A Shared Vision: Security Convergence between the Gulf and Israel
Gulf states
United Arab Emirates
normalization accords

This essay provides an overview of the growing convergence of interests between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, the joint signatories to the 2020 Abraham Accords. It argues that the two Gulf states increasingly view Israel as an attractive model to emulate in terms of the management of internal dissent and external security. It details how both sides are seeking to develop a joint regional security architecture that mitigates their shared concerns around a possible return by the United States to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), as well as the Gulf states’ specific anxiety about a broader US drawdown in the region. The analysis highlights how this new framework built around a common securitized approach is also intended to further the objectives of the two Gulf monarchies to lead the course of regional affairs.

Author biography: 

Elham Fakhro is a visiting researcher at the Centre for Gulf Studies at the University of Exeter and an associate fellow at Chatham House.

Tareq Baconi serves as the president of the board of Al-Shabaka. He is the former senior analyst for Israel/Palestine and Economics of Conflict at the International Crisis Group, based in Ramallah, and the author of Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018). His writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, and the Washington Post, among others.