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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- 6/9/22: FMEP’s Lara Friedman participated in a webinar convened by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Jerusalem: US Foreign Policy and its Impact — alongside Khaled Elgindy(Middle East Institute) and Dr. Osama Abuirshaid (American Muslims for Palestine), moderated by AMP’s Tarek Khalil.
- 6/3/22: A new edition of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts Podcast — “How AIPAC Punishes Candidates Who Support Palestinian Rights,” ft. FMEP fellow Peter Beinart in conversation with Waleed Shahid (spokesperson & communications director of Justice Democrats).
- 6/1/22: FMEP’s Lara Friedman participated on a panel convened by the Baker Institute (Rice
University), Israelis, Palestinians, & the Slide to a Post-2-State Reality” —
alongside Samih Al-Abid (Baker Institute), Omar Rahman (Middle East
Council on Global Affairs) & Gilead Sher(Baker Institute), and moderated by
Robert Barron (USIP)
(LEVERAGING ABRAHAM ACCORDS TO PROMOTE REGIONAL ANTI-IRAN “DEFENSE ARCHITECTURE”) HR 7987 (pdf) & S. 4366 (pdf): Introduced in the House 6/8/22 by McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and 5 bipartisan cosponsors, and in the Senate 6/9/22 by Ernst (R-IA) and 3 bipartisan cosponsors [in both chambers, original sponsors are leaders/members of the House and Senate Abraham Accords Caucuses], the “Deterring Enemy Forces and Enabling National Defenses Act of 2022,” aka the “DEFEND Act of 2022,“ aka, ”To require the Secretary of Defense to seek cooperation with allies and partners in the Middle East to identify an architecture and develop an acquisition approach for certain countries in the Middle East to implement an integrated air and missile defense capability to protect the people, infrastructure, and territory of such countries from cruise and ballistic missiles, manned and unmanned aerial systems, and rocket attacks from Iran, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs & Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Also see:
- Press releases: McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Ernst (R-IA), Wagner (R-MO), Lankford (R-OK), Trone (D-MD)
- Video of Sen. Ernst (R-IA) press conference announcing the bill [including speeches from Ernst (R-IA), Rosen (D-NV), Schneider (D-IL), Trone (D-MD), Wagner (R-MO), Panetta (D-CA)] NOTE: Panetta stated explicitly the intent to include this legislation in the 2023 NDAA; Ernst also mentioned intent to try to move the bill via the NDAA or other vehicles.
- JINSA email celebrating introduction of the legislation, recalling JINSA’s January 2022 report(in which JINSA recommended that Congress introduce/pass legislation that aligns almost 100% with these new bills).
- Tweets: Bacon (R-NE-2), Bacon (R-NE-2),Bacon (R-NE-2), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Rosen (D-NV), Wagner (R-MO-2), Wagner (R-MO-2), Ernst (R-IA), Bacon (R-NE-2), Bacon (R-NE-2), Craig (D-MN-2), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Rodgers (R-WA-5), Trone (D-MD-6), Ernst (R-IA), Lankford (R-OK) Lankford on GETTR (R-OK), Rosen (D-NV), Schneider (D-IL-10)
- Media: U.S. Proposes Helping Israel, Arab States Harden Air Defenses Against Iran (Wall Street Journal 6/9/22); U.S. Lawmakers Aim to Help Integrate Israel, Arab States’ Air Defenses Against Iran (Haaretz 6/9/22); Abraham Accords Caucus urges integrated Middle East air-defense program (Jewish Insider 6/10/22)
- Per McMorris Rodgers’ press release, backers of the bill: AIPAC, AJC, AJCongress, CUFI Action Fund, FDD Action, Hadassah. JFNA, JINSA, “Senior Middle East scholars at the Atlantic Council”
(SHUT DOWN USAID – BUT WITH NOD TO ISRAEL) Rand Paul amdt to HR 3967 (text): This week the Senate took up HR 3967, the “Honoring our PACT Act of 2021.” 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.” Notably, Sen. Paul (R-KY) offered an amendment [not taken up by the Senate] 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.” 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 in effect, Paul’s amendment includes support for non-existent Israel aid as cover for an effort to shut down USAID worldwide.
