APN Legislative Round-Up: February 3, 2017

1. Bills & Resolutions – Israel/Palestine
2. Bills, Resolutions & Letters – Iran
3. Bills & Resolutions – the UN
4. Bills & Resolutions – Other Matters
5. Hearings
6. On the Record

NOTE: On 2/1, the House Homeland Security Committee GOP members released a new report entitled, “Securing Israel: Lessons Learned From A Nation Under Constant Threat Of Attack.” Press release is here. It notes that, “There is much the United States can learn from Israel as Secretary Kelly and the Trump Administration take important steps forward in securing our homeland.”

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Urgent Threats to Israeli Democracy & Israel’s future – Learn More & Take Action

Click the links below to learn more about urgent threats to Israeli democracy and to Israel's future - and learn what you can do to take action now!

Israel’s “Entry Bill” – Indefensible & Undemocratic

Israel’s “Legalization Law” – Rule Settlements over Rule of Law

Fanning the Flames of Conflict (Hebron, Sussya, Amona, E-2)

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Israel’s “Legalization Law” – Rule of Settlements over Rule of Law

[Update Feb 6, 2017: This afternoon the Knesset passed the "Legalization Law." APN's statement condemning the law is here.]

The Israeli Knesset is poised to vote on legislation that would legalize Israeli settlement construction that is illegal under Israeli law and located on land that even the Israeli government recognizes as privately owned by Palestinians. APN’s backgrounder on the bill is here. Key points to understand:

  • This legislation removes even the façade that Israel as a nation respects the “rule of law” when it comes to the activities of settlers.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the settlers that there are literally no limits on what they can do in terms of construction in the occupied territories.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the Israeli public and the world that Israel no longer respects the “rule of law” – a cornerstone of democracy, under which laws apply equally to all – but instead ascribes openly to “rule by law” – the foundation of authoritarianism, under which laws are imposed selectively and tailored to serve the interests and limit the rights of specific groups.

American Jews who support Israel – not merely its existence but its existence as a democracy that reflects the progressive Jewish values articulated by its founders in its Declaration of Independence – should be appalled at the prospect of Israel adopting this brazenly undemocratic legislation.

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Take Action: Tell Prime Minister Netanyahu to Block the “Legalization Bill”

The Israeli Knesset is poised to vote on legislation that would legalize Israeli settlement construction that is illegal under Israeli law and located on land that even the Israeli government recognizes as privately owned by Palestinians. APN’s backgrounder on the bill is here. Key points to understand:

  • This legislation removes even the façade that Israel as a nation respects the “rule of law” when it comes to the activities of settlers.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the settlers that there are literally no limits on what they can do in terms of construction in the occupied territories.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the Israeli public and the world that Israel no longer respects the “rule of law” – a cornerstone of democracy, under which laws apply equally to all – but instead ascribes openly to “rule by law” – the foundation of authoritarianism, under which laws are imposed selectively and tailored to serve the interests and limit the rights of specific groups.

American Jews who support Israel – not merely its existence but its existence as a democracy that reflects the progressive Jewish values articulated by its founders in its Declaration of Independence – should be appalled at the prospect of Israel adopting this brazenly undemocratic legislation.

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Israel’s “Entry Bill” – Indefensible & Undemocratic

***UPDATE: The Knesset passed this bill into law on March 6, 2017*** APN's statement condemning passage of the law is here.

The Israeli Knesset is poised to vote on on March 6, 2017 passed legislation that would will ban entry to Israel of foreigners who support or publicly engage in boycotts of either Israel or settlements.  APN’s backgrounder on the bill is here. Key points to understand:

  • This legislation is aimed at a basic civil liberty: the freedom of expression. Boycotting and calling for boycotts are legitimate forms of peaceful, political expression protected in any democracy.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the Israeli public that legitimate political expression is verboten, further quashing dissent.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the world that the Israeli government is throwing out basic democratic norms in its effort to quash peaceful opposition and criticism of its policies.
  • With this legislation, the Israeli government and Knesset are making common cause with the anti-democratic policies on the rise in the United States, including Trump Administration immigration policies vehemently opposed by the bulk of the U.S. Jewish community that are antithetical to progressive Jewish values.

 APN: "We fiercely reject and condemn this outrageous bill. Should it pass into law, it will be an ugly stain on Israel. It will add Israel to the club of nations that treat non-violent protest as a crime, and that irrationally believe that closing borders can prevent the spread of ideas. If this legislation passes into law, APN will challenge it."

