Israel is pressuring the US Congress to grant Sudan judicial immunity as a price for normalization

The American website "Axios" revealed today, Monday, that Israel began at the request of the Sudanese government to pressure American senators and members of Congress to approve "a bill that would grant Sudan immunity from future lawsuits in the United States." By victims of terrorism. "

The immunity bill was part of a tripartite deal between the United States, Sudan and Israel that included an agreement to start the process of normalizing relations, and "Israeli officials are concerned that the normalization process will stop if the deal breaks down," according to the site.

It is noteworthy that the deadline for passing the law in Congress is on December 14, when the two parts of Congress are heading for the Christmas holidays.

According to the site, "Israeli diplomats in Washington have begun to put pressure on the senators and representatives in recent days, warning that if the immunity bill is not passed, it may have negative effects not only on the normalization process with Sudan, but also on future normalization deals with Sudan. Other Arab countries. "

It is noteworthy that the US media reported last week about the risks threatening the agreement to normalize relations between Sudan and Israel, and that US officials indicated that Sudan “threatened to freeze the agreement due to disagreements over legislation that Congress is supposed to enact to remove it from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.”

A joint statement was issued last October, in which the United States of America, Israel and Sudan announced that Khartoum and Tel Aviv had reached an agreement to normalize relations between them, and the statement stipulated that the concluded agreement would lead to the establishment of economic and commercial relations between Israel and Sudan, with an initial focus on agriculture. At the time, Amiri President Donald Trump signed a decision to remove Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism, 27 years after Khartoum was put on the list, which was considered by the Sovereignty Council in Sudan as a "historic day."

The site quotes an Israeli official as saying, "It is clear that Israel has an interest in helping to solve Sudan's problems in Washington since Sudan decided to normalize relations with Israel, as this could encourage other countries to normalize relations with Israel as well."

The announcement of the American-Israeli-Sudanese deal caused a sensation among the families of the victims of the events of the eleventh of September (2001), who demanded to retain the right to file lawsuits against the Sudanese government because of the alleged aid it provided to Al-Qaeda over two decades ago.

Minority Leader in the US Senate Chuck Schumer (New York) and Senate Foreign Relations Member Bob Menendez (Democrat from New Jersey), both of whom are most heavily supported by the powerful Israeli lobby organization AIPAC, have decided to try to block the bill under pressure. Of their constituents.

A source close to AIPAC commented on Schumer and Menendez’s opposition to granting immunity from cases to Sudan, saying, “Senator Schumer’s base and Senator Menendez’s base were directly affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. They also feel the need to continue to punish those directly and indirectly responsible for these attacks. But at the same time, AIPAC sees the importance of Sudanese-Israeli normalization, and has a lot of weight and impact to use with the two senators (Schumer and Menendez) to support giving Sudan this immunity, especially since Sudan has no direct relationship with these attacks, even if it has already been presented. Al-Qaeda had a safe haven in the 1990s. "

The site states that two weeks ago, an Israeli delegation visited Khartoum and that American sources told the site that the Israelis brought with them Aryeh Lightstone, the advisor to the American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who was the driving force behind the normalization deals, the state of the Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, and that the head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Major General Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan, during his visit with the Israelis and Wheatstone, raised the issue of the immunity law and called on the Israeli government and the Trump administration to work with Congress to solve the problem.

The New York Times raised last week that Al-Burhan had held a similar conversation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. According to the Times, al-Burhan warned that Sudan would suspend the process of normalization with Israel if the law was not passed. One of Burhan’s MPs said the same to Sudanese media.

Axios claims that Israeli officials told him that the messages they received from the Sudanese government did not contain threats, but rather a request for help in Washington.

Israeli officials also claimed to have obtained assurances from the Trump administration, senior senators and members of Congress that the immunity law issue would be resolved.

 

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