‘Make no mistake – US is embracing BDS,’ says Trump’s former ambassador to Israel

“The people of the region — Israelis and Palestinians — will lose the most,” Friedman said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Biden administration has ordered that any American government entity participating in scientific-technological ventures with Israeli companies located beyond the so-called Green Line end its collaboration. leading to a protest from Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

An unnamed State Department official told Kan News that the directive “simply reflects the position of the United States over the years, which has been reaffirmed by this administration, according to which the status of the geographical areas that were under the Israeli administration after June 5, 1967 is a matter which remains subject to negotiations on their final status.”

Participating in these joint projects is thus “inconsistent with American policy,” he told Walla in a separate call.

The official added that the U.S. “greatly appreciates” the scientific and technological cooperation “with the “start-up nation,” saying that this solid cooperation will continue, the Kan report said.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen criticized the move Sunday, telling reporters, “I object to the decision and think it is wrong.”

“In similar cases in the past, the Israeli government fully reimbursed parties damaged by such decisions,” he added.

Israel has agreements with other governments stipulating that their cooperative work would exclude companies in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem. For example, the multi-year, $111 billion Horizon Europe program, in which Israeli institutions bid for EU research and development grants, has this limitation.

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In 2020, during the Trump presidency, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman signed a protocol removing these restrictions from three 1970s-era cooperative agreements.

“Plainly, this geographic restriction within these three agreements was an anachronism,” Friedman said at the festive ceremony, which was held at Ariel University in Samaria. “We are righting an old wrong, and we are strengthening yet again the unbreakable bond between our two countries.”

Friedman said on Sunday that the reversal was a mistake.

“Make no mistake,” he tweeted. “The United States, by this action, is embracing the BDS Movement, violating a binding bilateral agreement with Israel, and creating a lose/lose dynamic whereby the people of the region — Israelis and Palestinians — will lose the most.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also condemned the Biden administration’s “antisemitic discrimination against Israel” by “instated a boycott against scientific and technological cooperation with Jews living in Judea and Samaria.” He vowed to “do everything possible to reverse this decision.”

The U.S. informed Israel of the change two weeks ago, according to the reports.