Government Relations

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APN maintains strong relationships with Members of Congress, congressional staff, and Executive Branch officials. A non-partisan organization . with a non-partisan mission, APN supplies timely information, analysis, expertise and education, providing a pro-Israel, pro-peace, American Jewish perspective on issues and legislation related to Israel and the quest for Middle East peace and, security. APN also engages in advocacy, directly and through its nationwide Action Network, to promote pro-Israel/pro-peace legislation and policy

APN publishes the Legislative Round-Up -- the most comprehensive resource available anywhere on Middle East-related developments on Capitol Hill -- every Friday when Congress is in session. APN also hosts policy briefings on Capitol Hill and brings experts to meet with policy makers to maintain a steady flow of balanced information from the region.

The Campaign to Legislate Support for Settlements: The Battle in Congress

In 2015, a campaign began in Congress (as well as at the state level) to hijack concerns about BDS against Israel in order to pass legislation giving unprecedented legitimacy and recognition to Israeli settlements by, in effect, making it U.S. policy to treat them as part of Israel. These efforts continue through the present day.

This table  -- which will be updated regularly -- is intended to help people understand and follow what is happening in Congress.

APN rejects this cynical effort to exploit concerns about BDS in order to erase the distinction between Israel and the occupied territories. 

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[Originally published August 12, 2011, in the context of the Supreme Court's consideration of a case challenging longstanding U.S. policy in Jerusalem (the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Obama Administration and - by extension - every U.S. administration that preceded it.  -Archived version is here]

The United States does not recognize the sovereignty of any party in any part of Jerusalem (East or West).   This is not a new policy imposed by the Obama Administration, as some seem to believe or want others to believe.  It is a policy that dates back to pre-1948, and has been followed by every U.S. Administration since, regardless of the President or party in the White House.  Across this entire period, the policy has applied equally to Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian claims in the city.  What follows are representative examples across this entire period illustrating the consistency of this policy.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: September 30, 2016

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US Presidents & Israel-related UNSCRs: The Historical Record, 1967-Present

Back in April 2016, the New York Times published an oped I authored regarding President Obama and the United Nations Security Council. The genesis of that oped was the assertion - made repeatedly by policy experts and pundits, by journalists, by Jewish leaders, by members of Congress, etc - that no U.S. president has ever gone against Israel in the UN Security Council.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: September 16, 2016

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APN Legislative Round-Up: September 9, 2016

1. Bills & Resolutions
2. Letters
3. Hearings
4. On the Record

Congress returned this week from its summer recess – coming back for a very brief session before it goes back into recess for the final period before November elections. Surprising no one, GOP leaders returned to Washington eager to score points against the Obama Administration over its Iran policy – immediately introducing 6 pieces of Iran-focused legislation (all 100% partisan), on top of a whopping 14 GOP letters sent to the Obama Administration from GOP House and Senate members (over the recess and this week) demanding answers to long and leading lists of questions about Iran-related matters

In addition, this week opened with a faux-anti-BDS event on Capitol Hill – “faux” because, consistent with the trend in Congress for more than a year, the real goal of the event was to legitimize settlements. As noted in Israel Hayom (the paper owned by Sheldon Adelson and viewed as so close to Netanyahu that it is nicknamed, “Bibiton”), the event was instigated by the Shomron Regional Council – the municipal body of settlements in the northern part of the West Bank – and featured settler leader Yossi Dagan. The opening paragraph of the article makes crystal clear the intent of the event: “U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday hosted a unique conference to support the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise and denounce anti-Israel incitement and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement's activities on American university campuses.” Also see: A7: Samarian Council takes fight against BDS to Washington (with video); Ynet: Head of Samaria Regional Council speaks at congressional BDS conference; and JPost:  Republican Congressmen: BDS akin to 1930s anti-Semitism.  

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APN Legislative Round-Up: July 9-20, 2016

1. JCPOA Bday Week: Iran-Focused Bills Passed by the House
2. JCPOA Bday Week: New Iran-Focused Bills & Resolutions
3. JCPOA Bday Week: Action on Existing Iran-Focused Bills & Resolutions
4. JCPOA Bday Week: Iran-Focused Letters
5. Other Bills, Resolutions & Letters (Not Focused Solely on Iran)
6. Hearings (more Iran here, too!
7. On the Record: Slamming the JCPOA, Supporting Iran bills, etc
8. On the Record: Defending the JCPOA, Opposing Iran bills, etc
9. On the Record: About Everything Other Than Iran

As expected, last week – which marked the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA – was for Iran deal opponents in Congress an opportunity for unremitting grandstanding, including with the introduction, promotion, and passage of various pieces of legislation designed to undermine or effectively cancel the agreement (see Washington Post 7/11: House GOP to tackle new Iran sanctions before leaving town). Those efforts were also unapologetically and overtly partisan (see Foreign Policy 7/12: House Dems Rebel Against GOP’s Iran Sanctions Push). For its part (and probably reflecting this partisan problem), AIPAC appears for now to be keeping its powder dry: it sent a memo to the Hill last week (Taking Stock: The Iran Deal One Year Later) acknowledging that the JCPOA has worked in reducing the threat of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon and calling on Congress to take a range of actions to get tougher on Iran (a list well worth keeping around for future reference); however, as of this writing the AIPAC “legislative agenda” page does not endorse any of the pending Iran-related measures.

Also: APN on the JCPOA at One Year: A Clear Win for Both the U.S. & Israel; APN resources on the anniversary of the JCPOA are here.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: July 8, 2016

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. Hearings
3. On the Record

NOTE: July 14 will mark the one-year anniversary of the JCPOA. It is likely no coincidence that this week and next week, Iran is a big topic of discussion and grandstanding around Iran.

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Resources on the Question of Constitutionality & anti-BDS/pro-settlements laws

On June 7, 2016, APN published its own "explainer" laying out in detail the reasons why the anti-BDS/pro-settlements Executive Order signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is unconstitutional. You can find that explainer - which applies in all or in parts to anti-BDS/pro-settlements legislation being pushed and adopted in states across the U.S. -- here.

APN is by no means alone in its conclusion that this E.O., and similar legislation, is unconstitutional. For analysis/opinions from other groups, including major civil liberties organizations, see below.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: June 18 - July 1, 2016

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