Michael Youssef on With the Abraham Accord, Peace is Moving Slowly But Surely in the Middle East

U.S. President Donald Trump announces that Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a peace deal that will lead to the full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations in an agreement that Trump helped broker, at White House in Washington, U.S., August 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Trump and his administration facilitated a historic, world-changing peace treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The “Abraham Accord” is the first peace treaty since the Israel-Jordan treaty signed 26 years ago. This was a stroke of diplomatic genius and I applaud the hard work of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the countless others.

I remember Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat’s courageous visit to Israel in 1977 and the resulting peace between the two countries. I was nearly 30 at the time, and even though I had left Egypt many years earlier, I was thrilled at the fact that a week before Sadat’s visit to Israel, I was invited back to Egypt for the first time in many years by President Sadat himself. I looked back with pride at the country where I grew up as it formalized peace with its ancient adversary.

Peace — albeit slowly — is on the move in the Middle East. First Egypt in 1977, then Jordan in 1994 and now the Abraham Accord between Israel and the UAE in 2020. Israel, with the guidance and help of the United States, is emanating peace throughout the historically war-torn region.

Michael Youssef | Courtesy: Michael Youssef

The Abraham Accord is fittingly named. As we all know, names in the Bible have great importance because they often record characteristics of the one named, reflect relationships and reveal God’s intentions with the person. Let’s talk about Abraham, father of the three monotheistic traditions and for whom the Abraham Accord was named.

Abraham was named Abram, meaning “exalted father,” at birth, but when God made a covenant — the first covenant between God and man — with him, God changed his name to Abraham, meaning “father of multitude.” But Abraham’s name was not the only thing that changed. Joshua 24:2 tells us that Abraham grew up in a polytheistic tradition which was the ruling culture at the time. In the ancient world, people worshipped family gods, tribal gods, city gods, state gods…the idea of a single, almighty Creator was preposterous to them. It was radical.

Courageous, faithful Abraham led an ideological and theological revolution with his acceptance of the one true God. His radical — and rightful — practice of monotheism led to such precious things as the Christian faith and, in a roundabout way, the United States of America, which was founded on Judeo-Christian values. With the transformation of his name and the transformation of his life and worldview, Abraham became the patriarch. “No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). And indeed, Abraham is looked upon as father by the world’s three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Youssef