Action Alert- Urge your Member of Congress to Speak Out Against Settlement Construction in E-1

Last fall we wrote to you warning of Israel’s plans to build in the area known as E-1. These plans have been called “doomsday settlements” because they  pose an irreconcilable challenge to a lasting peaceful solution between Israel and the Palestinians by threatening the territorial contiguity necessary for a viable Palestinian state. We asked you to contact your member of Congress to urge them to push the Biden administration to weigh in and use diplomatic pressure to halt Israel’s approval process of E-1 settlements. With your help, we bolstered congressional support for United States opposition to E-1 settlement construction and the Biden administration successfully pressured the Israeli government. In a rare move, the Israeli government publicly acknowledged the United States’ message and indefinitely postponed these plans.

Unfortunately, Israel has recently announced plans to move ahead with E-1 settlements once again, scheduling the final hearing on the objections to the project for July 18th, just days after the President’s planned visit.

We need your help again, and we’re running out of time. Congress must reiterate its opposition to settlement construction in E-1. The Biden administration must use every diplomatic tool at its disposal to prevent these devastating plans and ensure that this time, the message sticks.

Click here to ask your member of Congress to join Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in urging the State Department to say no to settlement construction in E-1:

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Press Release: APN Welcomes Senate Letter Urging Investigation of Abu Akleh's Killing

Americans for Peace Now welcomes a new Senate letter urging the Biden administration to launch an independent investigation into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist killed while reporting for Al-Jazeera in the West Bank town of Jenin on May 11th.

Led by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), 24 Senators are adding their voices to last month’s request by 57 Members of the House of Representatives that the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) launch an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s killing.

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What's Happening in Israel? Explaining The Election

Q: What happened? 

A: Last week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister/Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced that they would dissolve the government. This Wednesday, the Israeli Knesset voted unanimously to dissolve the current governing coalition, bringing Israelis to their fifth election in less than four years. The government is expected to be officially dissolved early next week. 

 

Q: Why?

A: There are a few different explanations for this government’s failure to fulfill its four-year term, but all of them boil down to the fragility of the current coalition as the result of its ideological diversity. The coalition was initially formed by eight disparate parties in a bid to oust former Prime Minister Netanyahu from power. The common cause was enough to bring ideological rivals together, but the cracks quickly started to show. 

 

As violence flared across Israel and the West Bank this spring, tensions within the coalition became increasingly evident: nothing brings out the irreconcilable differences between left-wing and right-wing ideology in Israel like flares of violence. Additionally, two right-wing Members of Knesset recently defected from the governing coalition, under pressure from Netanyahu’s opposition. These surprising departures did away with the governing coalition’s narrow majority, leaving the Knesset with an even 60-60 split between the governing coalition and the opposition. 

 

The final straw came this month, with a vote on extending by another five years the regulations that apply Israeli civilian law to Israeli citizens who live in the occupied West Bank (settlers), while maintaining military law over their Palestinian neighbors. An Arab-Israeli Meretz MK, Rinawie Zoabi, left the coalition over this vote, leaving it in a 59-61 minority, though she ultimately returned. Several Palestinian members of the coalition refused to vote to maintain this system of inequality, and as a result, Prime Minister Bennett (himself a former leader of the settler movement) to dissolve the government, in an effort to delay the final vote on this bill. 

 

Q: After three other recent government dissolutions, why is this one notable?

A: While there are many factors that contributed to the current government’s collapse, it is undeniable that the Occupation was the final straw. It was simply impossible for a coalition with settlers, left-wingers, and Palestinian citizens of Israel to come to an agreement about the apartheid-like situation in the West Bank, whereby Israelis and Palestinians live under two different legal codes. Often, Israeli politicians try to dismiss the issue of the Occupation, suggesting that it is not as important as other matters plaguing the country, and therefore can wait to be solved. This government’s dissolution reaffirms what we at APN already knew: Even if you try to evade it, as this outgoing coalition tried to do, the Occupation will come back to haunt you. It is the chief problem plaguing Israel. It cannot and should not be put on hold. It must be addressed.   

 

Q: What happens next?

A: When the government is officially dissolved, current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid will replace Bennett as the Prime Minister. Lapid is a member of the centrist Yesh Atid party. His rotating premiership agreement with Bennett was one of the chief conditions for the current coalition. This arrangement will last until elections are held and a new government is formed, with the elections likely in November. 

 

Q: Will Netanyahu return to power at the next election?

A: According to four public opinion polls conducted on Tuesday, neither the pro-Netanyahu bloc nor the current coalition parties are projected to have a majority to form a new coalition government. That being said, Netanyahu is the clear frontrunner. Yes, you read that correctly: a plurality of Israelis (48% according to one of the polls) currently consider Netanyahu to be their best candidate for Prime Minister, despite the fact that he is currently on trial for corruption.

 

Legislative Round-Up: June 17, 2022

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived.

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

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

(IN THE FY23 NDAA — LEVERAGING ABRAHAM ACCORDS TO PROMOTE REGIONAL ANTI-IRAN “DEFENSE ARCHITECTURE”) S. XXXX: On 6/17/22, Jewish Insider reported: “The National Defense Authorization Act draft finalized by the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday includes the Abraham Accords Caucus’ DEFEND Act [HR 7987 & S. 4366, covered in detail in last week’s Round-Up], which orders the secretary of defense to explore creating an integrated Middle East air- and missile-defense infrastructure that includes Israel and numerous Arab states.” Stay tuned for next week’s Round-Up for full analysis of Israel/Middle East-related elements in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s draft of the FY23 NDAA legislation. Also see:

(TARGETING UN COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON ISRAEL) S. 4389 (text): Introduced 6/14 by Scott (R-SC) and Rosen (D-NV) [and no other cosponsors], “the Commission of Inquiry (COI) Elimination Act,” aka, “A bill to provide for the abolition of certain United Nations groups, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. The bill — which is similar but not identical to HR 7223 (introduced in the House back on 3/24/22, and currently having 34 cosponsors — see the 3/25/22 and  4/1/22 editions of the Round-Up for details) would withhold from the US contribution to the UNHRC “25 percent of the amount budgeted for the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, unless the Secretary of State submits to Congress a certification that the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel has been abolished.” Also see:

  • Scott press release (which among other things notes: “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) supports this legislation.” Also see: AIPAC tweet
  • Scott (R-SC) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “While brutal dictators commit human rights violations with impunity across the globe, the UN Human Rights Council is unjustly targeting Israel—the Middle East’s only democracy. @SenJackyRosen & I are working to stop the discriminatory UNHRC investigation”
  • Rosen (D-NV) 06/14/2022: Twitter thread – “The @UN_HRC Commission of Inquiry unfairly holds Israel to a standard not imposed on any other country, does nothing to advance the prospects for peace between Israel and Palestinians, and undermines their credibility to investigate human rights violations around the world. We must oppose biased attacks against Israel, which is why @SenatorTimScott and I are introducing a bipartisan bill to make it U.S. policy to work to abolish this one-sided Commission.
  • NOTE: Jewish Insider published a piece 6/15/22 putting the spotlight on HR 7223 (suggesting that the bill is picking up steam in terms of support and noting that AIPAC this week is holding its first in-person National Council meeting in Washington since the start of the pandemic.  JI reported: “AIPAC-affiliated activists are on Capitol Hill this week to lobby more than 300 congressional offices on several measures, including the COI Elimination Act, an individual familiar with the matter told JI.”
  • Notably, as of this writing (at 2:25pm on 6/17/22) and following days of AIPAC lobbying, HR 7223 has 49 cosponsors – 40 Republicans, 9 Democrats; the Senate version hasn’t yet picked up any cosponsors).
  • Joining AIPAC in pressuring on this issue, FDD had an op-ed in the New York Post 6/14/22: The UN continues Israel-bashing after Biden promised to stop it

(US-ISRAEL DRONE COOPERATION) S. 4397: Introduced 6/14/22 by Lankford (R-OK) and having no cosponsors, the “Strengthening Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations (C-UAS) Partnerships Act.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Per Lankford’s press release, this is legislation to authorize the Secretary of Defense to bolster our work with our allies and increase training capacity in counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) with partners like Israel who also lead in this area.” [Note: this sure looks like something that is being introduced for the purposes of being added to the NDAA].

(TARGETING FOREIGN INFLUENCE) HR 8106: Introduced 6/16/22 by Golden (D-ME), Gosar (R-AZ), Porter (D-CA) and Gooden (R-TX), the “Fighting Foreign Influence Act.” Per the press release summarizing the legislation, this bill would (a) require tax-exempt organizations, including think tanks, to publicly disclose any high-dollar gifts from foreign governments or foreign political parties. It then directs the Treasury Department to publish the total amount of such contributions from each foreign government and each foreign political party”; (b) “impose a lifetime ban on former senior U.S. military officers, presidents, vice presidents, other senior executive branch officials, and members of Congress from ever lobbying for a foreign principal”; and (c) require political campaigns to verify that anyone making an online contribution has a valid US address (using credit cards’ three-digit CVV code) or are otherwise legally eligible to make a campaign contribution. This title would also prohibit foreign agents from fundraising for political campaigns.” The explanation for why this bill is necessary specifically mentions the current drama around alleged illegal lobbying on behalf of Qatar by John Allen (retired 4-star Marine general). Referred to the Committee on House Administration, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Judiciary Committee.  Also see:

(SHUT DOWN USAID – BUT WITH NOD TO ISRAEL) Rand Paul amdt to HR 3967 (text): This week the Senate continued its work on HR 3967, the “Honoring our PACT Act of 2021.” As noted in last week’s Round-Up, this is a bill that (per the official summary) “addresses health care, presumption of service-connection, research, resources, and other matters related to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service.” And again this week, Sen. Paul (R-KY) offered re-upped an amendment to add a provision stating: “During the 10-year period beginning on October 1, 2022, no Federal funds may be expended by the United States Agency for International Development other than funds that have been appropriated for Israel” — this time, seeking to add it to the amendment-in-the-nature-of-a-substitute that in effect was replacing the entire bill. Once again for the record: The government of Israel does not receive any USAID funding. It receives Foreign Military Financing, a small amount of Migration and Refugee Assistance, and additional funds via the Defense Appropriations bill. Yes, there is funding via USAID for “shared society” projects involving Israeli and Palestinians groups, under the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA), but that funding is not appropriated for Israel.” So once again: Paul is giving a nod to support for non-existent Israel aid as cover for an effort to shut down USAID worldwide.

(SOMALILAND VS IRAN) S. 3861: Introduced 3/17/22 by Risch (R-ID) and having 3 cosponsors (including 1 Democrat), the “Somaliland Partnership Act.” Reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 6/14/22. Notably, the bill requires a report to Congress assessing (among other things), the extent to which Somaliland could “counter Iran’s presence in the Gulf of Aden and China’s growing regional military presence.”

LETTERS

(DON’T DOWNGRADE PENTAGON ENGAGEMENT WITH PALESTINIANS) Ossoff-Graham et al letter to SecDef: On 6/17/22, Sens. Ossoff (D-GA) and Graham (R-SC) led a letter, co-signed by 28 Senate colleagues (bipartisan), to SecDef Austin. The letter urges that “that the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Jerusalem remain an officer of three-star rank and not be downgraded below that level.” The letter states: “The USSC coordinates multilateral efforts toward peace and stability and serves as a critical liaison between Israeli and PA security forces. Downgrading this position would undermine U.S. leadership and credibility in a region where it is essential to have a high-ranking officer who can engage with other nations’ highest-level military leaders.” Recognizing that such downgrading may be driven by a requirement from Congress to reduce the aggregate number of flag and general officers, the letter also states “we urge you not to downgrade this position at a time when U.S. leadership in the region is critical, and we stand ready to work with you to amend the law as necessary to support this vital policy objective.” Also see:

(DON’T DOWNGRADE PENTAGON ENGAGEMENT WITH PALESTINIANS) Lankford letter to SecDef: On 6/16/22, Sen. Lankford (R-OK) sent a (lengthy) letter to SecDef Austin to voice his “strong support for the ongoing mission of the Office of the United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC) in Jerusalem, and to urge that the position continue to be filled by a general and flag officer (GFO).” Lankford also noted: “While I understand the congressionally-mandated requirement to reduce the number of active duty GFOs by 2023 per the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act and appreciate the difficult choices as a result, the USSC is critical to Israeli security, U.S. interests in the Middle East, and stability in the region. I am concerned that downgrading the USSC’s rank will weaken the USSC’s mission and imperil U.S. security interests in the Middle East.” Also see: press release

(MIDDLE EAST ORIGIN IN US CENSUS) Maloney-Tlaib letter to heads of OMB & Census Bureau: On 6/14/22, Rep. Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Tlaib (D-MI), member of that same committee, led a letter – signed by 16 other members of the Oversight Committee (all Democrats) – to Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shalanda Young, and Director of the US Census Bureau Robert Santos. The letter asks OMB and the Census Bureau to “end the longstanding erasure of a group of our fellow Americans by adding the Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) response category to the decennial census and the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) standards for federal data on race and ethnicity. This long-overdue action would reverse a baseless decision by the Trump Administration—which overruled the Census Bureau’s recommendation to add a MENA category—and would ensure that this vibrant American community can receive crucial federal resources and support.” The letter also asks that “inclusion of a MENA category be paired with a commensurate increase in funding for programs serving the needs of communities of color across the country, since members of the Middle Eastern and North African community were previously excluded from these programs.” Also see:

2. Hearings

June 22, 2022: The House Appropriations Committee’s State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee will hold a markup of the FY 2023 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill (aka, SFOPS).

