1. Bills & Resolutions, & Letters
2. SFRC Approves David Friedman (Party-Line Vote)
4. On the Record
Note from Lara Friedman to Round-Up readers: As some people may have already heard, on April 1, 2017 I will be leaving Americans for Peace Now to take up a new position as the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. But have no fear: APN will continue its important and incredibly effective work going forward. If you are not signed up already, I encourage you to sign up today for APN’s Weekly Update and daily Israeli press summary. And if you don’t already know him, now would be a very good time to meet my brilliant APN colleague Ori Nir.
And also, have no fear: in my new capacity at FMEP, and with the agreement of APN, I will continue to publish the Round-Up (I just can’t give it up – but in the future it will be purely information/analysis, with zero advocacy). Starting the first week of April, look for the Round-Up posted online at my new home (fmep.org), and cross-posted by APN here, in its usual place at my old home (peacenow.org), alongside the Round-Up archive (which goes back more than a decade).
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.
1. Bills & Resolutions, & Letters
Note: This week NIAC published a very useful resource entitled, “Key Legislative Principles to Uphold the U.S.’s JCPOA Commitments”
As Americans come out in huge numbers to challenge the illiberal policies of President Donald J. Trump, they should be mindful of developments in and emanating from another increasingly illiberal democracy: Israel.
In power in Israel for nearly a decade, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political partners have focused their energies on one goal above all others: expanding settlements and securing permanent Israeli control over territory occupied by Israel in 1967. In pursuing this “Greater Israel” agenda, Netanyahu has governed according to a political ethos that has much in common with that of Trump, starting with the belief that political might makes right; that laws, courts, and public institutions exist solely to serve those in power; that the media and activists are the enemy; that hasbara (Hebrew for “propaganda,” often akin to “alt-facts”) trumps facts; and that democratic norms like “rule of law” and “checks-and-balances” are for suckers.
Americans should pay attention to Israel not merely for the many lessons it offers about how illiberalism can take hold in a free society. They should pay attention because the same “Greater Israel” agenda that has eroded Israeli society is today poisoning America’s democracy.
Top 5 Questionable Claims Senators Are Likely to Hear
From U.S. Ambassador to Israel-nominee David Friedman
At His Confirmation Hearing
At the end of 2016 new legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate entitled, the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016” (S.10 & HR 6421). Given the title of this legislation, the public could be forgiven for assuming this must be a response to rising anti-Semitism in the U.S. linked to emboldened Nazis, white supremacists, and supporters of the “alt-Right.” Sadly, the public would be wrong. This Orwellian-entitled legislation in fact has zero to do with raising awareness about or combating actual anti-Semitism. Rather, it is an effort to trying to police criticism of Israel on U.S. campuses by exploiting claims of “anti-Semitism” – all in order to delegitimize and quash criticism of and activism related to Israel (with the main but not sole focus being the BDS movement on campuses).
Looking ahead to 2017, it is clear that this legislation is set to be re-introduced in the new Congress and in state legislatures, starting with Virginia. In order to shine a bright light on this stealth legislative trend, as well as to inform and empower activists to challenge it, we created this table, which will be updated regularly to include any new developments.
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.”
1. Bills & Resolutions – Israel/Palestine
2. Bills & Resolutions – Iran
3. Bills & Resolutions – the UN
4. Bills & Resolutions – Other Matters
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
1. Bills & Resolutions Related to the Recent UNSC settlements Resolution/Obama
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