Although wary, Berkowitz made sure to acknowledge Biden’s stated support for the normalization deals.
By: Lauren Marcus
On Wednesday, special advisor to Jared Kushner and presidential assistant Avi Berkowitz said he feared a negative impact on Israel’s normalization with other countries in the region if Joe Biden wins the presidency in November.
Berkowitz, who also serves as a Special Representative for International Negotiations, is said to be one of the chief architects of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalization agreements with Israel.
During a virtual conference on the Abraham Accords hosted by the Kohelet Forum and Israel Hayom on Wednesday, Berkowitz said he was worried about a potential shift in American policy towards Iran.
“A different administration would continue to pursue sort of an appeasement-type strategy with Iran,” he said, “and whether its intention is so or not, it is hard to imagine that that would not have negative ramifications on the normalization efforts.”
But Berkowitz made sure to acknowledge Biden’s support for the normalization deals.
“I was appreciative when the Biden camp put out a positive statement of support for the accords, because it actually showed that this is something that has bipartisan support in the U.S.,” he said.
He praised Trump’s tough stance on Iran and said he believed that the current U.S. president’s moves to strengthen Israel’s relations with neighboring countries was a major boost to regional security.
“I think that if you are in a world where the U.S. is isolating its partners and allies in the Middle East, it becomes a lot more difficult to capitalize in the ways that we were able to, and so that is just a significant fear of mine that I hope would never be realized, because I think it could not be more important that President Trump be the one in charge of these things,” Berkowitz said.
Echoing sentiments from both U.S. and Israeli officials, Berkowitz emphasized that Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria was not completely off the table.
“For the time being the application of Israeli law has been suspended so that we can focus on capitalizing on normalization and peace agreements,” he said.
“What became apparent was that in order to capitalize on this momentous historic opportunity [normalization], it was necessary to suspend a component of the vision for peace.”
“Now that is not to say that in the foreseeable future it [extension of Israeli sovereignty] could not come back and it is not to say that we fundamentally disagree with what our position was initially…but understanding that certain opportunities arise when they do and taking advantage to capitalize on them, i.e. the Abraham Accords, was also paramount in this case.”
“For the time being the application of Israeli law has been suspended so that we can focus on capitalizing on normalization and peace agreements,” he said. (World Israel News)
Read more at: www.worldisraelnews.com