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Lapid: Abraham Accords countries helping Israel forge more ties

October 05, 2021

By Lahav Harkov

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the US, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates are helping Israel expand diplomatic relations with other countries in the region.

Abraham Accords countries are helping Israel forge diplomatic relations with more states in the region, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly on Tuesday.

The Abraham Accords are “a great process in the region and outside the region, and we are hopeful that we can expand this to other countries as well,” Lapid said in a video conference with JFNA chairman Mark Wilf. “As it was before, I wouldn’t name names because this will harm the process.”

Lapid said the US, as well as Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates are helping Israel in those efforts.

As for the three countries with which Israel established diplomatic relations last year, Lapid said, “We are in the process of going to peace on paper to bringing peace in reality. That includes agreements in agriculture, water, technology and more.”

Lapid also said that the work on expanding the Abraham Accords circle “doesn’t mean we are neglecting forever and ever the Palestinian issue that we have also to work on.

“Of course, we will always have to keep an open eye both on Gaza and on Hezbollah up north. But this is basically an optimistic process,” he said.

As for relations between Israel and US Jewry, Lapid said the new government must implement the Kotel outline, which would allow for the expansion of the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, and liberalizing state-backed conversion to Judaism, in order to make Israel more “tolerant and accepting” of its friends in the Jewish Diaspora.

Lapid criticized the previous government’s attitude toward American Jews, making a thinly-veiled accusation that it preferred dealing with Evangelical Christians.

“I was a bit shocked to hear senior people, officials from the former government discussing other communities within the United States as the main relations of the Israeli government. This cannot happen. I mean, the most important relation we have is with American Jewry,” Lapid said.

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