June 22, 2022: The House Foreaign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism will hold a hearing entitled, Examining the U.S. Interest in Regional Security Cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa: Opportunities, Obstacles, and Objectives.” Scheduled witnesses (so far) will be: Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf; and Acting Assistant USAID Administrator for the Middle East Andrew Plitt.

June 22, 2022: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a mark-up of the FY23 Defense Authorization bill (HR 7900) (following subcommittee markups June 8-9, 2022).

June 13 & June 16, 2022: The Senate Armed Services Committee held CLOSED mark-ups (Round 1 – subcommittees; Round 2 – full committee) of the FY23 Defense Authorization Bill.

June 16, 2022: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations by President Biden of several individuals to Middle East-related positions: Tamara Cofman Wittes to be a USAID Assistant Administrator – nominated almost a year ago but stalled by SFRC Republicans (testimony); Michael Ratney to be US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (testimony); and Timmy Davis to be US Ambassador to Qatar (testimony). Also see:

  • hearing video.
  • Notably, the Committee’s questions included significant focus on questioning Wittes’ views on the Abraham Accords and getting her, on the record, to attest to her total support for the Accords and her commitment to expanding them. She was also asked about the current controversy regarding Brookings (and whether she believed Qatar had influenced her work or the work of other Brookings scholars). Ratney was also asked for his views and the policies of the Biden Administration with respect to Saudi Arabia and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Of special note: starting at 1:29:15 in the hearing, Sen. Cruz (R-TX) suggested that “the Democratic majority of this committee may have inadvertently convened a hearing on the profound anti-Israel bias of the Biden administration.” He then went on to aggressively attack both Ratney and Wittes. With respect to Ratney, Cruz picked up on a question/accusation from Sen. Hagerty, R-TN that Ratney was personally responsible for US funding going to an Israeli NGO that allegedly engaged in some political activities against then-Prime Minister Netanyahu, including stating, “it is one thing for Mr. Ratney to fund campaigns against the sitting prime minister of Israel”. He then launched a lengthy attack against Wittes: (a) arguing that her previous employment by Brookings and her work funded there by Qatar renders her untrustworthy as a steward of US aid/taxpayer funding — and in effect suggesting that even if she had nothing to do with that, the fact that her work was in part funded by Qatar is enough to render her unfit to serve; (b) attacking her views on the Abraham Accords (including calling her record on the Abraham Accords was “stunning”); and (c) attacking her for an alleged past statement regarding Egyptian president Sissi. He concluded (after dismissing all of her responses) by stating: “It is really stunning, the anti-Israel bias of senior nominees in this administration and it is inconsistent both with American national security interest and with standing with our friend and ally the state of Israel.”
  • Also see: USAID nominee Wittes says past skepticism over Abraham Accords was ‘wrong’ (Jewish Insider 6/17/22); ‘Funded by a Foreign Nation Who Is Not Our Friend’: Cruz Blasts Biden USAID Nominee for Taking Money From Qatar (Washington Free Beacon 6/16/22); In Biden Aid Nominee, Repressive Gulf Monarchy Found Enthusiastic Ally (Washington Free Beacon 6/15/22)
  • Cruz (R-TX) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @FreeBeacon – “Sen. Ted Cruz blasted a Biden USAID nominee for taking money from Qatar. Tamara Cofman Wittes is “funded by a foreign nation who is not our friend,” @tedcruz said during Wittes’ Senate confirmation hearing. Via @alanagoodman Republicans Blast Biden Aid Nominee for Qatar Work… | freebeacon.com

June 15, 2022: The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing entitled, Current Status of ISIS and al Qaeda.”  Witnesses were: Samantha Vinograd, US Department of Homeland Security (statement not available); Karen Dowling, Directorate of Intelligence, National Counterterrorism Center (statement not available); and Timothy Langan, Federal Bureau of Investigation (statement not available). Also see: hearing video; opening statements – Chairwoman Slotkin (D-MI), Thompson (D-MS), Pfluger (R-TX)

June 15, 2022: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a CLOSED/Classified (TS/SCI) briefing, Update on Iran’s Nuclear Program and U.S. Strategy. Briefers were: Brett McGurk (NSC/Deputy Assistant to the President & North Africa Coordinator); Robert Malley (State Department Special Envoy for Iran); and “Official Briefer” (Office of the Director of National Intelligence). Also see: Senators skeptical an Iran deal will happen following latest classified briefing (Jewish Insider 6/16/22); Iran sanctions could tighten if nuclear talks fade, Biden admin officials tell senators (Politico 6/16/22)

3. On the Record

Media – General

The Guardian 6/16/22: Key Democrat warns of major security risk if US firm acquires NSO hacking code

Washington Free Beacon 6/15/22: From Peace Deal to Military Pact: Congress Wants Israel, Arab Allies To Unite Against Iran

Israel Hayom 6/13/22: Senate Foreign Affairs Committee approves Stop Iranian Drones Act

Jewish News Syndicate 6/12/22: Senate Foreign Affairs Committee approves Stop Iranian Drones Act

Jewish Press 6/12/22: 2 US Senators, 4 Congress Members Condemn ‘The Mapping Project’

Haaretz 6/12/22: Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey Condemn BDS Group Project Mapping Boston Jewish Orgs

Times of Israel 6/11/22: Democrats, including Pressley, condemn pro-Palestinian mapping Boston Jewish groups

 

Media & Members – Elections

 

General

Haaretz 6/16/22: AIPAC-backed Republicans at Center of New Capitol Riot Revelations

Jewish Journal 6/16/22: Anti-AIPAC Hypocrisy Rooted in Ignorance

Pro-Israel America 6/16/22: Pro-Israel America Announces Manuel Rajunov as Board Chair

Arizona

Jewish Insider 6/15/22: Arizona GOP Senate candidate Mick McGuire: ‘I do not support a two-state solution’

Nevada

Titus (D-NV-1) 06/15/2022: Retweet of @DemMaj4Israel – “Congratulations to Congresswoman @DinaTitus on her primary victory to represent Nevada’s 1st district! She’s an accomplished leader and a proud supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship. DMFI PAC is excited to continue supporting her in the general election. #NV01 Link to image

Jewish Insider 6/13/22: All bets are off in the Republican congressional primary in Las Vegas

New York

Jewish Insider 6/13/22: Alessandra Biaggi distances herself from AOC on Israel

Michigan

Detroit Free Press 6/17/22: US Rep. Andy Levin isn’t anti-Israel, though he’s being portrayed that way

AIPAC 06/16/22: Tweet – “.@Andy_Levin’s own bill officially divides Jerusalem and places the Western Wall & Jewish Quarter in ‘occupied Palestinian territories.’ It separates Israel from Judaism’s holiest sites on all US government documents. That’s not pro-Israel. That won’t advance a 2state solution.”

Levin (D-MI-9) 06/13/2022: Retweet of @WaelAlzayat – “There has been a lot of coverage around anti-Palestinian money being spent to prevent progressives & progressive women of color from achieving public office in America. With the midterms well under way, we need to better understand the full extent of this funding. 1/7”

Levin (D-MI-9) 06/13/2022: Retweet of @matanarad – “AIPAC has set its sights on its next target: a progressive, anti-occupation, pro-worker Jewish member of Congress. If you believe in equality, justice, and democracy. join us tonight at 6pm ET for the Jews for @Andy_Levin…”

Levin (D-MI-9) 06/13/2022: Retweet of @WaelAlzayat – “In #MI11, @Andy_Levin has fought for worker’s rights as a union organizer and progressive causes as a Member of Congress. AIPAC has given more money to his opponent than nearly every other candidate this cycle. 4/7 Will AIPAC Crush One of Congress’s Most Prominent Jewish Democrats?… | prospect.org

Middle East Monitor 6/13/22: US: new political committee plans to unseat Palestinian American politician

Washington Examiner 6/11/22: Lawmaker’s Israel record draws scrutiny from AIPAC in Michigan Democratic primary

The Intercept 6/10/22: New PAC Backed by Bakari Sellers Plans to Spend $1 Million to Unseat Rep. Rashida Tlaib

Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) 06/10/2022: Twitter thread – “Y’all. Republicans are spending tons of money in Democratic primaries. GOP and insurrectionist funders are trying to buy races, including Dem ones. Do your research and DON’T just vote for whoever has the most ads. To “Dems” who welcomed this blood money: you should be ashamed. Link to quoted tweet A reminder that today (and any day) is a good day to donate to the ONLY Palestinian-American woman to ever serve in the United States Congress. Apparently to some, one is too many. Not to us. Protect her….@RashidaTlaib is also one of the most prolific field and turnout organizers in the entire Dem party. In a SWING STATE. Seeking to defeat ground game leaders out of spite and replace them w/ low-field candidates are risking disastrous consequences for us all. So short sighted.

Illinois

Newman (D-IL-3) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @Leftists4Office – “June 15 Super PAC Filings DMFI $37k in Direct Mail against Marie Newman (IL06) Protect Our Future PAC $489k in Ads for Jonathan Jackson (IL01) It’s safe to say that we will not be joining Bernie Sanders in endorsing Jonathan Jackson, who wont even commit to M4All.

Newman (D-IL-3) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @rayhanania – “#Listen @arabnews @RepMarieNewman & @Marie4Congress During appearance on @RayHanania Radio Wed @Marie4Congress @RepMarieNewman said foreign policies of Pres Biden are strong except when speaking out against #Israel government policies #Palestine Biden needs to find the ‘will’ to pursue Israel-Palestine peace, a… | arab.news   Link to image

Jewish Insider 6/16/22: The mad rush to replace Bobby Rush

Newman (D-IL-3) 06/11/2022: Retweet of @Leftists4Office – “June 5 to June 9 Super PAC Filings DMFI PAC $33k in Direct Mail against Delia Ramirez (IL03) $37k in Direct Mail for Sean Casten (IL06) $3k in Direct Mail against Marie Newman (IL06) Protect Our Future PAC $251k in Ads for Nikki Buzinski (IL13)”

Wisconsin

Pocan (D-WI-2) 06/15/2022: In reply to Tweet – “@UWSinGA @repmarkpocan They are one of two groups that are new putting enormous money in campaigns, that’s why. Pretty simple. Link to reply @UWSinGA @repmarkpocan I hear you. It wasn’t the NRA. The other group is crypto-billionaires.

Members on the Record

Concern for Palestinians

Levin (D-MI-9) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “I’m disheartened to see reports that protesters rallying peacefully to #SaveMasaferYatta were attacked by Israeli settlers and police. Such actions infringe severely on Palestinian human rights and push peace and a two-state solution further out of reach.

Sanders (I-VT) 06/11/2022: Tweet – “Making Gaza’s beaches safe for swimming is a small but important step in addressing Gaza’s environmental and humanitarian crisis. We must continue to bring people together for these efforts in Palestine and across the region. Link to quoted tweet

Opposing Office of Palestinian Affairs in Jerusalem

Hagerty (R-TN) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “Once again, it appears the Administration is trying to compromise America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital. I unequivocally oppose Biden’s plan.Biden unravels peace process in Middle East…rolls back Trump policy on Palestinians | bizpacreview.com

Hagerty (R-TN) 06/12/2022: Tweet – “This plan is inconsistent with the full and faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and suggests that the Administration is once again trying to undermine America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital.Biden Admin Takes First Step Towards Redividing Jerusalem | freebeacon.com

Roy (R-TX-21) 06/11/2022: Retweet of @VictoriaCoates – “It’s grimly comical that now any Palestinian who wants to access this abomination will have to travel to Tel Aviv to do so. This administration does not seem to understand Israel’s topography very well. Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 06/11/2022: Retweet of @VictoriaCoates – “This is just the sort of unfortunate nonsense emboldened by the US decision to open a rump mission to the Palestinians—and it will result in a negative impact on the Palestinians. What a disgrace. Link to quoted tweet

Babin (R-TX-36) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “Biden’s failed foreign policy is undermining one of our greatest allies, Israel, damaging Israeli-Arab relations, and eroding the progress made by Trump’s historic Abraham Accords. All because @POTUS won’t stand up to his radical, anti-Israel wing. Biden administration overrules Trump policy on Palestinians… | foxnews.com

Blackburn (R-TN) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “Biden’s State Department is creating a new Office of Palestinian Affairs in Jerusalem to work separately from our embassy. This is an attempt to undo U.S. recognition of Israel’s sovereignty and support for Jerusalem as the nation’s capital. It must not be tolerated.

