown 24% year-on-year. And what’s even more amazing is that Egypt and Jordan – two countries with which Israel has enjoyed decades of peace – have seen their trade with Israel triple and double respectively since the Abebe Accords were signed. This is all thanks to the fact that engaging with Israel has become less stigmatized thanks to the agreements we have with the UAE (as well as Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan).