Counterpoint: Middle East News Round-Up
Brussels – 03 October 2022 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute warmly welcomes that the EU-Israel Association Council, last convened in 2012, was finally held today in Brussels.
“The AJC Transatlantic Institute has long advocated for reconvening the Association Council with Israel for...
"Time and again, the impossible has become possible. Despite the unrelenting threats, the Jewish people are better off, more free, and more secure in 2022 than in 1975." AJC CEO David Harris reflects in a Jerusalem Post column on the lessons learned after nearly 50 years on the Jewish front lines.
Large AJC Delegation, on Weeklong Arabian Gulf Visit, Marks Abraham Accords Anniversary and Opening of AJC Abu Dhabi Office
Over the past two years, the world has witnessed growing bilateral ties, advancing and yielding tangible benefits from Arab-Israel peace. To celebrate the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords and the official opening earlier this year of AJC Abu Dhabi, a delegation of 80 AJC leaders from across the United States traveled this month to the UAE and were joined by Emirati government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, business leaders, and members of the local Jewish community.
Who would have predicted security cooperation between Israel and Bahrain, defense cooperation between Israel and Morocco, or the free trade agreement between the UAE and Israel? In this commentary for The Times of Israel, AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson highlights the miraculous feats made possible in the two years since the ceremonial signing of the Abraham Accords.
"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.