Hagerty (R-TN) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “I unequivocally oppose this plan. It’s inconsistent with the full & faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 & suggests the Admin is again trying to undermine America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal & undivided capital. Biden reverses Trump move by beefing up the U.S. diplomatic mission to Palestinians in Jerusalem | Daily Mail Online

We <heart> AIPAC 

Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “Great meeting with AIPAC to discuss our continued partnership with our strongest Democratic ally in the region. The recently found Hezbollah tunnels crossing into Israel, funded by Iran and spanning miles, only underscores the need to combat these radical terrorist groups. Link to image

Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/17/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Thank you @RepDonBacon for your leadership in support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship! Link to quoted tweet

Soto (D-FL-9) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “We met with @AIPAC yesterday to discuss their priorities for the FY2023 budget, combatting antisemitism, and more. Happy to hear more from them and work together. Link to image

Ruppersberger (D-MD-2) 06/15/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Thank you @Call_Me_Dutch for your leadership in support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship! Link to quoted tweet

Portman (R-OH) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Today on the AIPAC app: @SenatorCardin and @senrobportman discuss their work to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship, build upon the Abraham Accords, and help keep our ally Israel safe. Click here to register: Join me on the AIPAC App… | app.aipac.org   Link to image

Lesko (R-AZ-8) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “I had a wonderful time meeting with @AIPAC to discuss the need for continued U.S.-Israel relations and assistance to Israel. I will always stand proudly with our ally, Israel!  Link to image

Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “We enjoyed seeing you and the AIPAC team yesterday. I will always support an iron-strong relationship with our ally Israel. Link to quoted tweet

Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/15/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Thank you @RepDonBacon for your leadership in support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship!  Link to quoted tweet

Emmer (R-MN-6) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “The United States must continue to stand with Israel. This week, I had the chance to sit down with @AIPAC to discuss our shared concerns regarding a potential nuclear agreement with Iran. Link to image

Ernst (R-IA) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Thank you @AIPAC for an important discussion of our ongoing commitment to support Israel in the fight against Iran. Peace in the Middle East cannot happen in a vacuum. The Biden admin needs to step up to support our partners in the region. My DEFEND Act is a great place to start. Link to image

Lee (R-UT) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Israel is a vital ally to the United States. I enjoyed meeting with @AIPAC today to discuss the partnership between our two nations. Link to image

Rubio (R-FL) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Senator Rubio met with @AIPAC National Council Members to discuss the importance of providing security assistance to help #Israel defend itself from threats like #Iran. Senator Rubio will always stand with Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East. Link to image

Ruppersberger (D-MD-2) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Yesterday I met with members of the @AIPAC National Council while they were on Capitol Hill to talk to Members of Congress about legislation strengthening U.S.-Israel relations. Thanks for stopping by. It’s always great seeing the AIPAC team! Link to image

Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Great meeting with @AIPAC to discuss security assistance to Israel, preventing a nuclear Iran, and opposing the biased UN COI that undermines prospects for peace. Link to image

Smith (R-MO-8) 06/14/2022: In reply to Tweet – “@YanaLukeman @AIPAC Anytime, it was a great day with you all.

Manning (D-NC-6) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Wonderful to meet with @AIPAC National Council members from North Carolina to discuss vital security assistance to Israel, preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, and opposing the one-sided UN COI targeting Israel. I am proud to support the U.S.-Israel relationship in Congress. Link to image

Rosen (D-NV) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “Spent the morning with @AIPAC to discuss my work to strengthen our critical security partnership with Israel. I will always advocate for our closest ally in the Middle East. Link to image

Stefanik (R-NY-21) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Great meeting with @AIPAC today to discuss the US-Israel relationship. I will always stand with our allies Israel!

 

Supporting Israel, Greater Israel, Normalization; Attacking Palestinians, UN, BDS, Etc.

Weber (R-TX-14) 06/17/2022: Retweet of @IDF – “Unlimited range. Unlimited partnership. Link to quoted tweet

Weber (R-TX-14) 06/17/2022: Retweet of @IDF – “Overnight, IDF soldiers operated in the Jenin Camp to locate and confiscate illegal weapons. Palestinian assailants fired heavily toward the soldiers and hurled explosive devices at them. The soldiers responded with live fire. 1/2

Ernst (R-IA) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “#ICYMI: My DEFEND Act is uniting Israel and our allies and partners in the region against Iranian-backed aggression. Peace in the Middle East is possible by standing together. From Peace Deal to Military Pact: Congress Wants Israel, Arab Allies to Unite Against Iran… | freebeacon.com

Long (R-MO-7) 06/17/2022: Retweet of @starsandstripes – “Israel praised Argentina on for holding a Venezuelan plane that included Iranian crew, saying the flight shows Tehran is trying to expand its influence in South America. Israel praises Argentina grounding plane with Iranian crew | Stars and Stripes

Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog tweeting about his meetings with members of Congress this week [Moulton (D-MA), Jeffries (D-NY), McCaul (R-TX), Clyburn (D-SC), Garamendi (D-CA)]

Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @JGreenblattADL – “Great meeting @RepDonBacon this week for a discussion about the future of bipartisanship in fighting #antisemitism and extremism on all sides. Link to image

Young (R-IN) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Israel continues to position itself as a key player in the global energy market by agreeing to export natural gas to Europe for the first time. This is a milestone as Europe moves away from dependence on Russia while deepening ties w/ the State of Israel. Israel, EU, Egypt agree deal to export natural gas to Europe… | timesofisrael.com

Young (R-IN) 06/15/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Thank you @SenToddYoung for your leadership! The DEFEND Act strengthens Israeli-Arab cooperation, promotes regional stability, and counters the Iranian threat. Urge your members of Congress to cosponsor this important bipartisan legislation: Urge Congress to Support the DEFEND Act… | p2a.co   Link to video

Sherman (D-CA-30) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Good to see the United States under @POTUS Biden standing up against outrageous attempts to delegitimize #Israel through biased reports. US slammed for building 22-member bloc against UNHRC prob on Israel… | jpost.com

Wilson (R-SC) 6/15/22: Floor statement – “WORLD UNIFICATION AGAINST PUTIN” [entirely about “The European Union is set to sign an agreement with Israel and Egypt which will free itself from Putin energy reliance…”

Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/15/2022: Retweet of @JGreenblattADL – “After a recent speech I made, some took issue with my comparing the antisemitic threat of anti-Zionist orgs, ie @NationalSJP, to that posed by far-right extremist orgs. In a recent @TimesofIsrael piece, I explain how & why anti-Zionism is #antisemitism. You don’t need a map to find antisemitism… | blogs.timesofisrael.com

Cassidy (R-LA) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “The U.S. should always stand with our ally Israel and promote peace in the region. Biased reports baselessly condemning Israel does not help achieve peace. UN probe blames Israel for perpetuating conflict with Palestinians | The Times of Israel

Castro (D-TX-20) 06/15/2022: Retweet of @avischarf – “Israel appointed Noa Tishby to fight antisemitism and delegitimization. So she went on FoxNews to talk about Pelosi husband’s DUI arrest, Biden’s age and the ‘obvious double standard of MSM not talking about the attempt to kill a SCOTUS judge’ @Bsamuels0 What Israel’s ‘antisemitism envoy’ did on a conspiracy-laden Fox News panel – Israel News – Haaretz – Haaretz.com

Ernst (R-IA) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “We have a historic opportunity to work with our fellow Abraham Accords partners to combat Iranian-backed extremists.   FFD understands this. Check out their endorsement of our DEFEND Act Link to image

Ernst (R-IA) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “From Peace Deal to Military Pact: Congress Wants Israel, Arab Allies To Unite Against Iran From Peace Deal to Military Pact: Congress Wants Israel, Arab Allies to Unite Against Iran… | freebeacon.com

Wicker (R-MS) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel are all democracies facing direct threats to their existence. Arms sales to these countries should be a top priority to harden their defenses and improve their resilience. Expedite arms deliveries to beleaguered democracies… | defensenews.com

Scott (R-FL) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “This is wrong and another attempt by @benandjerrys to spread lies and indoctrinate people with anti-Israel propaganda. I will always unapologetically stand with our great ally, Israel. Ben & Jerry’s requires new employees to watch lectures on Israeli-Palestinian conflict… | jewishinsider.com

Ernst (R-IA) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “*Together* we will fight Iranian aggression and address the challenges we currently face in the Middle East. Thank you @AJCGlobal for supporting the DEFEND Act. Link to image

Palmer (R-AL-6) 06/14/2022: Retweet of @GOPpolicy – “.@USRepGaryPalmer is sitting down with @RepDavidKustoff to discuss the importance of supporting our ally, Israel. Video coming soon! Link to image

Tenney (R-NY-22) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “Our State Department must stand against anti-Israel bias at the UN and oppose and expose Hamas’ disinformation operations. Read my recent op-ed in Newsweek with @MichaelMakovsky: The Biden administration must crack down on Hamas’ disinformation campaign | Opinion

Aderholt (R-AL) 6/13/22: in the Record, “Recognizing The Republic Day Of Azerbaijan,” including “Azerbaijan is a significant partner to the United States and plays a key role in energy security, supporting Israel, and ensuring stability in the region.”

Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/14/2022: Retweet of @JGreenblattADL – “As my colleague @rtrestan says, this Mapping Project is the 21st c. version of the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It names, blames & shames Jews & Zionists for much of the world’s ills & paints them as legitimate targets. This is dangerous. BDS-promoted mapping project is antisemitic and must be condemned – The Boston Globe

Donalds (R-FL-19) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “This morning I had the honor of meeting with Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat, one of the most significant cities in Judea & Samaria. Mayor Revivi and I discussed the issues his people are facing and the overall Israeli and American relationship. I will always stand with Israel! Link to image” Also on GETTR

Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Nothing like a scoop of antisemitism to go with your @benandjerrys ice cream. Can you imagine being forced to sit through a politically charged, antisemitic BDS video on your first day of work? Employees should be trained to work, not brainwashed. Ben & Jerry’s requires new employees to watch lectures on Israeli-Palestinian conflict… | jewishinsider.com

Herrell (R-NM-2) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “It was a pleasure to attend! Link to quoted from Ezra Friedlander – ”My firm coordinated this roundtable discussion chaired by Bobby Rechnitz! @RepLaMalfa @BahrainEmbDC @MoroccoinUSA @RepDavidTrone @RadovanJavorcik @SlovakEmbassyUS @RepHerrell @TeviTroy @IsraelPolicy4m @ZOA_National @cjvalues @nissimbreuben @HungaryinUSA Linked to article – International Leaders Gather to Discuss the Implications of Iran Deal on Abraham Accords (The Yeshiva World 6/13/22)

Ernst (R-IA) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “We had a great time announcing our DEFEND Act on Thursday, joined by our friends, Matt with @jinsadc and Adam from @jfederations to show their support. But the best attendees were the students from Ephriam Curtis Middle School who stopped to watch lawmakers in action!  Link to image

Levin (D-MI-9) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “It’s truly amazing to read about the 170,000+ people marching in Tel Aviv for their annual #Pride parade. Across the globe, we must reinvigorate our efforts to continue the fight for gender expression and LGBTQIA+ rights for all. Tel Aviv Pride parade kicks off in a new location… | haaretz.com

Ernst (R-IA) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “Thank you for the support @JackRosenNYC and @AJCongress! It’s great to see all the organizations that have rallied behind the DEFEND Act. Link to image

Zeldin (R-NY) 6/11/22: Press release — Rep. Zeldin Statement on Antisemitic Boston “Mapping Project”

Schneider (D-IL-10) 06/11/2022: Tweet – “We can stand up to Iran, we can work to foster peace in the region by bringing the nations of the region together. The DEFEND act and U.S. leadership will make that difference. New US bill brings together Abraham Accords signatories against Iran… | jpost.com

Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) 06/10/2022: Retweet of @DemMaj4Israel – “Tens of thousands of people turned out for the 23rd annual Pride Parade in #TelAviv today. “We won’t let anyone feel afraid in our country, we will always provide protection to the people living in this country” – Mayor Ron Huldai #HappyPrideMonth Police shutter roads as tens of thousands expected at Tel Aviv Pride Parade… | timesofisrael.com

Egypt

Ruppersberger (D-MD) 6/14/22: Statement in the Record – Recognition of the Egypt-U.S. Partnership [“I rise today to recognize the fruitful United States-Egypt partnership. The year 2022 marks 100 years of diplomatic relations between our two nations. As co-chair of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Friends of Egypt Caucus, I believe it is of paramount importance that we commemorate this partnership rooted in shared commitments to peace, stability and prosperity. As such, I include in the Record this Newsweek article, entitled ‘Let’s Continue to Strengthen the Egypt-U.S. Partnership’ published on April 18, 2022, and penned by Ambassador of Egypt to the United States, Mr. Motaz Zahran…”]

 

Syria

Wicker (R-MS) 06/17/2022: Tweet – “Our military is the best in the world, and they continue to eliminate the ISIS threat. I am glad to hear of a successful operation conducted against a prominent ISIS bombmaker in Syria. US forces capture senior ISIS leader Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi in Syria raid | Fox News

Graham (R-SC) 06/16/2022: Twitter thread – “Great job by U.S. led Coalition forces in capturing Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi, a senior leader of the Islamic State and an assessed ISIS bomb maker in Syria. Congratulations to all involved in planning and executing this operation. Senior ISIS Leader Captured in Syria, U.S. Military Officials Say… | wsj.com I appreciate the Biden Administration leaving American forces in Syria to prevent the reemergence of ISIS and to provide some level of stability in this volatile region. This is a prime example of where American troops on the ground, working with local forces, pays big dividends in the War on Terror.  Well done.

