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Israel’s Knesset Launches Abraham Accords Caucus
From left, Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Nurit Levy outside the Knesset ahead of the event to celebrate the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords, Oct. 11, 2021. (The Media Line)

Israel’s Knesset Launches Abraham Accords Caucus

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attended the inaugural event of the caucus, which organizers say is “apolitical and transcends party lines.”

The moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem paved the way for the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a special Knesset event to celebrate the anniversary of the agreements, known collectively as the Abraham Accords.

The event on Monday afternoon marked the launch of the Abraham Accords Caucus in the Knesset, chaired by lawmakers Ofir Akunis (Likud) and Ruth Wasserman Lande (Blue and White).

The US-brokered Abraham Accords were signed by Israel, the UAE and Bahrain at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020. Morocco later joined the agreement, and Sudan has agreed to join but has not yet finalized the deal.

Netanyahu, who signed the accords in Washington, also said that a strong Israel – both militarily and economically – enabled the accords to happen. “The understanding that Israel was willing to take on Iran and Sunni Islamist terrorists and various other groups, created potential interest among Arab states to form a partnership with Israel. Common threats create common opportunities,” he said.

He added that the Arab countries and the US also learned that “if you wait for the Palestinians, you’ll never get peace.”

Netanyahu thanked former US President Donald Trump for changing US policy toward Israel and for standing up to Iran by leaving the nuclear agreement with the world powers.

The Middle East is changing from a region of problems to a region of opportunity. I truly believe that the potential is boundless

Jared Kushner, who served as Trump’s White House senior adviser and was one of the main architects of the accords, attended the caucus’ inaugural event with his wife, Ivanka Trump.

“One year ago this would have been unthinkable, but what great leaders do is they lead,” Kushner told those in attendance. “We are seeing it spreading through the Arab world; they’re seeing that Israel is not what they were told it was.”

Kushner noted that the accords have spawned over 60 economic agreements. “The Middle East is changing from a region of problems to a region of opportunity. I truly believe that the potential is boundless,” he said.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who is scheduled to leave Monday night for a tripartite meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said Israel is ready to have peaceful relations with more Arab countries.

“I call upon the Palestinians, and every Arab nation that is listening: We seek peace. Peace is not a compromise or a weakness but rather an embodiment of the human spirit. Those living in the Middle East are welcome to look around and see which countries are in a better position — those who seek peace or those who seek war,” he said.

“At the end of the day, we are all human beings who want to live next to one another,” Wasserman Lande said, introducing the caucus. “I am proud to present something that is larger than any party. This caucus won’t only be about talk but will be based on actions.”

She thanked Trump and Netanyahu for their leadership that led to the signing of the Abraham Accords and thanked current US President Joe Biden and current Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for their efforts to expand them.

Akunis also noted that: “This is not just peace between governments, but also between peoples” and that the caucus is “apolitical and transcends party lines.” He thanked the leaders of the countries that have already signed on to the accords.

Moroccan Ambassador Abderrahim Beyyoudh and US Chargé d’Affaires Michael Ratney also spoke at the event.

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