(JTA) — Jared Kushner had plenty of folks to praise at an event here Tuesday, Sept. 14, marking the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords, the deals he brokered normalizing relations between Israel and four Arab countries. There were the ambassadors from Israel and two of the Arab lands, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. There were his Trump administration colleagues who worked through the agreement. There were even some Democrats.
“I also want to thank Congressman Ted Deutch of Florida for being here today as well as Acting Assistant Secretary of State Yael Lempert,” he said.
At the same time, Axios reported that Lempert’s boss, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was scheduled to hold a virtual meeting on Sept. 17 with his counterparts from Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco.
Together it was a remarkable show of comity over Middle East policy at a time when Republicans and Democrats seem farther apart than ever. For Kushner, who has distanced himself from his father-in-law and his false election claims, the priority was to uphold bipartisan backing for the accords as a means of expanding them. The accords have “achieved a bipartisan consensus, and this is very, very important,” he said.
Lampert and Deutch, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee, gave Kushner’s claim credence, as did Blinken’s plans for a festive meeting Friday.
“It’s impossible not to be optimistic one year in,” Deutch told reporters afterward. “The Biden administration is committed to strengthening and building upon the Abraham Accords and that, of course, means bringing more countries to the table.”
An entity Kushner founded to advance the accords, the Abraham Accords Peace Institute, organized the event.
Main Photo: Jared Kushner, fourth from right, poses for a group photo with the ambassadors from Israel and the UAE and others at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, Sept. 14, 2021. (Ron Kampeas)