Counterpoint: Middle East News Round-Up
"Biden declared clearly that the U.S. does not intend to leave a Middle East vacuum to be filled by Russia, China, and Iran," reports AJC Abu Dhabi Director Marc Sievers in the Arab Weekly, offering key takeaways on President Biden’s first visit to the Middle East as president.
Following a Foreign Affairs Council between the 27 member states, the EU's decision to finally relaunch the Association Council with Israel, meant to ensure continuous political dialogue and deepen bilateral ties, was long overdue after a ten-year break. AJC has long urged governments and diplomats to resume the high-level ministerial talks that were last held in 2012 and had not been reconvened since due to the opposition of certain countries.
“In the spirit of the historic Abraham Accords, today’s Saudi announcement is a significant example of normalization that will further advance the promise and reality of Arab-Israeli peace,” said AJC CEO David Harris. The announcement came as President Biden ended his visit to Israel and flew directly to Jeddah for meetings with Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders. As Biden noted, “Saudi Arabia’s historic decision to open its airspace for all civilian planes, including those flying to and from Israel, is an important step towards building a more integrated and stable Middle East region.”
“We never stopped dreaming, we never succumbed to the obstacles in our path, and we never took no for an answer when it came to overcoming decades of chill in the Cyprus-Greece-Israel links,” stresses AJC CEO David Harris in a wide-ranging interview with Kathimerini, the influential Greek daily newspaper. The Greece-Israel-Cyprus alliance, for which AJC has long advocated, is one of the most important developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
"Cooperation between religions is the best way to fight against extremism and advance common goals for the sake of all humanity." AJC Director of International Interreligious Affairs Rabbi David Rosen spoke at a historic multi-faith gathering with religious representatives in Saudi Arabia last month. Marking a monumental shift in regional interfaith relations and a positive transformation of Muslim-Jewish relations around the globe, Rabbi Rosen was the only Israeli at the assembly.
For the past 40 years, AJC CEO David Harris has been a leading advocate for strengthening Israel’s place in the community of nations, deepening ties with key countries, and advancing Israel’s quest for enduring peace and security. Tune in to hear Harris discuss why Israel is central to the Jewish people, AJC, and Jewish advocacy.
AJC Abu Dhabi is our first office in an Arab or majority-Muslim state. AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson writes in the Jerusalem Post what this groundbreaking office means for the future of Arab-Jewish relations.
For many years, AJC CEO David Harris was active in one of the most successful human rights campaigns in modern history, the Soviet Jewry movement, where he served as the national coordinator for Freedom Sunday. The 1987 demonstration in Washington, D.C. that drew over 250,000 participants remains the largest Jewish gathering in American history. Watch David Harris presents the Soviet Jewry campaign as a case study for effective advocacy.
By denouncing and attempting to uniquely criminalize Jewish self-determination, Amnesty International’s latest report accusing Israel of apartheid has earned a place of dishonor in the annals of antisemitism. AJC Transatlantic Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal joined the Hudson Institute's Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East, for a virtual international panel discussion on the document’s objective to delegitimize the lone Jewish-majority state in the world.