Gillibrand and Bipartisan Senate Delegation Visit Israel and Abraham Accords Countries

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand took part in a bipartisan delegation visit to the Abraham Accords member countries of Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Morocco in mid-January. In visiting these countries, Gillibrand saw firsthand how the Abraham Accords have led to historic regional cooperation and normalization and she engaged in dialogue on how the Abraham Accords can be enhanced and expanded to other countries. Gillibrand joined Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), James Lankford (R-OK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Ted Budd (R-NC), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) on the visit.  


“The signing of the Abraham Accords was a historic milestone in forging a lasting peace in the Middle East,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and its Arab partners has encouraged cooperation, economic prosperity and increased security in the region. I am proud to be part of this bipartisan coalition to the countries in the Abraham Accords and I look forward to bringing lessons learned on this trip to my work on the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, where I’m working to increase the national security of the United States and our allies.”


On January 16, the delegation went to Bahrain where they had meetings with senior government officials, members of the National Assembly and visited a synagogue in Manama.


While in Abu Dhabi on January 17, the delegation met with AJCGlobal to discuss opportunities to increase cooperation and strengthen relationships in the region, Gillibrand noted. 


Senator Gillibrand has been a steadfast supporter of Israel throughout her Senate career. In her role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gillibrand annually leads the bipartisan effort to fund U.S.-Israeli cooperative missile defense programs, which support Israel’s ability to defend itself against missile and rocket attacks. For several years, she has helped secure at least $500 million annually for these important programs.


In Jerusalem, the delegation visited Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. “We must never forget the millions of Jews killed during the Holocaust and we must do everything we can to fight the rising tide of antisemitism and violence, “Gillibrand said.


On Friday, January 20, 2023, Start-Up Nation Central hosted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the delegation from the US Senate Abraham Accords Caucus for a visit to its Tel Aviv headquarters to discuss “Innovation and the Abraham Accords.” The Senators met with Start-Up Nation Central CEO Avi Hasson and Professor (Emeritus) Manuel Trajtenberg to discuss the role of innovation in developing regional collaboration. Professor Trajtenberg was recently appointed as the Executive Director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and is a renowned expert in the field of R&D, patents, and innovation.


The delegation then participated in a panel discussion on examples of cross-border collaboration in innovation with Calanit Valfer, Managing Partner of Elah Fund; Yassine Laghzioui, Director of Entrepreneurship and Venturing at UM6P; and Shaikha Al Marzooqi, Director of Client Relationships & Management at ADGM.


Start-Up Nation Central is a non-profit organization that connects Israeli innovation to the world in order to help international entities solve global challenges. Focusing on the Israeli technology ecosystem, they provide a platform that nurtures business growth and generates partnerships with key countries, multinational companies, and organizations to strengthen Israel’s economy and society.