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J Street accuses Trump of inflating importance of Mideast normalization deals

The liberal J Street lobby accuses US President Donald Trump of inflating the importance of the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, which he touted during his speech to the UN General Assembly.

“Israel’s diplomatic normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain are a good thing — but it’s no surprise that the president continues to drastically misrepresent their importance in order to falsely claim for himself the mantle of ‘Middle East peacemaker,'” says J Street’s Vice President for Government Affairs Dylan Williams in a statement.

He says the normalization deals are no replacement for Israel-Palestinian peace.

“Far from promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Trump administration has instead consistently sought to isolate and ignore the Palestinians while empowering the Netanyahu government to expand settlements, entrench occupation and reject serious compromise. Diplomatic understandings with other Arab states are welcome — but contrary to the claims of the president, they are no substitute for real Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to resolve the final status issues at the heart of their conflict.

“True Israeli-Palestinian peace remains both necessary and possible, but it will require American and Israeli leaders who are willing to seriously engage with the Palestinians and their aspirations, rather than scapegoating and excluding them.”

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