(DISAPPROVING OF WEAPONS SALES TO EGYPT) S. J. Res. 50, S. J. Res. 51, & S. J. Res. 52: Introduced 6/6/22 (the first two) and 6/7/22 (the third) by Paul (R-KY) and no cosponsors, both entitled, “A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of the proposed foreign military sale to the Government of Egypt of certain defense articles and services.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
(META & IRAN DISSIDENTS) Banks et al letter to Zuckerberg: On 6/7/22 the Washington Free Beacon reported on an un-dated letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding “reports of content censorship and account closures of Iranian pro-democracy and anti-authoritarian activists on Meta’s social media platforms, such as Instagram1 amid popular protests in Iran triggered by the clerical regime’s economic mismanagement, while the regime is repressing these protests.” The letter, signed by Banks (R-IN), Tenney (R-NY), and Wilson (R-SC) requests that Meta Platforms respond by June 10th to a list of questions “pertaining to the allegations of systematic censorship and discrimination against anti-Islamic Republic activists.” Also see:
- Tweets: Banks (R-IN-3), Wilson (R-SC-2)
- Rights Groups Call on Meta to Fix Persian Content Moderation for Instagram (Center for Human Rights in Iran 6/9/22)
(RE-CALIBRATE US-SAUDI RELATIONSHIP) Schiff et al letter to Biden: On 6/7/22 — in light of reports that Biden will visit Saudi Arabia — Rep. Schiff (D-CA) – chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence- led a letter to President Biden, co-signed by 5 other committee chairs [Thompson (D-MS), Homeland Security Committee chair; Meeks (D-NY), Foreign Affairs Committee chair; Maloney (D-NY), Committee on Oversight and Reform chair; Smith (D-WA), Armed Services Committee chair;, and Lynch (D-MA), National Security Subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform chair]. As summarized in Schiff’s press release, the letter urges Biden to “further recalibrate the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia” and to “forcefully advocate for a more balanced bilateral relationship that benefits everyday Americans and reaffirms long-standing American values.” Specifically, the letter urges Biden to prioritize: “Securing further Saudi commitments to stabilize global energy markets and definitively abandon its Trump-era oil production deal with Russia…Continuing the suspension of offensive U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen while pressing for the initiation of multi-party peace talks…Ending the Kingdom’s arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, as well as other human rights abuses…Reiterating the U.S. demand for accountability, in line with established international legal standards, for the murder of journalist and American legal resident Jamal Khashoggi…Holding firm to the longstanding U.S. policy of requiring robust safeguards for any civil nuclear cooperation…Underscoring the risks of greater strategic cooperation with China.” Also see:
- Democratic Lawmakers Urge Biden to Ensure Saudi Ties Serve U.S. (New York Times 6/7/22)
- Tweets & press releases – Meeks (D-NY-5), Thompson (D-MS), Meeks (D-NY), Smith (D-WA), Maloney (D-NY),
(INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO KILLING OF SHIREEN ABU AKLEH) Ossoff-Romney letter to Blinken: On 6/6/22, Sens. Ossoff (D-GA) and Romney (R-UT) sent a letter to SecState Blinken about the killing of American-Palestinian journalists Shireen Abu Akleh. The senators urge the State Department to “ensure there is a full and transparent investigation and accountability for Ms. Akleh’s death” and asserts that “The killing of a U.S. citizen and of a journalist engaged in the work of reporting in a conflict zone is unacceptable. All over the world, journalists pursue truth and accountability at great personal risk. Press freedom is a core American value, and we cannot accept impunity when journalists are killed in the line of duty.” The letter concludes even more forcefully, stating: “We insist that the Administration ensure a full and transparent investigation is completed and that justice is served for Ms. Akleh’s death. Please provide a detailed update on the progress of this effort within 30 days.” Also see:
- press release.
- Ossoff (D-GA) 06/06/2022: Tweet – “NEW: Sen. @Ossoff and @SenatorRomney demand accountability for the killing of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank last month.”
- Media: Top Republican, Democrat Senators Call to Probe Shireen Abu Akleh’s Killing(Haaretz); Senators call for investigation into killing of U.S. journalist in West Bank(Washington Post); US Republican senator calls for probe into Abu Akleh’s killing (Al Jazeera)
(CONCERNS RE ISRAEL & VISA WAIVER PROGRAM) On 6/6/22, Jewish Insider published a Dear Colleague letter being circulated in the House by Rep. Tlaib (D-MI). That Dear Colleague is seeking co-signers on a letter to the Biden Administration expressing “deep concern regarding continuing reports of discriminatory treatment of American passport holders by the Government of Israel.” The letter goes on to observe (accurately): “The current government of Israel’s discriminatory policies place the country well outside the requirements incumbent on all countries to join the Visa Waiver Program, which include, among other things, having ‘reciprocal privileges to citizens and nationals of the United States.’” It also observes (also accurately): “unless the Israeli government ends all ethnically, racially, religiously, and politically based discrimination against American citizens at its borders, it is ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program, regardless of any purported ‘justification.’ Israel’s inclusion in the program would represent an endorsement of travel discrimination against American citizens by the federal government.” The letter goes on to ask the State Department to answer a series of questions related to the U.S. government’s consideration of Israel’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program. Also see:
- Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, McCollum target Israeli eligibility for Visa Waiver Program (Jewish Insider 6/3/22); Progressive Lawmakers Ask Biden to Keep Israel Off Visa Waiver Program(Haaretz 6/9/22); Rashida Tlaib fights Israel visa waiver inclusion (i24 News 6/7/22); US lawmaker launches petition to reject Israel’s bid to join Visa Waiver Programme (Middle East Monitor)
- Message to activists in support for the letter, from Americans for Justice in Palestine Action
- Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 06/03/2022: Twitter thread – “Extremists on the far left continue to attack our key democratic ally Israel at every angle — even on the noncontroversial Visa Waiver Program, which will support tourism & our economy, boost joint security efforts in our fight against terror, & already includes 40 of our allies. Link to image Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East and plays a critical role in our global fight against terror, including against Hamas, Hezbollah, and ISIS.”