Risch (R-ID) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “I implore @UN security council to reauthorize this vital mechanism so life-saving aid can cont. to millions in #Syria. This is essential to alleviate suffering inflicted by #Assad & his Russian backers. I wrote this two years ago & it sadly remains true: Opinion | With a U.N. Veto, Russia and China Add to Syria’s Misery (Published 2020)   Link to quoted tweet

Waltz (R-FL-6) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “The War on Terror is not over. ISIS & Al Qaeda WILL re-emerge and attack America again if we let them… US military ground raid in Syria captures top ISIS leader… | abcnews.go.com

 

Lebanon

Banks (R-IN-3) 06/10/2022: Retweet of @RepublicanStudy – “The #RSC FY2023 budget is a plan that puts America First. Republicans Want to Slash Aid to Iraq, Lebanon, and the United Nations… | freebeacon.com

 

Iran

Blackburn (R-TN) 06/17/2022: Tweet – “Communist China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea do not care what our soldiers’ pronouns are. The Biden Defense Department should focus energy on combatting our adversaries — not wokeism. Sen. Blackburn’s plan to ‘de-wokeify’ the military foiled by Democrats | Fox News

Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @AndrewDesiderio – “NEW: Blinken announces new sanctions on Iran. He says absent a deal to revive the JCPOA, the U.S. “will continue to use our sanctions authorities” ICYMI, I reported yesterday that admin officials told senators these sanctions were coming — Iran sanctions could tighten if nuclear talks fade, Biden admin officials tell senators… | politico.com   Link to image

McCaul (R-TX-10) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “Weakness invites aggression, and this administration must step up and show our adversaries that the U.S. won’t make the same mistakes we did with Russia when it comes to our adversaries like Iran and China. Thanks, @greta, for having me on your new @newsmax show, The Record! Link to video

Steube (R-FL-17) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “I am very glad to see the Biden Administration leave the IRGC on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, after considering removal. Now @SecBlinken must move forward with Sec. Pompeo’s policy recommendations to advance a more democratic, secular, & nonnuclear Republic of Iran. Link to image” Also on GETTR

Risch (R-ID) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “In addition to repeated attacks against our troops and diplomatic facilities without a U.S. response, #Iran has reportedly deployed kidnapping and assassination squads abroad to target #Israelis. We can no longer ignore the regime’s conduct and must suspend #JCPOA negotiations. Link to quoted tweet

Hyde-Smith (R-MS) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Americans are dubious of the @WhiteHouse outreach to Iran, because they understand that the regime is a threat to our national security. @MarshaBlackburn’s bill attempts to ensure that US interests come first, not some nuclear agreement that would enrich Iran & China in the end.

Tenney (R-NY-22) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “I recently joined Voice of America to discuss the JCPOA 2.0 negotiations & ongoing protests in Iran. I will continue to stand with the people of Iran in their struggle to establish a democratic country that is at peace with its neighbors. The Iranian people want & deserve better. Link to quoted tweet

Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 06/10/2022: Twitter thread – “Any nuclear deal with the Iranian dictatorship must be longer and stronger than the previous failed agreement.   It’s clear that the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism cannot be trusted to hold up its end of the bargain.   Nuclear watchdog says Iran is a few weeks away from having a ‘significant quantity’ of enriched uranium… | cnn.com As they continue their non-compliance with current safeguards, it is critical that we hold Iran and its corrupt leaders to account.   The IAEA Board of Governors Resolution on Iran – United States Department of State

 

Lebanon

Pence (R-IN-6) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “As a @USMC officer, I spent many nights on the roof of our barracks in Beirut to admire the lone American flag on the horizon. A symbol of Freedom, Liberty & Opportunity for all. A reminder of the sacrifices our American heroes make to protect those values. Happy Flag Day. Link to image

 

Saudi Arabia – energy issues

Brady (R-TX-8) 06/17/2022: Retweet of @WaysandMeansGOP – “On what Biden should do about rising gas costs, @RepKevinBrady: “I would stop trying to go for much higher taxes on American-Made energy & rather than flying to Saudi Arabia to beg for more energy, I would fly to West Texas & ask, ‘What can I do to help produce more in America?’”

Buck (R-CO-4) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “Instead of drilling for American oil this administration would rather send American dollars and jobs to Saudi-Arabia. This is what America last looks like. Link to quoted tweet

McCarthy (R-CA-23) 06/17/2022: Tweet – “A 12-hour, non-stop international flight. That’s how far President Biden would rather travel to plead for Saudi Arabian oil rather than simply issue more drilling permits to producers here at home. American oil is cleaner. More reliable. And more affordable. Put America FIRST!” Retweeted by: Malliotakis (R-NY-11), Carter (R-GA-1), Fischbach (R-MN-7), Herrell (R-NM-2), Murphy (R-NC-3), Mullin (R-OK-2)

Pfluger (R-TX-11) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “You’re completely right @MikePompeo. The Permian Basin is the largest secure supply of oil & gas in the world. It’s past time to unleash American energy dominance. Link to quoted tweet

6/16/22: House floor discussion of Saudi Arabia, energy issues, & Biden visit

Duncan (R-SC-3) 06/15/2022: Twitter thread – “…Instead of bowing down to the Saudis, Biden can simply stay home, save gasoline & reduce carbon emissions, & flip the switch on American energy production…

Grassley (R-IA) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “the Fed raised interest rates by the most since ’94 to combat inflation They revised estimates 2predict lower GDP+ higher unemployment +higher inflation We need 2pass bills incl my Middle Class Savings& Investment Act +stop blocking American energy ASAP use our oil not Saudi oil

Harshbarger (R-TN-1) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “President Biden would rather fly thousands of miles to beg Saudi Arabia for oil than to employ Americans do produce it here at home. There’s not enough sugar in the world to coat this sad reality.

Long (R-MO-7) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “@JoeBiden could #UnleashAmericanEnergy strengthening our national security while lowering #GasPrices however he’ll once again rely on #SaudiArabia to relieve the pain at the pump. Why does @POTUS keep putting America last?

Cramer (R-ND) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Gas has soared past $5 per gallon. Instead of producing oil here, @POTUS has turned to Venezuela and the Saudis for theirs. The president and his radical left entourage are missing the opportunity to deliver a win for the economy and Americans being hurt at the pump. Link to image

Fitzgerald (R-WI-5) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Why does President Biden want Saudi energy and not American energy?

Graves (R-LA-6) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Instead of traveling across the world, we invite President Biden and his team to Grand Isle to see underutilized domestic energy production and to grab some boudin for the road. Statement on the taxpayer funded gas money for Saudi Arabia Road Trip: President Biden Enjoys Taxpayer-funded Gas Money for Saudi Arabia Road Trip, Graves Legislation Reminds Him ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’… | bit.ly   Link to image

Jordan (R-OH-4) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Next month, President Biden will visit Saudi Arabia to beg the country for more oil. Why not just drill domestically?

Van Drew (R-NJ-2) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Americans are spending an extra $160 a month on gas. President Biden’s solution is to beg Saudi Arabia for oil. Why not just utilize AMERICAN energy resources?

Biggs (R-AZ-5) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Why is Biden traveling 6500+ miles to discuss increasing oil production with the Saudis? He should be meeting with American producers in Texas, Oklahoma, and more states at home. We have the energy here!

Burchett (R-TN-2) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “The @POTUS shouldn’t be traveling to Saudi Arabia to beg for oil production when we could get it here.

Cornyn (R-TX) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “Now he is going to the Saudis for more production hat in hand? Link to quoted tweet

Cruz (R-TX) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Link to quoted tweet

Franklin (R-FL-15) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Joe Biden was handed an energy independent country. Now Biden plans to go to Saudi Arabia to beg the OPEC cartel to pump more oil. He should work with American energy companies, unleash our domestic supply, and bring the costs down back home. ‘Pariah’ no more? Democrats grit their teeth over Biden’s Saudi trip… | politi.co

Graves (R-LA-6) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “President Biden is heading to Saudi Arabia to negotiate instead of utilizing our energy resources here at home. Louisiana is a much shorter commute. We calculated it for the White House last week. Link to video

Hagerty (R-TN) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “There is a solution to this crisis right at our doorstep: work with American drillers and get back in the energy business here at home. But this President refuses.Biden to visit Saudi Arabia next month seeking solutions as gas tops $5 per gallon: report | Fox News

Letlow (R-LA-5) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “When will this Administration realize that the solution to America’s energy crisis is in the Gulf of Mexico, not the Persian Gulf? Biden political gamble on Saudi trip unlikely to drive down gas prices… | thehill.com

Letlow (R-LA-5) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Today, my Republican colleagues and I brought forward H.R. 6858 – a bill to reopen the Keystone Pipeline, restart leasing in the Gulf of Mexico, and replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Unfortunately, the majority defeated it. They’re not serious about fixing this crisis. Link to quoted tweet

Loudermilk (R-GA-11) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “Biden is planning a trip to Saudi Arabia to beg them to produce more oil, after he campaigned saying he’d punish them for human rights abuses. The flip-flop is predictable, but the question is, why go at all when we can produce all the oil we need here in the U.S?” Also on GETTR

Lynch (D-MA-8) 06/14/2022: Retweet of @BeckyCNN – ““Justice for Mr. Khashoggi [is] very important but there is an overarching interest here in stabilizing energy markets.” @RepStephenLynch is 1 of 6 U.S lawmakers calling for Saudi accountability on human rights but tells me he understands the need to recalibrate the relationship: Link to video

Donalds (R-FL-19) 06/12/2022: Tweet – “Biden doesn’t need to travel to Saudi Arabia to lower gas prices. He needs to travel to AMERICAN states like Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Alaska, and Colorado and support their ability to enhance our energy capabilities. Link to quoted tweet

Arrington (R-TX-19) 06/11/2022: Twitter thread – “This week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified at the Ways & Means Committee. I conveyed my deep concerns with Biden’s disastrous economic policies … and invited the Secretary & President Biden to visit West Texas—the epicenter of global oil and gas production—rather than traveling to Saudi Arabia at the end of the month. See my full remarks here: Rep. Jodey Arrington | Ways & Means Committee Hearing – Treasury Secretary Yellen – June 8, 2022

 

Saudi Arabia – non-energy issues

Malinowski (D-NJ-7) 06/17/2022: Twitter thread – “Tom, @RepSpanberger, @RepColinAllred, @RepKatiePorter, @RepJasonCrow, and @RepDeanPhillips say Saudi “must show a greater willingness to work with us—not against us” if our partnership is to thrive. Read their statement ahead of @POTUS’ visit to Saudi  Representatives Malinowski, Spanberger, Allred, Porter, Crow, and Phillips Issue Statement Ahead of President Biden’s Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… | malinowski.house.gov

Merkley (D-OR) 06/16/2022: Twitter thread – “Saudi Arabia cannot be allowed to cover up their egregious human rights record—including the murder of journalists—with a flashy golf tour. We all must call out human rights abuses wherever they occur, instead of putting money ahead of morals. Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament accused of ‘sportswashing’… | abcnews.go.com I spoke with @SecBlinken yesterday about the urgent need for the pattern of Saudi Arabia helping Saudi nationals escape justice after they’ve committed crimes in the U.S. to be on @POTUS’s agenda during his visit. It hits close to home in Oregon—we can’t forget Fallon Smart.

