J Street welcomes and supports the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives that encourages the normalization of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors and continued support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The “Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021” is led by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Peter Meijer (R-MI), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and HFAC Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX). It calls on the Biden administration to “develop and implement a regional strategy to encourage economic cooperation among Israel, Arab states and the Palestinians to enhance the prospects for regional peace, respect for human rights, transparent governance, and cooperation…” Importantly, it also reiterates the US commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and would require the administration to provide an assessment of how the ongoing normalization process can be used to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace.
As pro-Israel Americans dedicated to helping secure the State of Israel as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, J Street welcomed the normalization agreement officially establishing mutual recognition and diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and subsequent similar agreements between Israel and other Arab states. These agreements, which were based in part on the Israeli government’s agreement to forego de jure unilateral annexation of the West Bank, have helped to show that dialogue and diplomacy, rather than unilateral action and belligerence, are the route to long-term security.
We also believe that comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors in the Arab world will only be achieved through an agreement that resolves the issues at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and leads to the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. It is therefore vital that the existing normalization agreements and future normalization efforts should be used to help facilitate real progress towards Israeli-Palestinian peace — rather than as a pretext to exclude or isolate the Palestinian people and leadership.