(MORE US ENGAGEMENT ON ISR-PAL TO SAVE 2SS) Price et al letter to Blinken: On 6/3/22, Reps. Price (D-NC), Lee (D-CA), Wexton (D-VA), and Castro (D-TX) sent a letter, signed by 80 Members of Congress, to SecState Blinken, expressing “concern and urgency regarding ongoing developments that serve as flashpoints for escalating violence in the region and push a two-state solution further out of reach.” The letter requests “an update on the concrete steps the Biden administration is taking to deter harmful actions,” specifically citing settler violence, settlement expansion, demolitions (of Palestinian homes, businesses, and infrastructure), Israeli government spending on settlements, and Palestinian prisoner payments. The letter closes: “Like you, we strongly believe that two-state diplomacy remains critical. Dangerous flashpoints related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have a way of rapidly increasing tension and violence in the region without active U.S. leadership. As a result, the United States must harness its substantial influence to exercise leadership and continue its historical role as an honest broker in ending this conflict and serve as a clear, consistent voice for peace and human rights. It is therefore critical that the United States actively work to ensure both parties remain committed to halting counterproductive measures that undermine the viability of two states for two peoples. We look forward to hearing from you on these important issues.” Also see:
- press release
- 80 Democrats Urge Biden to Work Against Steps Imperiling Two-state Solution (Haaretz 6/3/22)
- Price (D-NC-4) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “Proud to have joined with @RepBarbaraLee, @RepWexton, @JoaquinCastrotx, and 77 of our colleagues to call on @StateDept to increase diplomatic engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to avoid further escalating tensions and violence in the region. House Members Call for Increased Diplomatic Engagement on Dangerous Flashpoints of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict… | price.house.gov”; re-tweeted by Lee (D-CA-13)
(ENDORSE ISRAELI FRAMING RE: INVESTIGATION OF DEATH OF AMCIT JOURNALIST) Gottheimer et al letter to Blinken: On 6/3/22, Rep. Gottheimer (D-NJ) led a letter, signed by a total of 25 House members (bipartisan) embracing the Israeli government’s call for a joint Israeli-Palestinian investigation and attacking the Palestinian Authority for its “obstinate position” of refusing to turn over to Israel the bullet that killed Ms. Abu Akleh. The letter calls on Blinken to “ask the Palestinian Authority to provide access to the forensic evidence in Abu Akleh’s death for an independent investigation, so that all parties can reach a definitive conclusion about the events leading to her death, and hold all parties accountable.” Also see:
- Press release
- Tweets: Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 06/05/2022; Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 06/08/2022
- Media: House letter calls for ‘independent investigation’ of Abu Akleh death (Jewish Insider 6/3/22); Group of Democrats and Republicans call on Palestinian Authority to release bullet that killed Palestinian journalist (JTA, 6/3/22)
- NOTE: A version of the letter released initially by Jewish Insider (and titled “FINAL” in the url & signed by Gottheimer) refers to the deceased journalist simply as “Abu Akleh” – no first name given. It also misspelled the first name of SecState Blinken. Both errors are fixed in the version subsequently posted in Gottheimer’s website.
(SANCTION SYRIAN OFFICIALS OVER TADAMON MASSACRE) Kinzinger-Boyle letter to Biden: On 6/1/22 (not previously reported in the Round-Up), Reps, Kinzinger (R-IL) and Boyle (D-PA) — co-chairs of the Friends of a Free, Stable and Democratic Syria Caucus, sent a letter to President Biden urging targeted sanctions against key Syrian officials in light of a recently-released video documenting Bashar al-Assad’s military murdering innocent Syrian civilians. Also see:
- Press release
- Kinzinger (R-IL-16) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “This horrific massacre is disturbingly one of countless atrocities committed by the Assad regime. We must shed light on this & hold these war criminals accountable. My letter w/ @RepBrendanBoyle calls on @POTUS to target sanctions on those responsible: Kinzinger, Boyle Call on WH to Sanction Key Syrian Officials… | bit.ly. Link to quoted tweet”; retweeted by Boyle (D-PA-2)
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.” No witnesses have been announced as of 6/10/22.