Omar (D-MN-5) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @mehdirhasan – ““Let’s be honest: if Donald Trump was in office planning a visit to Saudi Arabia [and MBS]…Democrats would be outraged. They would! And yet Biden’s doing it & crickets.” My deep-dive @MehdiHasanShow monologue on Biden’s visit to MBS & Saudi Arabia: Link to video

Roy (R-TX-21) 6/16/22: On the House floor railing against golfers participating in Saudi-backed golf tour [“there is a cloud hanging over the United States Open this week. And that cloud is the greed and the absurd self-absorbed nature of a handful of the PGA Tour’s elites who are willing to sell their athletic soul, their professional soul to a Saudi Arabian league for their shekels. And it is absolutely an abomination….The tour has made these guys wealthy, and they turn around and they stab the tour in the back to go chase their 30 shekels. It is absolutely unconscionable.”] NOTE: As far as I can tell, nobody has raised any concerns for Roy’s use of the term “shekels” in this context. Also see my Twitter thread]

Roy (R-TX-21) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @dcexaminer – “Texas @RepChipRoy slammed PGA Tour defectors who have decided to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, arguing the players are “basically whores and has-beens.” ‘Whores and has-beens’: GOP Rep. Chip Roy blasts golfers in Saudi-backed event… | washex.am

Roy (R-TX-21) 06/16/2022: Retweet of @juliegraceb – “Chip shot: Chip Roy is taking aim at PGA tour players opting to join LIV Golf, praises Tiger for opting out. ‘Whores and has-beens’: GOP Rep. Chip Roy blasts golfers in Saudi-backed tour ‘Whores and has-beens’: GOP Rep. Chip Roy blasts golfers in Saudi-backed event… | washex.am

Wild (D-PA-7) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “When @mercan_resifi testified before the Foreign Affairs Committee, I assured her the U.S. would seek justice and accountability for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. I am not backing down from my commitment, and nor should President Biden. Link to image

McCollum (D-MN-4) 06/15/2022: Retweet of @DAWNmenaorg – “Rep. @BettyMcCollum04 (MN) shares her remarks for today’s unveiling of Jamal Khashoggi Way. DAWN thanks her and other advocates for their steadfast support in upholding Khashoggi’s legacy and vision for democracy, human rights, freedom of press. Join us: Jamal Khashoggi Way Ceremony… | fb.me   Link to video

Carson (D-IN-7) 06/15/2022: Twitter thread – “We must continue to fight and be reminded that human rights and the freedom of press must be the cornerstone of U.S. Foreign Policy. Link to quoted tweet I applaud this historic name change to honor Jamal Khashoggi, but we have to do more. We must demand accountability, and justice must be served for all journalists murdered for truth-telling.

Khanna (D-CA-17) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “A conditions-free photo op with MBS only emboldens this dictator who’s behind countless civilian deaths in Yemen & the hacking to death of a Washington Post journalist. Any meeting should be predicated on bringing the war in Yemen to a close & permanently lifting the blockade.

Levin (D-MI-9) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “We won’t see sustainable peace & security in the Middle East or achieve long-term US interests by supporting and legitimizing rulers that abuse human rights. @POTUS, you can’t reset Khassoghi’s murder, war crimes in Yemen or criminalized dissent in Saudi. US seeks full reset with Saudi Arabia, effectively moving on from the murder of Jamal Khashoggi… | cnn.com

Malinowski (D-NJ-7) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “This is not about human rights vs national security or oil vs Khashoggi. It’s about what is the best way for the United States as a superpower to ensure our client states are on our side in this crucial contest & do their part in ensuring Putin fails. -TM Biden Put Relations With Saudi Arabia on Ice. Then, He Saw an Opportunity…. | politico.com

Merkley (D-OR) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “Joined @mitchellreports this afternoon to discuss why @POTUS needs to push Saudi Arabia on their horrendous human rights record, including urging the release of civil society activists during his upcoming trip. Sen. Jeff Merkley: Biden must ‘push hard’ on human rights issues during Saudi Arabia trip… | msnbc.com

Durbin (D-IL) 6/14/22: Floor statement about political prisoners, including: “I have been troubled by the human rights record of this Kingdom,  including the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, for which there is no real accountability yet. This year brought a bit of welcome news. Writer Raif Badawi was finally freed from prison after completing a 10-year prison sentence for dubious charges about his peaceful writings. I hope that the Saudis will allow Raif the dignity of reuniting with his brave wife, Ensaf Haidar, who I met in Washington, and their three children, now living in Canada. Badawi’s lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, a leading human rights defender, is still in prison. He was convicted in Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court, usually reserved for terrorists.  I appeal to the Saudi Government to free Waleed and to allow Raif to be reunited with his family. These gestures would be particularly notable in light of President Biden’s upcoming visit.”

Wyden (D-OR) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “The United States cannot value Saudi oil more highly than the blood of Fallon Smart and Jamal Khashoggi. Embracing authoritarians only makes us more vulnerable to the whims of tyrants who will always prioritize unfettered power above international rule of law or American justice. Link to quoted tweet

Markey (D-MA) 06/14/2022: Twitter thread – “President Biden should not allow Mohammed bin Salman to get away with murder by giving him an audience without conditions during his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia. (1/7) The Crown Prince has thus far evaded accountability for orchestrating the gruesome murder of renowned journalist and U.S. permanent resident, Jamal Khashoggi. President Biden should condition any face-to-face visit with bin Salman as follows: (2/7) No less than his admission of wrongdoing for the murder of Khashoggi, immediate improvements in Saudi Arabia’s human rights protections, including for women and girls, release of political prisoners, (3/7) accountability for its violations of the laws of armed conflict in the seven-year war in Yemen, and an agreement to cease its reported illicit ballistic and nuclear missile cooperation with China. (4/7) On the domestic front, the long-term antidote to high gas prices as a result of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine can’t be to turn to another authoritarian government, Saudi Arabia, to fuel the gas tanks of the world. (5/7) The cure to America’s addiction to foreign oil is to invest in a clean energy revolution. 12 million electric vehicles would entirely replace the oil we import from Saudi Arabia. (6/7) This shift to all electric vehicles would save any future President from having to weigh our commitment to human rights with our continued reliance on dirty fossil fuels from the OPEC cartel. (7/7)

Doggett (D-TX-35) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “President Biden was right the first time, when he pledged to turn the kingdom into a “pariah” after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the brutal assassination and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with a bonesaw. Analysis | Biden’s flip-flop on Saudi Arabia

Doggett (D-TX-35) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “This trip is more than disappointing. It is time to end the pilgrimage of American Presidents for many years, from both parties, to flatter a regime that shares none of our values and has repeatedly acted in ways that are harmful to our families. Link to quoted tweet

Levin (D-MI-9) 06/11/2022: Twitter thread – “.@SecBlinken suggests the most effective way to stand up for human rights “may be a little bit different” in individual cases. But Biden’s embrace of Saudi Arabia’s leaders and rejection of others is more than a little different—and that’s bad policy. 1/2 Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Jorge Ramos of TelevisaUnivision – United States Department of State When we use different standards for different countries, we undermine US efforts everywhere. The US must be consistent in calling out rights abuses no matter who commits them if we truly believe in pursuing a foreign policy with “human rights and democracy at the center.”

UAE

Durbin (D-IL) 6/14/22: Floor statement about political prisoners, including: “This is Ahmed Mansoor, one of the last major human rights voices in the Emirates. He was arrested in 2017 for using blog posts to advocate for reform and human rights in his nation. He was convicted of charges of threatening the UAE’s state security and social harmony, they sentenced him to 10 years in prison. He has been there for more than 5, at times, in solitary confinement, isolated from other prisoners, no contact with his family. He has reportedly been tortured.  Despite the dismal conditions of his incarceration, he remains steadfast in his commitment to human rights. He has conducted multiple hunger strikes to protest prison conditions. I appeal to the United Arab Emirates’ new President, Muhammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, to take this opportunity early in his Presidency to demonstrate compassion and courage by releasing Mr. Mansoor.”

Yemen

Deutch (D-FL-22) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “I am deeply concerned about the decaying FSO Safer off Yemen’s coast. The int’l community must ensure this vessel does not leak 1+ million barrels of crude oil into the Red Sea, which would cause a humanitarian and environmental disaster & impede a critical commercial waterway.

Jayapal (D-WA-7) 06/17/2022: Retweet of @USProgressives – “The War Powers Resolution now has more than 80 co-sponsors! The momentum is real — and we’re not stopping here. We will end unauthorized U.S. military involvement in the war in Yemen. Link to quoted tweet

Jones (D-NY-17) 06/14/2022: Tweet – “What’s happening in Yemen is a humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions. We can’t sit idly by any longer. This unauthorized military involvement must end—full stop. Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have been called war crimes. Many relied on U.S. support…. | washingtonpost.com

Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “TWO MILLION children face starvation in Yemen! It should not be the policy of the United States to aid ANY nations that are committing war crimes. My colleagues and I have introduced a bipartisan War Powers Resolution to end U.S. involvement in Yemen. Link to quoted tweet” Retweeted by DeFazio (D-OR-4)

Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “I am proud to sign onto this bipartisan resolution calling on the administration to end our unauthorized military involvement in the war in Yemen. We must not be complicit in this humanitarian crisis. Lawmakers introduce resolution to end US military involvement in Yemen… | thehill.com

Meeks (D-NY-5) 06/13/2022: Retweet of @HouseForeign – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: Strongly support the @StateDept’s $10 million pledge for the @UN plan to address the FSO Safer crisis in #Yemen in order to avoid an environmental catastrophe. I call on our partners to join in pledging to prevent damage to the ecosystem and trade routes. Link to quoted tweet

Schakowsky (D-IL-9) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “I am a cosponsor of the Yemen War Powers Resolution. Our military must end its unauthorized participation in this conflict that is causing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. We must stop our engagement and complicity!” Retweeted by DeFazio (D-OR-4)

Meeks (D-NY-5) 06/13/2022: Tweet – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: Strongly support the @StateDept’s $10 million pledge for the @UN plan to address the FSO Safer crisis in #Yemen in order to avoid an environmental catastrophe. I call on our partners to join in pledging to prevent damage to the ecosystem and trade routes. Link to quoted tweet

Merkley (D-OR) 06/12/2022: Twitter thread – “Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has put food security of people in Ukraine and around the world in peril. Starvation should never be used as a weapon of war, and Russia must be held accountable for stealing vital grain from Ukraine. Russia Seeks Buyers for Plundered Ukraine Grain, U.S. Warns… | nytimes.com I led a bipartisan Senate Resolution calling on the Biden administration to condemn the weaponization of hunger wherever it occurs—from Ukraine to Yemen. Link to quoted tweet

Turkey

HFAC/SFRC leaders’ 6/15/22: Meeks, McCaul, Menendez, Risch Statement on Threatened Turkish Incursion into Northern Syria  also see Tweets – McCaul (R-TX-10), Meeks (D-NY-5), Risch (R-ID)

Bahrain

Wilson (R-SC-2) 06/15/2022: Tweet – “Grateful to meet H.E. Speaker of Bahrain’s Council of Representatives, Fawzia bent Abdulla Yusuf Zainal, to discuss issues of importance to further strengthen the valued relationship between our two countries. Speaker highlights boosting cooperation with US Congress… | bna.bh

Oman

Larsen (D-WA-2) 06/16/2022: Tweet – “Small world: Omani Ambassador Moosa Hamdan Al Tai & I are both graduates of @PLUNEWS in #Tacoma. Today, Ambassador Al Tai & I discussed the importance of the bilateral relationship between the United States & Oman.  #GoLutes @FMofOman Link to image

Hard Questions, Tough Answers- Elections Again (June 21, 2022)

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

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Press Release: APN Urges Lapid to Advance Measures toward Peace

Following today’s announcement of early elections in Israel and early premiership rotation, Americans for Peace Now (APN) wishes Yair Lapid success as Israel’s prime minister, and calls on him to use the next few months before the elections to take bold measures that will move us toward peace and a better future.

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Recording: Young Progressive Jewish Americans on Israel, Palestine, and the Conflict

Americans for Peace Now hosted a webinar to explore the ways in which young progressive American Jews are thinking, talking, and acting about Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians.What values are they prioritizing in the conversation about Israel? What is their vision of Israel and its relations with its Palestinian neighbors? What are their concerns about the current trajectory of Israeli society and what are their hopes for Israel’s future? How do they fit these topics into their worldview?


To answer these and other questions, we gathered APN’s new Communications and Development Associate Maxxe Albert-Deitch, her predecessor Claire Davidson Miller, and our intern Eliana Blumberg, in conversation with APN’s Director of Government Relations, Madeleine Cereghino.


