CAM Backs Bipartisan Letter Urging US State Department to Promote Interfaith Dialogue Across the Middle East

A Hanukkah menorah is seen outside the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

January 19, 2023

The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) was one of 20 organizations to support a bipartisan letter penned by members of the U.S. Senate and House Abraham Accords Caucuses urging the State Department to facilitate initiatives to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue in the Middle East.

The Jan. 11 letter — led by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and signed by fellow Abraham Accords Caucuses Co-Chairs Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), David Trone (D-Md.), and Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) — was addressed to U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain.

“The Abraham Accords have the potential to anchor Middle Eastern security cooperation, economic prosperity, and cultural exchange grounded in mutual understanding,” it said. “Specifically, increased interfaith dialogue will further diplomatic, cultural, and economic cooperation between the diverse peoples of the region.”

The U.S. lawmakers went on to request that the State Department “issue new funding opportunity announcements or requests for proposals to support interfaith dialogue between Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Abraham Accords signatory countries and potential signatory countries and then issue such grants.”

They also asked for “a briefing on the State Department’s actions to ‘promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue’ in the Middle East as called for in the Abraham Accords Declaration” by March 1st.

The Abraham Accords were series of normalization agreements reached by Israel with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan in 2020 and 2021.

CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa commented, “The Abraham Accords heralded a new era of interfaith relations in the Middle East, and this historic paradigm shift offers the United States a unique opportunity to advance religious tolerance, cross-cultural understanding, and social harmony among the Muslims, Jews, and Christians who have long called the region home.”

The letter can be read in full here.

Other organizations supporting the letter included the ADL, Abraham’s Missing Child Initiative, AIPAC, AJC, American Jewish Congress, American Sephardi Federation, B’nai B’rith International, Coptic Orphans, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, CUFI Action, In Defense of Christians, Jewish Federations of North America, Mimouna Association, Muslim American Leadership Alliance, the Hellenic American Leadership Council, the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, the Philos Project, USIEA, and World Jewish Congress – North America.