Should the Department of State take action to reduce conflict between Israel and other Arab states?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill requires the State Department to develop a strategy to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords, which are collective agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and between Israel and Bahrain. This strategy must include a description on how the United States government will continue to normalize their relations with Israel, meaning the United States must describe how they will continue to reduce conflict in Israel. Additionally, this bill requires the State Department to report on U.S. efforts to strengthen the relationship between Israel, Arab states, and other relevant regions and countries. They must also report on the normalization efforts with Israel, including information on laws that punish individuals for people-to-people relations with Israelis, and evidence of steps taken by Arab governments toward permitting and encouraging relations between their citizens and Israeli citizens. Sponsor: Sen. Rob Portman (Republican, Ohio)
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Opponents say

    "Until this week, Congress was making steady progress to advancing the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021, which celebrated the spirit and letter of those Accords. I was a proud co-sponsor of that bill. Hours before the vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee radically changed the bill. The language added declared it would be ‘policy of the United States' to create a Palestinian state and to pour millions into Palestinian areas despite ongoing Palestinian government salaries for terrorists. I offered amendments to return the bill to its original bipartisan embrace of the Abraham Accords, but they were rejected. U.S. diplomats have no business telling our Israeli allies what to do with their territories, let alone pressuring them to cede sovereignty for a Palestinian state. We should not be subsidizing Palestinian terrorism. I have removed myself as a co-sponsor of the rewritten Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021, I voted against it today, and I will continue to oppose it." Source: Sen. Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas)

Proponents say

    "In my visits to the Middle East, I’ve seen the deep and abiding friendships that exist, and the potential for long-term peace and stability. This bill will encourage normalization of relations between Israel and other countries in the region, which will help build on the success of the Abraham Accords, support our ally Israel and enshrine the longstanding U.S. policy that encourages Arab League states to normalize relations with Israel. Finally, Congress has an opportunity to act in a bipartisan way with this bill, which would send an important signal of unity and solidarity to the international community at a critical time." Source: Sen. Rob Portman (Republican, Ohio) 

    "We, at EMET, have spent months and months educating our elected officials about the risks of severe punishment that so many brave Arab dissidents expose themselves to just for wanting to engage in normal relations with Israelis. These people, many of them young and idealistic, are sick and tired of their autocratic governments brainwashing them about what to believe and whom to hate. We feel that this bill represents the hopeful wave of the future. Now we have to work to ensure that it passed the house." Source: Sarah Stern (Founder and President of Endowment for Middle East Truth)