June 22, 2022: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a mark-up of the FY23 Defense Authorization bill (following subcommittee markups June 8-9, 2022).
June 16, 2022: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold 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); Michael Ratney (to be US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia); and Timmy Davis (to be US Ambassador to Qatar).
June 15, 2022: The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Current Status of ISIS and al Qaeda.” Witnesses will be: Samantha Vinograd, US Department of Homeland Security; Karen Dowling, Directorate of Intelligence, National Counterterrorism Center; and Timothy Langan, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
June 15, 2022: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a CLOSED/Classified (TS/SCI) briefing, Update on Iran’s Nuclear Program and U.S. Strategy. Scheduled briefers will be: 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).
June 9, 2022: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a Business Meeting at which it considered — and approved, as amended by an amendment offered by Cruz — Rep. McCaul’s (R-TX) HR 6089, aka, the “Stop Iranian Drones Act.” The committee did not approve an amendment offered by Johnson (R-WI) that sought to add language regarding any future Iran nuclear agreement (to require Senate approval of any such agreement and to add a new, wholesale limitation with respect to sanctions relief). Also see: Risch (R-ID) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Since Biden started negotiations to rejoin the #JCPOA, #Iran has sponsored drone attacks against U.S. troops & diplomats, + our regional partners. This legislation will impose serious costs on the Iranian drone program and its supporters.”
June 8, 2022: **RESCHEDULED** The House Appropriations Committee’s SFOPS subcommittee will hold a hearing, “Fiscal year 2023 Budget Request for the United Nations (UN).” The sole witness will be US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. [Note: any discussion in Congress of the UN can be counted on to be an occasion for extensive grandstanding in support of Israel and attacks on the Palestinians].
June 8, 2022: **POSTPONED** The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations and Global Corporate Social Impact will hold a hearing, “The FY23 Budget Request: United Nations and International Organizations.” The sole scheduled witness (so far) is Michele J. Sison, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs [Note: any discussion in Congress of the UN can be counted on to be an occasion for extensive grandstanding in support of Israel and attacks on the Palestinians].
June 8, 2022: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a two-panel hearing entitled, “The Path Forward On U.S.-Syria Policy: Strategy And Accountability.” Witnesses on panel 1 were newly confirmed Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf (statement) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Dana Stroul (statement). Panel 2 witnesses were Dr. Milena Sterio, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (statement), and witness who is given the name, “The Gravedigger”, described as “Witness to Mass Graves in Syria” (statement).
- Hearing video
- Menendez’s (D-NJ) opening remarks
- Risch (R-ID) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “#Assad, with support of #Russia & #Iran, continues to carry out brutal chemical weapons attacks, target hospitals & schools, use starvation as a weapon of war, & force the disappearance of thousands. It’s past time the admin hold Assad accountable.Ranking Member Risch Opening Statement at Hearing on U.S.-Syria Policy | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations”
Media – General
Washington Free Beacon 6/9/22: Republicans Want To Slash Aid to Iraq, Lebanon, and the United Nations
The Dispatch (Danielle Pletka) 6/9/22: Bad News for Biden: Congress Cooling on Idea of an Iran Deal
Responsible Statecraft 6/1/22: Congress begins effort to end US role in Yemen war
Media & Members – Elections
The Jewish Chronicle (UK) 6/8/22: Saint Bernie: the Democrats’ moral compass? [hit piece attacking Sen. Sanders, I-VT]
Al Jazeera 6/7/22: US elections: How pro-Israel spending affects Palestine advocacy
Arab American Institute 6/5/22: The Progressive/Moderate Battle in the Democratic Party
The Forward 6/3/22: Why are AIPAC and J Street endorsing the same candidates?
Washington Examiner 6/2/22: Democrats go to war against Israel
FrontPage Magazine 6/2/22: The Last Jewish Congressman in New York
Michigan – Levin
The American Prospect 6/9/22: Will AIPAC Crush One of Congress’s Most Prominent Jewish Democrats? [“Former union organizer and synagogue president Andy Levin is being challenged by AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups, largely over his progressive views.”]
