The Abraham Accords changed the paradigm for what is possible in the Middle East.

Long-time adversaries are now valued friends. Hostility was replaced by peace and prosperity as borders opened. And the main message from an American Jewish Committee (AJC) delegation from the Accords nations to members of Congress today demonstrates just how much more potential lies ahead: the best is yet to come.

The AJC delegation held a roundtable with members of the House Abraham Accords Caucus two days before the third anniversary of the Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Bahrain. The diverse delegation of Arab and Israel civil society and private enterprise leaders represented the environmental, cultural, and tourism sectors.

“For far too long, conflict has kept the Middle East stagnant,” said Benjamin Rogers, AJC Director of Middle East Initiatives. “For a region that is one of the most water-poor, food-insecure, and economically isolated, the notion that you can solve all your problems alone is obsolete. Regional cooperation is the only way to ensure a more peaceful, prosperous, and stable Middle East.”

Members of Congress who attended the roundtable include Caucus co-chairs Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL) and David Trone (D-MD),  and Representatives Dan Goldman (D-NY), Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Rob Menendez, (D-NJ), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and Thomas Kean Jr. (R-NJ). 

“Three years ago, the Abraham Accords literally changed the paradigm of relations with Israel in the Middle East, building bridges between Israel and UAE, Israel and Bahrain, Israel and Morocco, and Israel and Sudan,” said Rep. Schneider. “The historic agreements launched a shift toward peace and normalization between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East and North Africa, and they are unleashing powerful cultural and technological exchanges that will reverberate around the globe.”

Following the roundtable, the delegation met with Representative Mario Dìaz-Balart (R-FL), Chair of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) Subcommittee on the House Committee on Appropriations. The visit to Capitol Hill was the culmination of nearly a week of meetings for the delegation, which included leaders in the environment, culture, and tourism sectors.

"This is a group of very talented and impressive individuals,” said Nimrod Palmach, CEO of Israel-is, an Israeli NGO that partnered with AJC in bringing the delegation to the United States. “The common characteristics are outstanding talent, visionary people with big hearts, from the fields of sustainability, environment, and tourism. It is a group that seeks to create a new order in the wider Middle East, one that will be created very soon.”

Earlier in the trip, the delegation met in New York with Ross Levi, executive director of I LOVE NY, the state’s Division of Tourism. Travel has been one of the drivers of economic growth among the Accords nations.

“I LOVE NY was proud to meet with tourism colleagues from the Middle East. It was a great opportunity to discuss New York State’s tourism strategy and efforts, and to mutually share some best practices for bringing guests to our respective destinations,” said Levi. “We thank AJC for including us in the important visit by this esteemed delegation.”

An estimated 150,000 Israelis visited the UAE in 2022. About 70,000 Israelis visited Morocco last year, a number the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects to triple in 2023. A Moroccan member of the delegation had to cancel his visit to the U.S. following the earthquake that devastated areas in and around Marrakesh last week.

Also among key topics discussed by the delegation were regional engagement and climate change. In November, Dubai will host the next meeting of COP28, the UN Climate Change Conference. A large contingent from Middle East nations is expected to participate.

Earlier this week in Washington, D.C., the group met at the White House with Shelley Greenspan and Mazen Basrawi, the Biden administration’s liaisons to the Jewish and Muslim communities respectively; Smithsonian Institution Secretary Lonnie Bunch III, and officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. State Department.

On Tuesday evening, His Excellency Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Ambassador of Bahrain to the U.S., hosted a reception celebrating the Abraham Accords. In addressing the delegation and distinguished guests, the Ambassador discussed the challenges and opportunities for neighbors to come together and thanked AJC for its decades-long commitment to Arab-Israeli peace. During the reception, His Excellency Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a surprise visit and expressed his hopes for a more interconnected Middle East. 

AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 39 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. More at


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