The webinar was held on Thursday, June 23rd, at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.

View the recording here, listen to the podcast here, and read the transcript here.

Maps Are a Political Tool

Jessica Montell Webinar - New Israeli Restrictions on Foreign Nationals in the West Bank

Hadar Susskind 0:00
Hi I'm Hadar Susskind, the President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, and I am thrilled to have you all with us. And with that, I'm going to introduce our- my colleagues here. First and foremost, Madeleine Cereghino, our government relations director is going to join me in hosting this conversation today. And our guest, Jessica Montell, we are very pleased to have you. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to know her already, I'll give a brief introduction. Jessica is the executive director of HaMoked, a really, really fabulous Israeli organization known otherwise known as the Center for the Defense of the Individual. And you may know her in that role. You may know her from her previous role, as the executive director of B'Tselem, or from the frankly, good amount of time that that that she, along with some of us has been spending working on this issue now. And Jessica is really one of the deep experts on what really matters when we talk about these issues, which is the details, you know, it's easy to talk big picture, it's easy to talk about the politics, but when it gets down to really helping people and really trying to impact people's lives and those that are most impacted by the Occupation, the people whose homes are being demolished the people who are being expelled people dealing with the Israeli bureaucracy, and in the Israeli legal and military legal systems, Jessica and HaMoked are really the experts. And we are grateful to have you with us today. So hello.

Jessica Montell 1:38
Thanks so much for having me.

Hadar Susskind 1:40
Thank you. And I'm going to turn it over to Madeline now to get us started. Yeah, so let's

Madeleine Cereghino 1:45
Yeah, so let's just jump straight into you know, what COGAT is and these rules and things like that. But before we get into these new rules, would you mind telling folks a little bit about what COGAT is and the kinds of restrictions we've already seen. And then going into how these rules will be changing, expanded with the new guidelines when they're implemented in July. Also, as a side note, I understand this new set of rules is 97 pages long while the previous set was four pages. And I'm just curious how much of this is codifying existing discriminatory practices versus implementing new practices?

Jessica Montell 2:21
Yes, so thanks for that. I mean, I say one word about HaMoked, which is an Israeli human rights organization with a focus on providing individual assistance to Palestinians. And increasingly over the years, it's 30 years, that HaMoked has been working initially on issues of violence and detention. And other of the sort of dramatic events you read about in the headlines. Over the years, the work has really evolved to be focusing on the bureaucracy of occupation. And I think that says a lot about, you know, what occupation actually is, for a majority of Palestinians. It's a permit bureaucracy, you need a permit for almost everything, all sorts of things that we Israelis, or you Americans take for granted, living in your own home, traveling from point A to point B, having a family gathering, you know, really the day to day life. So then this new regulation, which Madeline as you said, 97 pages. The regulation is to regulate the title procedure for entry and residence of foreigners in the West Bank. But, of course, it has really important implications for Palestinian society and Palestinian institutions and Palestinian families who are hosting those foreigners. So first, what you need to know is that a person coming to visit Israel, their entry is governed by the Israeli Ministry of Interior, a person going to the West Bank, their entry is governed by the Israeli military, the Israeli military is, is the government, you know, the the legislature and the executive, you know, and the judiciary in the West Bank. And Madeleine, you're really right, that a lot of these new, what has been codified into 97 pages has been, you know, unwritten practice that has emerged over the past few years. And then we and others that have been challenging these regulations and saying, you know, where is it written all of these restrictions all of this basis for denying all sorts of people entry into the West Bank? Now they've come and codified that and they've also added a lot of new things that were not in practice before. So first of all, who is affected by this? The regulations are talking about entry to the West Bank, for students, at Palestinian universities, for faculty at Palestinian universities, for people who want to work or volunteer at any Palestinian institution and also for investors. And then there's a whole category for spouses of Palestinians. And I'll, I'll talk about that separately. But those are the only categories. Those are the only reasons that people can get a visa to come into the West Bank. Somebody who comes to visit Israel and the West Bank together, is outside of these regulations, that's called a mixed entry visa, and that would be governed by the Ministry of Interior. So if you're coming as a tourist to visit, you know, the West Bank and Israel, you would go through the regular channels of visiting Israel. But if you're just coming to the West Bank, let's say for a cultural visit, for a tourism visit, for a religious pilgrimage, there is now no longer any way to get a visa to come to the West Bank, solely for those purposes. So whole categories are excluded from the regulations. Now, somebody could land at Ben Gurion Airport and just come in as a tourist to Israel. I mean, plenty of people up until now who plan to go to the West Bank, they, you know, slip in through the cracks. But increasingly, people are subject anyone who for any reason is a flag for those people screening at the airport, they ask you, what's the purpose of your visit? If you say, I'm going to my church in Ramallah? Or I'm visiting a cultural institution in Nablus, no, you will be told that you should have applied 60 days earlier for a special visa, again, which isn't even possible for those purposes. But let's talk about the people who have been coming in, let's say students, I mean, what is new, I'll just outline. First, let me say 97 pages, it should be clear, you're talking about a micro management of Palestinian society. I mean, that's the headline that I would give to this, because they're all sorts of things that should not be under the purview of the Israeli military and the Israeli Ministry of Defense, to be setting criteria for who you can offer a teaching position to at a faculty at a Palestinian University, how many students can a Palestinian University host which institutions can receive volunteers, all of those things the military should not be dictating. And I take one step back to say, you know, the legal framework for everything the military does in the West Bank. By law, there are two two arms in terms of the legal authority of the Israeli military. One is for its own security necessity. And the other is for the welfare of the local population. So of course, an individual foreigner who raises any security concerns, the military can deny them entry. But to set a quota of 150 foreign students, which is what the new regulation does, for the first time explicitly sets that quota. Obviously, there's no security need for a quota on students of Palestinian universities, obviously, it is not in the best interest of Palestinian society. So those sorts of you know, invasive, regularly, regulations of the military are quite infuriating. And I say another

Hadar Susskind 8:26
new, I mean, something that has been enforced more or less in a sort of haphazard way, but now is written black on white is a very explicit discrimination. This policy applies to foreigners coming in from all countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel, with the exception of five, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, South Sudan, and Morocco, are outside of these regulations. They can only come to visit if they get a special visit to the Palestinian Authority permit that's given really in exceptional humanitarian considerations. Basically, those five categories cannot come to the West Bank, to be a volunteer, a student, a teacher, an investor, there's no visa process for them. And what this policy says is, if you have two different passports, you're that, if you have a Jordanian passport and an American passport, you're a Jordanian for the purpose. So what that means basically is, you know, who are the people with Jordanian passports, those are descendants of Palestinians. You have a whole class of, you know, grandchildren of Palestinians, who have a Jordanian national ID number. For the purposes of this procedure They're not Americans, they're Jordanians and they will not be able to study or teach or volunteer or come for any reason. And then I want to take just one minute to talk about the whole other class of people that are affected by this procedure. You have 10s of 1000s of foreigners married to Palestinians. Again, I say foreigners, a lot of them are Palestinian refugees that are coming from Jordan. But originally, you know, their grandparents village is in the West Bank, or you have, you know, non Palestinian Europeans and Americans who fell in love with Palestinians and married them and moved here. And this procedure also governs them, because there's a whole separate procedure that I'm happy to talk about, because it's equally infuriating about not granting family unification to Palestinians. Israel has taken unilateral control, although this is contrary to the Oslo Accords, about granting any legal status to spouses. You know, a person could be married to a Palestinian, and living in the West Bank for 30 years, own a home, have children work in a Palestinian institution, and never be granted the status of, you know, get a Palestinian ID, the only way they can stay here legally is through this visa system. But the new procedures are much, much more restrictive. On those couples, what it says is you can get a visa for three months, maybe extend for another three months. And then that's it, if you want to apply for another visa, you have to leave and stay abroad for a period of six months before you can even ask to come back. Now you have 10s of 1000s of people living, quote unquote, illegally as far as Israel is concerned, they're illegal aliens in the West Bank, because they've overstayed their visa, the new procedure now sets these security guarantees, you would have to deposit something like $20,000, you get a visa to come and live with your husband and children in your own home in the West Bank, you're going to have to deposit $20,000 as a guarantee that you leave after six months, too. So it's I mean, I think it's a whole separate issue, the denial of families the ability to live together, as opposed to all of the other categories, which really affect I mean, of course, it's affecting Americans who want to come to the West Bank, but of course, also affecting the Palestinian economy, the Palestinian academic, community, Palestinian society as a whole. overwhelmed, did I Oh, I

There's so much in this and I mean, you're not the one who overwhelmed. Thank you. First of all, you know, there are a tremendous, there are a lot of pieces in here that I think are really important for us to come back to I want to talk about the family reunification issue, which to me is sort of the most glaring, or one of the most glaring, I should say, of the humanitarian issues here. Definitely, we want to come back and dig in a little bit more. So what this means for Americans, and maybe look at what this means vis-a-vis the US and Israeli government. But first, I just have to go back to what you were saying about the five or six countries who are not part of this, including Jordan. So I gotta be honest, and I don't know if anybody else was, was with me on this, when you started listing those countries, I actually thought you were gonna say it's better for those countries, right? Because those are countries, some of them at least the beginning of that list that have closer relationships with the Israeli government, longtime peace, Abraham Accords, all kinds of different stuff. And then when you said that, in fact, it's worse for those and that the Jordanians who, again, so many of those people who we're talking about are, of course, Palestinians, like, like you said, Who's whose families, you know, have been in Jordan for a generation or two. That part to me is, is just shocking for, you know, a country with which Israel is supposed to be improving its relationships under this last government, and however long that lasts, it's a different issue. But and where, you know, we talk we hear all the time about oh, we want to find international funding for joint Israeli Jordanian, maybe Palestinian projects, you know, we want to improve, we see complaints in Jewish press all the time about, you know, is Jordan, you know, part of some sort of cultural boycott against Israeli institutions. And yet here we have a regulation that would be keeping I presume that's probably the largest number right Jordanians of Palestinian descent out of the country under this. So tell me a little bit more about that. And what have you know, what is Jordan had to say about this? What's that? What's that done around the bilateral relationship?

Yes, so you're right that the in terms of the people who would want to come the biggest population is Jordanians and and of those 10s of 1000s of spouses living here with no legal status a majority are Jordanian Palestinians. The the rationale? I mean, how could they possibly there's I have not seen any written justification. It's an odd, you know, Jordan, you could understand maybe but I mean, I can't even explain to you how South Sudan and Morocco, I don't know how they got added, except those are the Arab Arab countries with diplomatic relations with Israel. You know, those people could come to Israel, welcome to come to Israel to invest, or study at Tel Aviv University. It's only we want to keep you from having relations with Palestinian institutions and Palestinian society. I haven't seen any statements from the Government of Jordan or others regarding this policy.

Wow, and one other question, Madeleine, then I'll turn it, turn it over to you. But you mentioned the quota of 150 students, but tell me a little bit more 150 per what, what does that mean?

150 students per year, and there's also a quota on faculty, 100 faculty per year again, where does this number come from? It has no relationship to the actual numbers. And the only indication I don't know how many total foreign students or lecturers are at Palestinian universities right now, I can only tell you how many are coming from the European Union. The European Union has a program called Erasmus Plus, which is supporting Europeans to come to university universities throughout, you know, the Mediterranean region. So coming to Israeli institutions, it's last time I the numbers that I saw something like 1600 Europeans are studying or teaching in Israeli universities. And the same program, you have 366 Europeans in Palestinian universities. So these quotas are not enough, even for the Erasmus Plus participants. It's, I mean, it is infuriating as a, you know, sort of slap in the face to Europe, we're very happy for you to fund people coming to Israeli institutions, but we're going to be drastically restricting the ability of Europeans to come to Palestinian institutions.

Madeleine Cereghino 17:39
Wow. Okay. Thank you. Jessica, I want to go back to the the point you made about how this is kind of codifying the existing discriminatory practices. And I was curious, one, how activists in Israel are pushing back. And then, in addition, if these practices were already in place, in an like an ad hoc manner, prior to the rule change, is it almost more helpful from an advocacy perspective to be able to point to what is now clearly written out guidance instead of having to rely on anecdotal evidence?

Hadar Susskind 18:13
Yes, so, I mean, at this stage, first, I have to say the regulations are supposed to come into force in early July. So we're at a good point, you know it, and I'll reiterate this toward the end in terms of the ability to be influencing policy, it's not already enforced set in stone that would require Israel to, you know, back down. And and we have sent already our concerns to the Ministry of Defense and ask them to amend you know, very drastically amend these procedures. They informed us that they were postponing by another 45 days, it was originally supposed to come into force in May. They said they're postponing for another 45 days to consider our objections. And other I mean, we know that many others have also, including the US government and others have voiced objections. So it's very helpful to have written in black on white, let's say this discrimination against certain types of American citizens, of course, it's helpful to have that written black on white to be advocating against these regulations.