AIPAC 06/07/2022: Tweet – “55 years ago today, Israel reunited Jerusalem and opened the city to people of all faiths. Now, @Andy_Levin is leading an effort to divide Jerusalem once again and cut the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall from Israel. That’s not pro-Israel.”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/07/2022: Retweet of @dylanotes – “AIPAC uses disinformation techniques to spread lies about candidates. It funds 109 lawmakers who sided with insurrectionists to overturn our election. It endorses advocates of the deadly antisemitic “great replacement” conspiracy theory. AIPAC’s actions threaten our democracy. Link to quoted tweet”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/07/2022: Retweet of @harryreis – “This is astounding. Just straight misinformation. But the real question is how Democrats who accept @AIPAC endorsements or PAC money are okay with this. Link to quoted tweet”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/07/2022: Retweet of @N8W0LF – “@AIPAC @Andy_Levin Ever wonder how AIPAC gets 160 RTs in 5 minutes on certain tweets that attack progressives, but NOT on their usual tweets? It’s astroturfing. 100% astroturfing. And it’s because they know the actual majority of American Jews don’t agree with their far-right positions. Link to image”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/07/2022: Retweet of @jacobkornbluh – ““What I really think is happening, and won’t work, is a politics of intimidation in the Jewish community to try to tear me down,” Rep. @Andy_Levin told me re; AIPAC’s attacks Jewish congressman calls attacks by AIPAC ‘ridiculous’ | forward.com Link to quoted tweet”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/07/2022: Retweet of @dylanotes – “This is a lie. There is not one way in which this assertion about @Andy_Levin is true. AIPAC has fully embraced Donald Trump’s “facts don’t matter” approach just like the 100+ insurrectionist-aligned lawmakers it funds and endorses. It’s utterly shameful what AIPAC’s become. Link to quoted tweet”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/03/2022: Twitter thread – “I’m overwhelmed by the encouraging messages since this clip was shared. Y’all, @AIPAC has already started running digital ads against me. I need you to chip in so we can send a message that they won’t silence our moral movement…”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/03/2022: Retweet of @dylanotes – “Andy Levin does far more for Israel’s democracy and security than most lawmakers. AIPAC undermines America’s democracy and security by funding 100+ lawmakers who sided with violent insurrectionists and endorsing advocates of the deadly antisemitic “great replacement” conspiracy. Link to quoted tweet”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/03/2022: Retweet of @DrShushan – “¡POP QUIZ! On the L: Former synagogue prez, union organizer, progressive champ @Andy_Levin On the R: Insurrectionist Repub Greg Steub who flashes guns in a committee hearing & believes “there is no place for abortion in a civilized society” Which one is endorsed by @AIPAC? Link to image”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/02/2022: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “This election, there’s a clear moral test: The choice between supporting insurrectionists and fighting for our democracy. It’s remarkably sad that some organizations have failed that test. Link to image”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/02/2022: Retweet of @Bsamuels0 – “A must-listen @AllisonKSommer interview with @RepAndyLevin on this week’s @haaretzcom podcast on his contentious Michigan primary battle, @AIPAC’s role in funding attacks against progressive candidates and who gets to define being “pro-Israel” LISTEN: AIPAC Wants to Defeat this Jewish Democrat. He’s fighting back”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/02/2022: Retweet of @DrShushan – “Rep. @Andy_Levin: “My Jewish identity is central to everything I do.” “I’m a happy warrior for justice & I do it in the most Jewish way.” “To use the kind of language that they’re using against me just because I won’t tow AIPAC’s exact line is wrong.” LISTEN: AIPAC Wants to Defeat this Jewish Democrat. He’s fighting back”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/02/2022: Retweet of @BoldProgressive – “Corporate dark money groups like AIPAC are going all out to try to defeat Andy Levin. But we can’t let them. Andy has put everything on the line to champion the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, & the PRO Act. Help reelect the Shop Steward of Congress!”
