The Biden administration marked the anniversary of the Abraham Accords on Monday by referring to them as the “normalization agreements” between Israel and several neighboring Arab states.
The agreements were signed on Sep. 15, 2020 between Israel, the U.S., the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. They establish peace, recognition, and full diplomatic relations (“normalization”) between the countries. They have since expanded to include other Arab nations, though progress has slowed since the Trump administration left office in January.
Though the Biden administration marked the anniversary at an event in New York, with emissaries from Israel and participating Arab states, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield declined to use the term “Abraham Accords.” in her prepared remarks.
I’ll never understand why the Biden administration won’t use the term “Abraham Accords” … unless it has something to do with acknowledging the previous administration’s work, but nah… pic.twitter.com/UmGRt3BcVT
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) September 13, 2021
Instead, she referred to them as “normalization agreements,” though the declaration signed by all of the countries involved is actually called the “Abraham Accords,” and is referred to by them as such.
Later, after public criticism, Thomas-Greenfield tweeted about the “Abraham Accords.”
The U.S. is committed to strengthening & expanding the progress made by the #AbrahamAccords & exploring how to advance those efforts at the UN. We are also committed to a two-state solution & our diplomacy will remain focused on advancing that vision. https://t.co/YR6aK9fKrO
— Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN) September 14, 2021
The State Department website used the title “Abraham Accords” for Thomas-Greenfield’s remarks, though she herself did not use the term in her remarks as delivered.
The reluctance to use “Abraham Accords” has been a consistent practice of the Biden State Department’s communications policy, as shown (perhaps appropriately) by an exchange on April 1 between spokesman Ned Price and a reporter (transcript via State Department, emphasis removed):
QUESTION: Okay. And then just as an aside, what does this – what do you call these agreements between —
MR PRICE: They’re normalization agreements.
QUESTION: Yeah, but what are the – what is the name for them?
MR PRICE: Normalization agreements.
QUESTION: No, there’s a specific name that they all signed onto. I believe you know what it is.
MR PRICE: Look, we call them – we call them normalization agreements. That’s —
QUESTION: Why do you not —
MR PRICE: That’s precisely what they are.
QUESTION: — use the name that the leaders of these countries signed onto —
MR PRICE: We’re —
QUESTION: — which is the Abraham Accords? Why is that —
MR PRICE: I’m not averse to using that. I’m describing what these are. These are normalization —
QUESTION: Well, then can you say it for me, please?
MR PRICE: Of course I can say the term “Abraham Accords,” Matt.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MR PRICE: But we call them normalization agreements.
When pressed, the Biden administration will use the term “Abraham Accords,” but it clearly prefers not to do so.
The term “Abraham Accords” is associated with President Donald Trump, whose achievements the Biden administration often minimizes.
For example, White House Press Secretary, asked last month whether Trump deserved credit for the development of the coronavirus vaccines under Operation Warp Speed, said that the credit belonged to “scientists and experts from the prior administration” but would not credit President Trump himself for launching the vaccine initiative.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.