Missouri’s Ann Wagner introduces legislation aimed at strengthening Israel and Arab relations


On Monday, Jan. 27, the Holocaust Museum & Learning Center of St. Louis held a press conference in Jewish Federation’s Kaplan Feldman Complex to announce plans for an $18 million project that would include a major expansion of the museum and the establishment of a $3 million endowment. Pictured is U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, one of the dignitaries who spoke at the event. Photo: Bill Motchan

Eric Berger, Associate Editor

U.S. Rep Ann Wagner, R- Ballwin, has co-sponsored legislation that “seeks to expand and strengthen” the Abraham Accords, the agreements reached last year between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

“This legislation will expand upon the achievements of the Abraham Accords and help our Israeli and Arab partners build a more peaceful and stable region. By strengthening regional cooperation, we will also improve our ability to counter Iran’s destabilizing agenda.  The Israel Relations Normalization Act will enhance a strong working relationship between states, identify potential barriers to future agreements, and work to combat racist actions that have stalled previous relations,” Wagner stated in a news release Wednesday.

The bill, the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021, has bipartisan support and is a companion bill to legislation introduced in late March by Republican and Democratic senators.

The legislation calls for developing and implementing  “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.”

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The pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC and J Street, the liberal Middle East policy group, both have expressed support for the bills.