Portman visits Israel with bipartisan congressional delegation

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Attends meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog and other leaders


November 11, 2021

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Press Releases

WASHINGTON DC – US Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visited Israel this week to participate in a series of meetings with Israeli leaders, including President Isaac Herzog and the Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in which they discussed the importance of bipartisan support for Israel and the need to quickly pass legislation to rebuild Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The bipartisan congressional delegation, led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shateyyah and ambassadors from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan and Kosovo to discuss the importance of the Abrahamic accords, and the importance of normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab nations.

“We had a very constructive trip and good discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Bennett and President Herzog, Palestinian Prime Minister Shateyyah and ambassadors from several Arab countries on ways to support normalization efforts between Israel and the Arab world , in particular through the agreements of Abraham ”, said Portman. “The promotion of peace and security in Israel and the surrounding areas remains a priority for myself and my colleagues in Congress. I was happy to have been able to see first-hand the work that so many people are doing to ensure long-term stability in the region.

On Monday, Portman met with students from the Palestinian University in the West Bank to hear their perspective on the peace process. From there, Portman met Prime Minister Shtayyeh of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Portman lobbied Prime Minister Shtayyeh on the need for the PA to improve financial transparency and end bonus payments to the families of those who commit crimes against Israel. In the afternoon, Portman visited the Shimon Peres Center for Innovation and Peace in Tel Aviv to hear about Israel’s miracle of innovation and the Centre’s programs bringing together Israeli and Palestinian youth. In the evening, Portman attended a reception in honor of the Abrahamic Accords with Ambassadors from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kosovo, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to Israel and discussed ways to ” deepen the agreements, in particular by strengthening the trade and economic ties of the United States with each one. country.

On Tuesday, Portman flew by military helicopter to the Israel-Lebanon border, where he met Defense Minister Gantz and Brigadier General Binder of the 91st Division to take stock of the crisis in Lebanon. , Hezbollah’s arsenal of rockets and the security implications for Israel. Portman then visited the Rafael factory where the components of the Iron Dome Intermediate Defense System are manufactured. In the evening, Portman visited President Herzog and reiterated his strong support for Israel.

On Wednesday, Portman climbed the Mount of Olives and met an Israeli and Palestinian tour guide from the People to People program that helps build peace by making double-narrative tours of Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. In the afternoon, Portman met with Knesset members and former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat to discuss the myriad of security threats Israel faces. In the evening, Portman went to the Knesset and met with Foreign Minister Lapid, with whom he discussed the importance of Israel’s defense against Iran’s conventional and nuclear threats, and Prime Minister Minister Bennett, with whom he discussed the importance of bipartisan support for Israel. , and shared concerns about China’s investment in Israel. Portman then toured the Knesset Chamber and listened to the members’ debate.

REMARK: In March of this year, Portman, Cardin, Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jim Risch (R-ID) and Todd Young (R-IN), all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, presented the Normalization of Relations with Israel Act 2021. The law builds on the success of the Abrahamic Accords, the Peace and Normalization Agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, stating that US policy is to strengthen and expand these standardization agreements while requiring coordination across the Administration, particularly the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the United States Agency for International Development. The bill enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support with more than 50 of their Senate colleagues as co-sponsors and in June it was favorably reported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Photos of the visit are below:

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