The Biden administration’s “discriminatory” guidance that forbids bilateral scientific and technological cooperation with Israeli organizations operating in Judea and Samaria was criticized by Republican senators, who wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday to request that it be revoked.
The order, which is applicable to territories Israel gained in its defensive 1967 Six-Day War, was issued by the administration late last month.
The senators stated in their letter that “the guidance does something America has never done before: unilaterally impose territorial restrictions on U.S. scientific research aid to Israel.
In response to particular regional circumstances, the U.S. and Israel mutually agreed to such restrictions decades ago. However, in 2020, both sides revoked them and condemned them as discriminatory.
The letter was driven by Americans. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, signed the resolution with cosponsors Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Marco Rubio (R., Florida), John Cornyn (R., Texas), Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Rick Scott (R., Florida), Bill Hagerty (R., Tennessee), Ted Budd (R., North Carolina), and Pete Ricketts (R.).
The new guidance as written constitutes an antisemitic boycott of Israel,” they declared.
“The American people and Congress vehemently oppose boycott actions against Israel, which have frequently been characterized in American law as actions to restrict commerce with individuals engaged in activities in the territory governed by Israel.
The lawmakers continued, “This guidance in particular puts Americans’ safety, security, and prosperity at risk because it politicizes and undermines cooperation on science and technology, including in fields like defense and medicine where our Israeli allies have also demonstrated themselves to be crucial partners.
According to a representative for the U.S. State Department, President Biden’s choice was “simply reflective of the longstanding U.S. position that the ultimate disposition of the geographic areas is a final-status matter and that we are working towards a negotiated two-state solution.”
The action went against a Trump administration desire to end a bias against Israeli rule in Judea and Samaria in American policy.
By lifting “geographic restrictions” from earlier agreements, the Trump administration inked bilateral agreements in October 2020 to strengthen cooperation with Israel in science, industrial research, and agriculture.
When the limitations were lifted, the U.S. David Friedman, the ambassador to Israel, said: “We are putting an old wrong right, further solidifying the unbreakable tie that exists between our two nations.
A process that shouldn’t have been political in the first place is being depoliticized.