So, you know, you mentioned the date and talking about the US government and its thoughts. You know, the announcement has now been officially made the President Biden will be visiting Israel, starting July 13, I believe. And, you know, we have done you know, we've been involved in conversations, both congressionally and maybe Madeliene will get to that in a minute, but also with folks in the administration around this and I think it's, I think it's fair to share without getting into the details that I've heard From a number of senior government officials that the US government is very unhappy about this, that they they look at, I think they're unhappy about it, broadly speaking, but particularly, you know, they look at how this is going to impact American citizens. And you said something just a minute ago about, you know, certain different kinds of American citizens, because obviously, it's not fair. But the US government, at least theoretically looks at all American citizens as the same. And those citizens should be treated the same by by foreign countries. And one of the questions that this brings to mind for me is, you know, the question of the Visa Waiver Program, that Israel has, for a long time, been lobbying quite extensively, trying to become part of the US visa waiver program, it seems I would think, rather counterintuitive that they would do this do this at a time, again, where it's gonna be highlighted by the President's visit, but do this at a time when they're trying to become part of that Visa Waiver Program. Do you think? Do you think they took that into mind? I mean, why do you think they're doing this right now? I guess it's part of that question. And, you know, do you think that this opportunity with the bright light of the President's visit might help, you know, help raise the objections?

Yes, it is hard to imagine that they took the Visa Waiver Program into consideration and still formulated these regulations, I can only assume, you know, the Defense Ministry, people working on these regulations are siloed, from the foreign ministry, and, you know, maybe the prime minister's office pushing the inclusion into the US visa waiver. Because, you know, as it was, there was discussion about discrimination against Palestinian Americans and maybe Arab Americans in general, coming in. I mean, the experience of a Jewish American landing at Ben Gurion Airport is not at all the experience of a Palestinian American, it's a very blatant racial profiling and then being subjected to, you know, really invasive interrogation. So that already was a concern in terms of negotiations around the visa waiver. But then this adds a whole level of, you know, again, it's not under the table, sort of informal unstated profiling. It's very explicit discrimination. So and, and the visa waiver to be to be included in the Visa Waiver Program requires reciprocity, the way we treat your citizens is the way you treat our citizens. There cannot be a discrimination within different kinds of American citizens, as you said, for the US government, Americans are Americans. So I think the Biden visit is a great opportunity. I mean, I know there is negotiation around, you know, a package of decisions, announcements, gestures, that would be made in the, in the context or ahead of that visit. So I think this is a great issue, to add to the list that the Ministry of Defense would, you know, announced that they are scrapping this whole procedure and instead putting in place a much more, you know, fair and respectful of Palestinian society procedure.

Madeleine Cereghino 23:33
Thank you, Jessica. You know, Hadar noted a few of our he noted that there was have been some congressional letters about this, even one from represent Flaxton, another one of 12 members of congress in May, led by Representative Bowman. And then just last week, Representative Ocasio Cortez Tlaib McCollum led a letter calling on Mayorkas and Blinken expressing concerns and saying that render aid for the visa waiver program. But these rules don't, as you pointed out, don't just apply to American citizens. And I'm curious how other countries you mentioned the Erasmus program, how they've taken the news and what their pushback has been, maybe there's particularly lessons learned from them that we can, you know, make put into action here in the United States?

Hadar Susskind 24:26
Yes, I mean, for the Europeans? Well, I would say for the Americans as well, I mean, violating human rights should be a concern, you know, violating the human rights of Palestinians has to be part of the US Israel conversation, regardless of the impact. You know, there's the consular services, conversation, and there's, you know, just the diplomatic conversation around expecting Israel to uphold all of its legal obligations and respect human rights and the same is true of Europe. So particular countries are concerned about their own nationals, you know, the fact that you have your own nationals living in the West Bank, married to Palestinians, the fact that you have students and faculty and other people that are coming here. But also Europe, hopefully is concerned about what this means for Palestinian society in general Europe is investing in Palestinian universities, you know, building building up Palestinians, strengthening Palestinian universities, this measure is obviously a blow to academic freedom. I mean, the the levels, again, of micromanagement, which are priority fields, that will be people will be allowed to come and teach. What are the academic credentials, you know, when you need a master's, and when you need a PhD within this visa to extend from a one year visa to a two year visa, you know, the fact that it's not the university making that decision, but some clerk in the Ministry of Defense is outrageous, and of course, will harm academic institutions, Palestinian universities need to be free to, you know, recruit the best faculty from around the world, to be offering tenure to faculty from around the world. But offering tenure means that you can guarantee they will be able to, you know, stay permanently in the West Bank, what about their spouse and children? Will they be able to stay permanently? Currently, it's a maximum 27 months of foreign faculty, again, in fields that have been defined as high priority for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the most you can get is a 27 month visa. So of course, you can't offer tenure to, you know, a really excellent faculty member, that's super important to the academic development of your department. So that should be a concern. I mean, it can't be, you know, that Europe is, on the one hand, trying to be strengthening Palestinian academia, and on the other hand, allowing the Israeli Defense Ministry to be curtailing academic freedom.

Thank you. So I want to take a couple of the questions that we've got from participants. And there's a scene here. So I'm going to bundle a few of these together, and then you can answer them. And it's really a question again, of trying to figure out who this applies to, and how. And so there are a couple questions here. So one person asked, you know, if somebody is if a US citizen was coming to for, you know, for medical, it's up to the PA to stay for a week and, you know, in the Palestinian territories for a medical mission, would this apply to them? And then there's right. And so then there's a different question, right, that goes along with this about, you know, what about people who are Palestinian Americans? And the question was asked about Omar Assad, who was killed who came from Milwaukee, to the West Bank, you know, how would this apply to people in that category? Who were, you know, Palestinian American citizens? And then the flip side of this, which I think is a really interesting question is, do the restrictions on foreign nationals entering the occupied territories also apply to Jewish settlers? Right? What about Jews who are either dual citizens, as I am, for example, you know, which you'd said earlier, you know, if you're a Jordanian, and if you have dual passports, they consider you that thing. Does that apply to Jews as well? Or what about Jews that are not Israeli citizens, you know, the many, many, many Americans who come to live and study in yeshivot in settlements, etc. How does this does this impact them? Or if not, what's the sort of explanation around that?

Yes, so this procedure applies to anyone who is not an Israeli citizen, or a Palestinian resident. So if an American who is in the Palestinian population registry does not need a visa to come to the West Bank, it applies to everyone else, except to the people who are excluded and prevented from visiting, but it applies to everyone else coming to Palestinian society, you know, married to Palestinians coming to Palestinian cities, coming to Palestinian institutions, a student from the United States, Jewish or not, who wants to go to Ariel University in the settlement of Ariel. is not governed by this procedure. They are free to come through the Israeli Ministry of Interior the Israeli Ministry of Interior, you know, rolls out the welcome mat for foreign students. You just need to show that you've been accepted into a program you will receive you get a visa for a year if you're going you know it's to Tel Aviv University or to Ariel college in the settlement, you can stay for if you're in a four year degree program, you can stay for four years, if it's a five year degree program, you can stay for five years. So, you know, there's all sorts of levels of discrimination. But you know, there definitely is a two tiered system for coming to study in the West Bank settlements is, you know, the red carpet, as far as Israel is concerned. And you don't even need to be talking to the Israeli Defense Ministry, as opposed to coming to Palestinian universities. I mean, what I didn't mention the procedure for coming to a Palestinian university, you will be required to undergo an interview at the consulate nearest to your house. So I mean, what is the content of that interview, the consular office within the embassies or consulates around the world will interview students pass those interviews on to the defense ministry. And then the Defense Ministry makes up its list of approved students again, you know, maybe 500 students are interested in coming, they have to make up a list of 150. Who I mean, what are the criteria? You know, any of us can sort of imagine in terms of who would be screened out from from that interview process. So I mean, basically anyone who is only coming to the web to Palestinian society in the West Bank, if you're coming to Israel, if you're on a medical delegation that goes both to Tel Aviv, and to Ramallah, this does not apply to you, if you're only coming to Ramallah, again, for any purpose, for a conference for a week, for a month for a year, for any purpose, you need to go through this process. Thank you.

Madeleine Cereghino 31:59
Um, okay, I have a question from someone in chat, asking what rationale the government used for these new laws. And then I also wanted to ask, you know, do you know anything about the process in which it was adopted or formed? Is has there been? I mean, some of it seems pretty, really hard to justify, frankly. But it has, have there been attempts to justify it.

Hadar Susskind 32:26
So the procedure was just issued in February. I mean, I know I have heard anecdotally, from some European diplomatic missions that have registered their complaints. And, you know, the, the, the people that they've spoken to in the defense ministry have been a little bit offended, you know, that the the response has been, we're trying to be transparent. And how come you never, you know, we don't get any recognition of the fact that now we're being so transparent. I mean, again, I think it indicates the way that they are in some little bubble, you know, divorced from considerations of the outside world, how a procedure like this might look. But um, you know, part of the reality of the West Bank being under military occupation, the legislative process, if we can call it that is very haphazard. I mean, a military commander signing a military order. That's the legislative process. So now, if the regulations are not drastically amended, before they come into force in two weeks, we would take them to we would petition Israel's High Court of Justice, and then the High Court of Justice would require them to justify I mean, I would say, in general, HaMoked is challenging all sorts of infuriating procedures, you know, the closure on Gaza, why can't families Why is there no way for families to be meeting that are separated by the Gaza enclosure access to land, beyond the separation barrier? Just this year, we had a success challenging, you know, a crazy regulation that in fact, I think I talked about last year in a webinar here. Why are they restricting people who have a small plot, they've decided that people with a small plot, don't warrant a permit to cross the separation barrier and get access to their land. Why, you know, only when they came before the court, and then they had some garbled explanation about what is agricultural, sustainable agriculture. I mean, again, clerks who, you know, probably have never farmed an olive grove in their life or setting these kinds of regulations. So we don't know how they're going to justify these regulations yet. Probably they will say that there is a problem of people overstaying their visas because we know again, 1000s of people stay here with their families beyond the their visa So they'll say we need a way to be ensuring that people leave at the end of their visa. You know, why is for them to decide that you need a master's to be a lecturer at a university? I know, it's hard to imagine how they will justify that.

So I'm going to ask two to one as a follow up, and then a separate question. So the follow up to that is, you know, you've talked about steps that that you that HaMoked can can take in terms of bringing this to the High Court, as this has been out in the public space, again, since since February. What, you know, we know this comes from COGAT we talked about earlier, you know, from the defense ministry in the military side of things. It's not from the it's not from the legislative process of the Knesset. But what, if anything, have we heard from the political leaders in the Knesset? And I'd say specifically, you know, have the parties on the left spoken up? Have they had anything to say about this? And is there anything that they can do about it, frankly, given that it is under military control? Yes. We had a hearing last week in the Knesset, we is, you know, the whole sort of family of organizations concerned about occupation, to mark 55 years of occupation. And I presented these regulations in that committee. So that was like the first effort to put it on the table. And now we're following up on that with members of Knesset submitting questions to the defense minister asking for a hearing in the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee. And obviously, there are implications for both halves of that committee's mandate. I mean, Israel's foreign relations and Israeli security and its responsibilities in the West Bank. So we would be pushing those channels. I mean, what can they do is a question that I'm sure every single webinar that you have had settlement expansion, settler violence, forced dispossession of Palestinian communities, you know, if they if the left wing members of the coalition made this the deal breaker for the continuation of the coalition, of course, they would be successful in changing the regulations. But of course, this is not going to be the deal breaker. I mean, if you know, a forced dispossession of the 1000 Palestinians from Massafer Yatta is not the deal breaker, then definitely these very bureaucratic, hard to understand regulations governing foreigners coming into the West Bank. I mean, is there something in between, you know, half hearted protest and pounding your fist on the table and saying, it's all, you know, putting all your cards? I would hope there would be something in the middle. I mean, there's no reason there's no lobby who, you know, unlike settlements, where you really have, you know, both halves of the government on opposing sides. I don't think there is a lobby, you know, insisting on these restrictions on foreigners coming into the West Bank, so that should make it easier. But, of course, I think it should be. You know, it's not out of the question that the US administration, working together with European governments would be able to make a real change. I mean, again, the the it's it, it should be something very straightforward, again, given that we're talking both about violation of human rights obligations, but also a real discrimination and hardship for American citizens.