Michigan – Tlaib
Arab American News 6/5/22: Pro-Israel, pro-corporate outside funds thrown at campaign opposing Talib in 12th District primary
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “#Endorsement Alert Harley Lippman, the 2022 Grand Marshal of the Israel Day Parade, has endorsed me for re-election to represent #NY12 I represent a vibrant Jewish community & am proud of the work Harley & I have done to combat anti-Semitism. Link to image”
Nadler (D-NY-10) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “Honored to receive @USJewishDems endorsement. As the Dean of the Jewish House Members, I’m proud of our work together fighting anti-semitism and domestic terrorism, standing up for Israel and a two-state solution, and promoting the Jewish values of equality and justice. #NY12 Link to quoted tweet”
Jewish Insider 6/9/22: Las Vegas congressional candidate endorsed BDS movement in DSA questionnaire
Newman (D-IL-3) 06/07/2022: Retweet of @halalflow – “Marie Newman who didn’t go against the party in anyway — even voted for the bipartisan Infrastructure bill — gets 100s of 1000s spent against her by DMFI, because she was mildly critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians: Link to quoted tweet”
Newman (D-IL-3) 06/02/2022: Retweet of @BoldProgressive – “In #IL06, corporate-funded PACs like DMFI are doubling down on their efforts to take out progressive women. Bold progressive champion @Marie4Congress says: “I’m just not having it.” Neither are we — chip in to keep Marie Newman in Congress! A loss for any of these progressives could cost Democrats control of Congress…. | pccc.me”
The Intercept 6/2/22: With New Ad Buy, DMFI Turns Its Sights on Another Progressive Candidate: Rep. Marie Newman [Re-tweeted by Newman (D-IL-3), Newman (D-IL-3)]
Jewish Insider 6/7/22: Which Republican will take on top GOP target Josh Gottheimer?
AIPAC 6/8/22: Tweet – “Yet another AIPAC-backed pro-Israel progressive wins their election against an anti-Israel candidate! Congratulations to @RobertGarcia on your win! Support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is both good policy and good politics.”
United Democracy Project (AIPAC PAC) 6/8/22: tweet – “United Democracy Project congratulates pro-Israel progressive Democratic candidate Robert Garcia (CA-42)…. Mayor Garcia’s win makes it clear, yet again, that support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is both good policy and good politics in primary elections.” [saying the traditionally quiet part loud and proud here]
Jewish Insider 6/7/22: Quaye Quartey outlines approach to Israel in position paper ahead of California primary
Jewish Insider 6/7/22: Meet the four candidates vying to represent one of L.A.’s Jewish hubs
Jewish Insider 6/6/22: In Orange County, a controversial challenger threatens to boot Young Kim off the ballot
Jewish Insider 6/3/22: In South L.A. race, same last name but different political styles — and approaches on Israel
Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “ENDORSEMENT ALERT The @RJC has endorsed my campaign for re-election! From my time in the Air Force helping stand up missile defense in Israel to my time in Congress championing the security and prosperity of the Jewish community, I’m honored by this endorsement. Link to image”
Members on the Record
Slamming Biden Admin for Enhancing Status of Palestinian Section at US Embassy
Scott (R-FL) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “Just like they do with Iran, this is the Biden admin appeasing those who harbor & sponsor terrorism & turning its back on our great ally, Israel. We must pass the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 to block the admin’s efforts to subvert the law. Link to quoted tweet”
Hagerty (R-TN) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Last year, I forced the Biden Admin to admit that the US can’t open an official US consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem without the consent of the Gov. of Israel, but the Admin now appears to be trying to create an unofficial US consulate. I unequivocally oppose this plan. Link to image”
Zeldin (R-NY) 6/10/22: press release – Rep. Zeldin Statement on Biden Admin’s New Office of Palestinian Affairs in Jerusalem
Hagerty (R-TN) 6/9/22: press release – Hagerty Statement on the Biden Administration’s Plan to Circumvent U.S. Law and Create an Unofficial U.S. Consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem
Tlaib (D-MI-13) 06/08/2022: Retweet of @RepRashida – “Social media has been one of the only places for us to get first-hand accounts from Palestinians about the occupation & violence they face. That’s why I’m writing to urge @Facebook, @instagram, @Twitter & @tiktok_us to cease censorship and ensure Palestinian voices are heard. Link to image”
Tenney (R-NY) + JINSA’s Michael Makovsky 6/8/22: Newsweek op-ed — The Biden Administration Must Crack Down on Hamas’ Disinformation Campaign
Lesko (R-AZ-8) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “I signed on to @RepBrianMast and @RepLeeZeldin’s bill to require the State Department to report on whether schools in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority or Gaza are teaching material that incites hatred against Israel.”
