Two US senators introduce legislation on Arab anti-normalization policies with Israel

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Two United States senators have introduced legislation on Thursday that would require the State Department to provide an accounting of countries that punish individuals for engaging with Israel.

According to the bill, co-sponsored by senators Cory Booker and Rob Portman, the Secretary of State will be required to “submit to Congress an annual report regarding instances of Arab government retribution toward citizens and residents who engage in people-to-people relations with Israel.”

The bill, titled “Strengthening Reporting of Actions Taken Against the Normalization of Relations with Israel Act of 2020,” includes a provision stating that longstanding US policy has encouraged Arab League states to normalize their relations with Israel but the states maintained an official boycott of Israeli companies and Israeli-made goods since the founding of Israel.

The Arab League formally boycotted Jewish businesses in 1945 and was extended the boycott to direct trade “between all Arab countries and Zionist entities in Palestine,” to weaken the Jewish industry in Palestine and deter Jewish immigration to the region.

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