And one of the things that we've talked about with, with leaders here, both folks in Congress and the administration is, again, this connection between this and the Visa Waiver Program that, you know, they are getting members of Congress are getting lobbied by, by the embassy here by other groups to push Israel's inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program. And they've been very clear our position on it has been, you know, we're we're all for Israel being included in the Visa Waiver Program, if and when and only if and when they meet the qualifications, which includes not discriminating against American citizens. So this, this would seem a very clear spot where, hopefully, you know, our collective voices can raise some of the objections and bring that that foreign relations side of the Foreign Relations insecurity interview, I'm gonna ask one specific follow up question and then I'll turn it over to Madeline in a moment, but one of our participants here said that they are planning on coming on an eyewitness Palestine trip next year, and they want to know if that trip could be in jeopardy of not being able to happen because of these regulations.

Yes, a trip with a headline of I visit Palestine unless the definition of Palestine includes 1948. Israel if the definition of Palestine is the West Bank, right there. Yeah, I mean, that trip would definitely need to request visas ahead of time. And there's no tourism clause for this. So in fact, I do not see. I mean, that's a great example. And I do not see how, with these new regulations coming into force, I witness Palestine would be able to come to the West Bank.

So I just I want to know someone who is listed as an attendee as an anonymous attendee. So I don't know who it is. But no, I just wrote in the chat, that they work for eyewitness Palestine and that the trip will not be affected. So I don't I don't know the details of that. And again, we don't have to go down. Now.

If you're coming as a tourist, if you're coming as a tourist to Israel and the Palestinian territories, these regulations will not affect you. Gotcha. I wanted to say one thing about the Visa Waiver Program, which is this principle of reciprocity. I mean, I think every one the most important point for Americans is that the US has to stand firm on the principle of reciprocity and non discrimination. I mean, if the US stands firm on those principles, then the ball is in the court of the Israeli government, do you really want to be included in the US visa waiver program? Or it's not that important to you? It's your decision. But it can't be that it's a negotiation between the Israeli government and the US government, how much discrimination? is the US administration willing to stomach?

That's a very, that's a very good question. And one that we often ask.

Madeleine Cereghino 42:11
Just, just to follow up on that, we have another question in the chat, asking what would prevent someone from flying into Ben Gurion and basically not saying they're going to Palestine? And then going?

Hadar Susskind 42:24
Yes. You know, you already have that situation, if someone is coming. Either someone has a Palestinian last name, or somebody is known to have been active in Palestine Solidarity activities in the United States, those people are flagged at the airport. And those people have been sent back. In some cases, even you know, under the current regulations, if you are active in BDS. You know, as anyone who has worked on immigration issues in the United States knows, you know, there are no, there is very, very broad discretion on allowing foreigners to come into your territory, there's no inherent right of anyone to go to a foreign country. So, you know, Israel decides now inside the State of Israel, that's an argument for Israelis to have, you know, what are what sorts of restrictions are legitimate, but obviously, you can't be applying those same parameters when you're talking about Israeli control over people coming into Palestinian society. But the current situation is, you know, plenty of people come in hoping to get in under the radar. Plenty of those people succeed, and some people don't. So is this new procedure, going to mean a crack down at the airport that they're going to be much more restrictive? I don't know. But, you know, the legal situation is if you're going to Ramallah, I mean, again, starting next month, if you're coming to Ramallah for any reason, you should have asked for a visa ahead of time. Now, if you say no, I'm going for a weekend at the beach in Tel Aviv, and then going to Ramallah, again, are you going to get away with it? Or you're not going to get away with it?

So, you know, I think I know I'm sitting here kind of trying to think through all the the implications in the details. And I see the questions coming in from the chat people are doing the same as we're trying to figure out who this is going to impact and how what about the press? And how is this going to, you know, how might this impact foreign press who are coming to cover, you know, what's taking place in the Palestinian territories? Obviously, this is you know, a topic that has been much in the news recently for horrible, horrible reasons. Is this is Is it possible that these are the you know, these regs are going to be used to crack down on press representation? Also?

Yes. Any press institution that has an office inside Israel is going to be asking for visas for their staff under the Israeli system. Right. So if AP or Reuters, which has their headquarters in Jerusalem, all of their foreign staff would be the mixed visa, right, they're coming in to cover the situation in Israel and the West Bank, any, so any institution that's registered with the Israeli government press office, can get away with not engaging with this new procedure, but Palestinian press institutions? You know, an organization that has a headquarters in Ramallah, obviously, can't do that. And in fact, press is one of the lacuna In this procedure, there's no visa for press. So if a Palestinian press agency wants to hire foreign staff, there is no way that they can get a visa for foreign stuff.

Fascinating. And that's something that, you know, again, maybe, obviously, you knew the answer, but like, I hadn't I haven't heard that discussed at all, yet as part of this. And, you know, it just goes to show that the the breadth of these regulations, and we know, they're focused on on family reunification issues, and, you know, and, um, the university pieces, but this this, if it really goes into place, it's going to impact so many so many different things.

Yes, yes. And I'll add another and that's international organizations, international organizations. Again, a big institution that has its headquarters in Jerusalem is not going to be affected a, you know, humanitarian aid institution that has its headquarters in Jerusalem, even if it's Palestinian Jerusalem, because Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and Israeli Law, they're applying Israeli law there. So any institution that has a headquarters in Jerusalem is going to be able to avoid these procedures, but an international development or humanitarian or aid institution, with headquarters in Ramallah? Or Nablus is going to have to go through this procedure for their staff and their volunteers? And again, again, they

would be for that. Right. Right. I

don't know, for international organizations, there is a there is a procedure for if you're a worker, or a volunteer in an organization, you can get a permit.

Does that also have a quota on it?

No there's no quota. But there are all sorts of guidelines. It's called experts and consultants in unique disciplines, and senior employees. So you, you can ask for a permit, you get a short term permit, you can ask for it to be extended. You know, but there is a very firm limit on how long you can stay here. Now, even for Israel, you know, international aid organizations that are headquartered in Jerusalem, the maximum is five years. I mean, that's why I just discovered this week that that's why you know, you have a rotation in these international organizations, that after five years, the senior staff you know, non Palestinian staff have to leave. But in the West Bank, the maximum is 27 months. So though that same institution, if their headquarters is in Ramallah, you know, they bring in a project manager or project director, they would only be able to stay here for a maximum of 27 weeks.

Madeleine Cereghino 48:58
I'm so mindful of the fact that we're running short on time, so I apologize if I'm about to open up another wormhole element of this but um, you know, in the reading and the reporting of these regulations and kind of what's being asked what has been asked for these FISA applications include like, people listing out all associations and family members and potential property that could inherit and like you know, there have been reports of people being required to log into their Gmail accounts and things like that. It how common has this been? And is this really what it's gonna look like going forward?

Hadar Susskind 49:38
So the form that foreigners have to fill out is the same form and already for the past few years you have been required to detail if you have any land claims in the West Bank, if you stand to inherit any property. I mean, they're, you know, odd questions for somebody who's asking to come to visit They are questions, you know, the students who are filling out the form to go study in the Ariel settlement or Tel Aviv University are obviously not asked these questions. It's not new, but it is a concern. You know, in general, when we are asking for any kind of a permit for Palestinians, let's say a Palestinian from the west bank wants to go to a wedding in Gaza, have family members, the military requires that they submit the name and phone number of all of those family members in Gaza. So and it's clear there is I don't know if fishing expedition is the but But definitely, let's say an information gathering exercise. You know, we know about all sorts of the surveillance technology being used in the West Bank, facial recognition, the fact that soldiers now have a quota, you know, that they're photographing Palestinians and entering them into this database, the blue wolf database, so information gathering is, you know, the, you know, an auxiliary function of these forms, it's not new, but it definitely is very invasive questions that people are being asked.

I'm just shaking my head over and over again, throughout this conversation.

I'm looking over Wait, I've just to give you the examples, I looked for the actual form, you have to fill out, do you have a land or house in the area in the West Bank, please specify, do you own or are claiming inheritance in the area? Please specify? Do you have a criminal record? Of course, that's legitimate. And anybody would ask, you know, any country that you're coming into, you know, those? Those are sorts of, you know, have you ever visited before? Did you stay beyond your last visa? Were you ever denied a visa? So, you know, mixed in with what are legitimate questions to be asking when you're asking for a visa, or things that are completely, you know, invasive, and infuriating?

I know you you mentioned it might have been before we started actually that you that you and your organization have just put out a report on this. So first of all, I want to make sure we get that again, in English. Yes. Is there an English version?

We haven't put out No, we sent our objections, a very detailed letter to the military with our objections. And then we would file a high court petition. I mean, again, they have, you know, unless they come back next week with, you know, a drastic amendment to these procedures, we would file a petition, and then we would, you know, sort of summarize all of the, but on our website, there's just a two page, position paper. That's the report that I refer to just sort of two page overview that I think already put in the chat.

Which is great. So one of the things that, you know, I want to make, make sure that we do going forward, I know we've we've had you join us for congressional briefing that Madeleine has organized in the past, I think this is frankly, a really important opportunity to do. So again, just like you had the chance to present this to the Knesset Members we've been talking to, you know, to a number of members of Congress, who are, you know, are definitely interested and definitely concerned about what this means on the human rights front and what this means for American citizens in particular. And I think, you know, we're gonna reach out for sure to find that opportunity to have you join us and talking to them and hopefully explain explain this to them, so that we can help them raise their voices.

Great. That's great. I mean, I think I would say I would say, you know, there's there I have two agendas in raising this this issue. One, I want to, you know, and this procedure, get this procedure very drastically amended, but I think it's a really useful, teachable moment, you know, to everyone who thinks that occupation is just those, you know, really dramatic events, or that everything that the Israeli military is doing, you know, they're forced to do for security reasons, and it's all very complicated. You know, this is a really good example of this. This micromanagement that occupation is, in fact, this very invasive permit bureaucracy. I mean, as Madeline said at the beginning, it's helpful that they've laid it out for us in black and white to make this case to people who weren't aware of this level of micromanagement before.

Unknown Speaker 54:46
Yeah, thank you.

Hadar Susskind 54:48
I want to welcome to our screen, Jim Klutznick, the chair of Americans for Peace Now. Hi, Jim.

Jim Klutznick 54:53
Thank you, Hadar. And thank you, Jessica, for trying to explain something that's almost inexplicable something. It's coffee. Orwellian. And I just I have a specific question is related to the question of the Visa Waiver Program and reciprocity. It seems to me that on the face of it, it doesn't it won't make any sense. Because if if we allow Israelis to come in under that under on a waiver under those under that program, and then what does that mean for citizens of other countries? First of all, we have our own citizens who happen to be of different Heritages including obviously Palestinian. So how do you how do you structure a risk, a reciprocal agreement, where you have so many exceptions? And then if and if we were to now I'm looking at it from the American government point of view, if we were to allow them under that program, based on reciprocity, what does it say to the rest of the world? How we think about their citizens? Does it just say we're doing it selfishly, so we in Israel can play games together? And that and we allow that to happen? I certainly if that's the case, I don't know. First of all, I asked the question, Jessica. So I just want to see what your thoughts are that?

Hadar Susskind 56:15
Oh, I mean, it's a rhetorical question, because you're quite right, that there can't be, you know, reciprocity is it's not a question of degree, either we deal equally and fairly with all of your citizens, or we don't. So I think you're right. And I think you're right, that there's a second level of, you know, the US can't be only concerned about the treatment of its own citizens, that's crucial that they look out for the interests of their own citizens and the principles of equality and non discrimination. But as you said, of course, US interests and foreign policy interests have to be much broader than that they can't be indifferent to, you know, abuse of other citizens.

Jim Klutznick 56:59
I would think so. I mean, certainly from our standpoint of APNS, if we lobby our government for all kinds of things, this certain, certainly to me would be a prime reason to say to them, don't do this. Will you? What do you want, you want to look like it's just a game between you and Israel and the world, and the rest of the world doesn't count. So anyhow, I, I was trying to form that formulate that questions, and the easier just to come along. And first of all, thank you, everybody who's listening in and make that point. So thank you very much. Thank you.

Hadar Susskind 57:33
And thank you, Jessica, thank you so much for joining us. And again, we're going to continue to be in touch as we work on this and try to help take some of this explanation from today and share that with, you know, our community leaders here with elected officials with folks in the administration. Madeleine thank you as always for helping to facilitate this conversation. And most importantly, thank you to everybody who joined us. We look forward to being in touch soon. And again, we will be sharing the recording. We'll share the PeaceCast episode and we will talk to you all soon. Goodbye. Thank you very much.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

A.B. Yehoshua - A Leader of Israel's Peace Movement

Avraham Gavriel Yehoshua, better known by his pen name A.B. Yehoshua, and among his friends by his nickname Buli, died Tuesday at age 85 after a long fight with cancer.

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