Made in Israel

December 27, 2020 Updated: December 27, 2020

Commentary

The U.S. Department of State recently issued a statement declaring that all goods and products made in Judea and Samaria will be henceforth labeled as “Made in Israel.” This is another product of the successful Abraham Accords.

Previously, these products were labeled as “West Bank.” So while most Americans are familiar with the term “West Bank,” we all know that this term is being used less and less in today’s world.

The Abraham Accords state:

“We, the undersigned, recognize the importance of maintaining and strengthening peace in the Middle East and around the world based on mutual understanding and coexistence, as well as respect for human dignity and freedom, including religious freedom. …

“We seek tolerance and respect for every person in order to make this world a place where all can enjoy a life of dignity and hope, no matter their race, faith or ethnicity. …

“We pursue a vision of peace, security, and prosperity in the Middle East and around the world.

“In this spirit, we warmly welcome and are encouraged by the progress already made in establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and its neighbors in the region under the principles of the Abraham Accords.

“We are encouraged by the ongoing efforts to consolidate and expand such friendly relations based on shared interests and a shared commitment to a better future.”

The Abraham Accords brokered by President Donald Trump have ushered in a new era of collaboration and normalization between the United States, Israel, and Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the kingdom of Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and many more.

The Abraham Accords have given Jews and Muslims the opportunity to take their long-held private friendships out of the darkness and into the light for the world to see. It’s truly a beautiful thing to behold.

So while European countries, the Iranian regime, and progressive Jewish groups in America balk at the terms Judea and Samaria, I do not, and I know that there are millions of Jews who feel the same way that I do.

It’s time for the mainstream media and national organizations to change their labels as well. I’d like to see the media giants such as Fox, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, etc. stop using the term “West Bank” and start using the term “Judea and Samaria” or simply “Israel.”

If Arab nations can do it, so can the U.S. media and organizations. If Arab nations can re-write their textbooks to include education about Israel and Zionism while also removing the decades-old terms and language that has spurred anti-Semitism, so can America.

One of the direct and immediate successes from the Abraham Accords is that Israel and Arab countries are already doing business with each other. A couple of weeks ago, inside a market in the UAE, there were Israeli flags placed next to all the fresh produce that was exported from Israel into the UAE. How remarkable! These goods and products from Israel are being labeled just that, “Made in Israel,” because they were made in Israel.

Also, I’ve lost count of the hundreds of memoranda of understanding and deals that have been signed between Israeli, American, and Arab companies as a result of the Abraham Accords.

In closing, I want to make two points:

First, it’s time for all Americans to fully embrace the Abraham Accords. Many Americans were skeptical about the Abraham Accords at first. Many thought it was a dog and pony show that wouldn’t yield any results or, if it did, it would take years to yield anything positive. It’s time to bury the skepticism and fully embrace the immediate, lasting, and real peace that has come from the Abraham Accords.

The Abraham Accords have forever changed the landscape in the Middle East. Jews and Arabs by the thousands are flying all over the Middle East to make connections and build peace. Jews in Israel will be learning more about Arab culture and history while countries such as Saudi Arabia and Morocco are doing the same to teach their youth about the Jewish people and our culture.

Decades-old hatred toward each other is being stamped out from their textbooks and replaced with language that embraces each other’s history and culture.

Second, if Arab nations can send delegations to Jerusalem, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and import products from Judea and Samaria labeled as “Made in Israel,” then so can we in America.

It’s time to start phasing out the term “West Bank” and start using the proper term “Israel.” Made in Israel!

Bryan E. Leib is the chairman of HaShevet (a Jewish Advocacy Group) and a former 2018 U.S. congressional candidate for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He tweets at @Bryan_E_Leib

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.