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).
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.
Americans for Peace Now today issues the following statement in the wake of the Israeli Knesset's passage of legislation legalizing illegal settler construction on private Palestinian land: