Thursday, February 17, 2022

Here is what the "progressive" opponents of the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021 actually oppose

I noted recently that Jamaal Bowman and dozens of other "progressive" members of Congress have decided not to endorse the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021.

The Israel haters are describing the act this way (from a JVP mailing:)
Leave it to the U.S. government to say “peace” when it means “weapons sales.” That is exactly what’s happening with the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021, a bill encouraging more arms sales and shady political favors between authoritarian regimes while masquerading as “peace” and “diplomacy.” 

This bill is essentially a green light to the Israeli government, saying: you don’t have to end apartheid, ethnic cleansing, or the occupation against Palestinians. We’ll still give you everything you want. 
As usual, they lie. But it is worth reading the text of the bill - specifically, the US policy to be affirmed within the bill - to see what the haters really oppose and what they support.

The bill, HR 2748, says:

It is the policy of the United States—

(1) to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords to encourage other nations to normalize relations with Israel and ensure that existing agreements reap tangible security and economic benefits for the citizens of those countries;

(2) 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 to address water scarcity, climate solutions, health care, sustainable development, and other areas that result in benefits for residents of those countries;

(3) to develop and implement a regional security strategy that recognizes the shared threat posed by Iran and violent extremist organizations, ensures sufficient United States deterrence in the region, builds partner capacity to address shared threats, and explores multilateral security arrangements built around like-minded partners;

(4) to support and encourage government-to-government and grassroots initiatives aimed at normalizing ties with the state of Israel and promoting people-to-people contact between Israelis, Arabs, and peoples from other countries and regions, including by expanding and enhancing the Abraham Accords;

(5) to continue to support a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states—a democratic Jewish state of Israel and a viable democratic Palestinian state—living side by side in peace, security, and mutual recognition;

(6) to implement the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act of 2020 (title VIII of division K of Public Law 116–260), which supports economic cooperation and peacebuilding efforts among Israelis and Palestinians;

(7) to oppose efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and legal barriers to normalization of relations with Israel;

(8) to work to combat anti-Semitism and support normalization of relations with Israel, including by countering anti-Semitic narratives on social media and state media and pressing for educational curriculum reform; and

(9) to encourage partnerships and collaboration on climate solutions, water, health, sustainable development, and other areas.

This means that opponents of the Act are against one or all of these things!

They support delegitimizing Israel. They do not support a Palestinian state next to a Jewish state. They are against economic cooperation that would help Palestinians.  

And they are against fighting Arab antisemitism.

This is the official position of the Democratic Socialists of America. This is the official position of the Squad and the other members of Congress who oppose this measure.

It is good to know exactly where these people stand.

(h/t Irene)