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Whether or not they support boycotts of Israel (APN does not), American Jews should be appalled at the prospect of Israel adopting a policy that would be more at home in the old Soviet Union or North Korea than in a progressive democracy.

Whether or not they support boycotts of settlements (APN does), American Jews should be outraged and heartbroken at the prospect of seeing Israel becoming a nation that bars entry to people – including Jews and other supporters of Israel – for the “crime” of peacefully opposing Israeli policies.

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Take Action: Tell Amb Dermer – American Jews Appalled, Outraged by “Entry Bill”

***UPDATE: The Knesset passed this bill into law on March 6, 2017***

The Israeli Knesset is poised to vote on on March 6, 2017 voted to pass legislation that would will ban entry to Israel of foreigners who support or publicly engage in boycotts of either Israel or settlements.  APN’s backgrounder on the bill is here. Key points to understand:

  • This legislation is aimed at a basic civil liberty: the freedom of expression. Boycotting and calling for boycotts are legitimate forms of peaceful, political expression protected in any democracy.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the Israeli public that legitimate political expression is verboten, further quashing dissent.
  • Passage of this legislation will send a message to the world that the Israeli government is throwing out basic democratic norms in its effort to quash peaceful opposition and criticism of its policies.
  • With this legislation, the Israeli government and Knesset are making common cause with the anti-democratic policies on the rise in the United States, including Trump Administration immigration policies vehemently opposed by the bulk of the U.S. Jewish community that are antithetical to progressive Jewish values.
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APN Legislative Round-Up: January 26, 2017

1. Bills & Resolutions – Israel/Palestine
2. Bills & Resolutions – Iran
3. Bills & Resolutions – the UN
4. Bills & Resolutions – Other Matters
5. Hearings
6. On the Record
7. Nikki Haley Confirmation Hearing – Mideast Excerpts

Note 1: Shameless plug – It is still not clear when the SFRC will hold its hearing on the nomination of David Friedman to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Rumors were flying in recent days that the hearing could be as soon as next week or the week after.  With that in mind, please check out this new oped in the Hill, examining the ways in which Mr. Friedman has already disqualified himself from serving as ambassador to Israel (ways that have nothing to do with his personal views, but are grounded in his track record of direct involvement in Israel and Israeli politics.

Note 2: Dates to keep in mind:
J Street 2017 National Conference in Washington –February 25-28
AIPAC 2017 Policy Conference & lobby days – March 26-28
NORPAC 2017 Mission to Washington – May 17
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) national summit – July 17-18

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The nomination of David Friedman to be the next ambassador of the United States to Israel has stirred a fierce debate, focused primarily on Friedman’s well-documented bombastic rhetoric and his views on settlements, the occupation, and the Palestinians — views that are at odds with decades of bipartisan U.S. policy.

As the Senate gets ready to consider Friedman’s nomination, what has been largely overlooked is the fact that, based on his own very clear and public record, Friedman is by any objective standard disqualified from serving as America’s diplomatic envoy to any country, and especially to Israel.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: January 13, 2017

1. Bills & Resolutions Related to the Recent UNSC settlements Resolution/Obama Abstention
2. Hill Initiatives Related to Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
3. Bills & Resolutions Related to Cutting Off UN Funding
4. Bills & Resolutions Related Iran
5. Bills & Resolutions Related to Other Things
6. Confirmation Hearings – Key Excerpts
7. On the Record

Many Americans doubtless believe that the policies of the next president regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have nothing to do with them. They’re mistaken. Rash action by Trump in this arena is preordained to trigger a dangerous political dynamic, the results of which will have nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians. Those results will, however, have far-reaching and potentially devastating implications for the security, health, and economic well-being of all Americans.” Read more: Think Trump’s Policies On Israel-Palestine Have Nothing To Do With You? Think Again

 

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APN Legislative Round-Up: January 6, 2017

1. Bills & Resolutions Related to the Recent UNSC settlements Resolution/Obama Abstention
2. Bills & Resolutions Related to Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
3. Bills & Resolutions Related to Cutting Off UN Funding
4. Bills & Resolutions Related Iran – AUMF & Sanctions
5. Congress Panders to AIPAC et al on Settlements UNSCR
6. Congress on David Friedman Nomination
7. On the Record on Other Things

Welcome to the 115th Congress! Based on this first week, it seems safe to say: fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a very very very bumpy ride (which is probably what Hill watchers/analysts/advocates are right to expect on pretty much every issue, but for those of us working on Middle East/Israel-Palestine, expectations have already turned into a raft of new legislation).

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