Bush (D-MO-1) 06/02/2022: Retweet of @RepPressley – “Housing is a human right. The destruction of these homes and displacement of these families would be devastating. We’re calling on Secretary Blinken to engage immediately. #MasaferYatta Progressive Lawmakers Demand Stop to Israeli “War Crime” in Masafer… | jewishcurrents.org”
Attacking BDS & “Mapping” project
Jewish Insider 6/9/22: Boston BDS map of Jewish groups has ‘potential to incite violence,’ Auchincloss says — with comments from Auchincloss (D-MA),
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “BDS is anti-Semitic through and through, and I will ALWAYS condemn those who condone and take part in it. I stand with Ritchie in speaking out against this disgusting and hateful act. Link to quoted tweet”
Nadler (D-NY-10) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Not only is BDS counterproductive and destructive to Middle East peace, this is an extremely dangerous use of antisemitic tropes that could lead to violence. This group should apologize and take down this reprehensible, grossly antisemitic “project” immediately. Link to quoted tweet”
Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 06/09/2022: Retweet of @BurtonJM – “Strong, and greatly appreciated, message from @RepAuchincloss re Boston BDS map of Jewish groups, saying it has ‘potential to incite violence.’ #mapoli (@J_Insider) Boston BDS map of Jewish groups has ‘potential to incite violence,’ Auchincloss says | jewishinsider.com”
Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Boston BDS & the Mapping Project are tapping into millennia-old antisemitic tropes. To name names & keep lists, which has a sinister resonance to the targeting of Jews throughout history, is irresponsible. They need to take down the map & apologize Boston BDS map of Jewish groups has ‘potential to incite violence,’ Auchincloss says… | jewishinsider.com”
Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 06/09/2022: Retweet of @J_Insider – “.@RepAuchincloss denounced the chart, created and circulated by a Boston pro-BDS group, that alleged Jewish groups were connected to a network of government, media and police Boston BDS map of Jewish groups has ‘potential to incite violence,’ Auchincloss says | jewishinsider.com”
Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 06/09/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Thank you @RepAuchincloss for your moral leadership and outspoken opposition to the discriminatory anti-Israel, anti-peace BDS campaign. Link to quoted tweet”
Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 06/09/2022: Retweet of @DemMaj4Israel – “Thank you, @RepAuchincloss, for speaking out and condemning this blatant and dangerous antisemitism from Boston BDS and the Mapping Project. Link to quoted tweet”
Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 06/09/2022: Retweet of @RWPUSA – “On January 6 we learned how fragile democracy can be. Rep. @JakeAuch exposes another extremist group for inciting hate and potential violence. Frightening. Boston BDS map of Jewish groups has ‘potential to incite violence,’ Auchincloss says Boston BDS map of Jewish groups has ‘potential to incite violence,’ Auchincloss says… | jewishinsider.com”
Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 06/09/2022: Retweet of @J_Insider – “Read today’s #DailyKickoff: Auchincloss blasts Boston BDS map Full briefing Daily Kickoff: Auchincloss blasts Boston BDS map… | jewishinsider.com”
Moulton (D-MA-6) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “Targeting the Jewish community like this is wrong and it is dangerous. It is irresponsible. This project is an anti-Semitic enemies list with a map attached.Link to quoted tweet”
Torres (D-NY-15) 06/08/2022: Twitter thread – “The BDS movement put together “a mapping project” that accuses Jewish and “Zionist” institutions of various evils in American society. Scapegoating is a common symptom of Antisemitism, which at its core is a conspiracy theory.BDS map ties police, media to Boston Jewish, ‘Zionist’ institutions… | jpost.com BDS map ties police, media to Boston Jewish, ‘Zionist’ institutions… | jpost.com If you think “Zionists” are to blame for the ills of American society, you are as much of a conspiratorial crackpot as Marjorie Taylor Greene, with her sick fantasies about Jewish space lasers.”
Targeting UN Commission of Inquiry
Frankel (D-FL-21) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “I spoke with @USAmbUN about the need for U.S. engagement to combat anti-Israel bias & antisemitism within the @UN_HRC & @UNRWA, & expressed my continued support for UN organizations focused on empowering women & girls, such as the @UNFPA & @UN_Women. Watch our discussion: Link to video”
Letlow (R-LA-5) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “At today’s @HouseAppropsGOP subcommittee hearing, we questioned @USAmbUN about what the United States is doing to push back against the UN Human Rights Council’s unfair targeting of Israel. Link to video”
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “The Commission of Inquiry’s report to @UN_HRC continues to demonstrate a clear and undeserved bias against Israel. This report will do nothing to advance prospects for a two-state solution. UN probe blames Israel for perpetuating conflict with Palestinians… | timesofisrael.com”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 06/08/2022: Twitter thread – “LR @RepMcCaul: “It is no surprise that this one-sided commission produced a one-sided report to promote the longstanding anti-Israel bias of the UN Human Rights Council, which continues to whitewash real crises like the CCP’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs. “This open-ended commission is a dangerous example of how UN agencies and international organizations can be unfairly weaponized against democracies. The United States must reject these distortions and stand with our ally Israel.”UN probe blames Israel for perpetuating conflict with Palestinians… | tinyurl.com”
Rice (D-NY-4) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “Glad to see @StateDept calling out the UNHRC’s Commission of Inquiry’s report on Israel for what it is: a biased one-sided report that does nothing to promote peace. This obsession with demonizing Israel must stop. Link to quoted tweet”
Rogers (R-AL-3) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Another example of why Congress must pass my legislation to withdraw the United States from the United Nations. The UN is completely worthless and their anti-Israel bias is disgusting. UN continues to show bias against Israel – editorial”
Manning (D-NC-6) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “The UN Commission of Inquiry issued the first report in its open-ended probe targeting and aimed at discrediting Israel. I remain committed to pushing back against this biased investigation and UNHRC’s clear pattern of singling out and undermining Israel. Press Releases… | bit.ly”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “The first report from the UNHRC’s Commission of Inquiry confirmed that the process would be biased from the get-go. I appreciate the Biden Administration’s continued efforts to strongly push back on those at the UN who continue to advance their scurrilous obsession with Israel. Link to quoted tweet”
Portman (R-OH) 06/07/2022: Twitter thread – “This report by the @UN_HRC ‘s Commission of Inquiry is simply yet another baseless attack by the UN against the legitimacy of our ally Israel. The report reinforces previous biased UN reports on the conflict, whitewashes Palestinian terrorism, and places blame for the current conflict on Israelis. The facts are that Israel is a prosperous and democratic country which respects the rights of all people. It is the terrorists in Gaza and the unproductive leaders of the West Bank that are the greatest impediments to peace, not Israel.”
Risch (R-ID) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “The @UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry on #Israel released a biased report today. I do not support this Commission of Inquiry or its findings. The @UN needs to stop picking on Israel & focus on worse human rights abusers such as #Putin & #Xi.”
Schneider (D-IL-10) 06/08/2022: Retweet of @StateDeptSpox – “The U.S. seeks a negotiated two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The @HRC’s open-ended, biased, and vaguely defined Commission of Inquiry on the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza does not advance prospects for that peace. The UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on the Situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza – United States Department of State”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 06/08/2022: Retweet of @jinsadc – “On this week’s UN report raising “serious concerns regarding the compliance of Israel with…international humanitarian law,” @RepTenney and JINSA CEO @MichaelMakovsky write: “there is neither truth nor legal basis for such claims.” Via @Newsweek The Biden administration must crack down on Hamas’ disinformation campaign | Opinion”
Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “The clearly biased @UN_HRC’s Commission of Inquiry report continues a longstanding pattern of singling out and undermining Israel at the HRC. The existence of the prejudiced Inquiry Commission does nothing but undermine the prospects for peace. UN probe blames Israel for perpetuating conflict with Palestinians… | timesofisrael.com”
Kelly (D-AZ) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “I’m advocating that we fully fund U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs, including Iron Dome, in this year’s defense appropriations. A bipartisan group of us in the Senate are working to ensure support for Israel’s self defense and joint R&D to counter shared threats.”
Green (R-TN-7) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Tehran is a state sponsor of terrorism, has killed U.S. soldiers, and threatens Israel’s existence. Disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal negotiations must stop immediately. Iran Turns Off U.N. Surveillance Cameras at Nuclear Site – The New York Times”
Chabot (R-OH-1) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “As co-chair of the Israel Allies Caucus, I had the opportunity to speak at the @IsraelAllies Foundation Jerusalem Day event. It is important that we fight for an indivisible Jerusalem and help combat antisemitism. Thank you for having me! Link to image”
Israeli Ambassador to US 6/8/22: Tweet – “It was a pleasure to meet with @RepGregoryMeekstoday. We discussed some of the most pressing issues facing our two nations and ways to broaden bilateral and regional cooperation. Thank you for your strong support of Israel and continued friendship.”
Perry (R-PA-10) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “So any comment from @POTUS or @SpeakerPelosi on #Iran’s latest military threat against #Israel, or too busy prepping political theater and character assassinations?”
Long (R-MO-7) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “#Ukraine urges #Israel to buy #IronDome | The Daily StarUkraine urges Israel to buy Iron Dome… | thedailystar.net”
Khanna (D-CA) 06/07/2022: Statement in the Record – Honoring The Service Of Israel’s Consul General To The Pacific Northwest Shlomi Kofman
Weber (R-TX-14) 06/05/2022: In reply to Tweet – “@IDF Eternal vigilance is what’s in order. (Thank GOD for our IDF!) And a willingness to negotiate is in order to live in peace. Are the terrorists listening, or do they only understand power & strength? Keep up y’all’s superb protection IDF! GOD be with y’all!”
Long (R-MO-7) 06/03/2022: Retweet of @BreitbartNews – “The Israeli Air Force simulated an attack on Iranian nuclear targets with dozens of fighter jets over the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday night, the Israeli military said. Israeli Air Force Simulates Attack on Iran Nuclear Targets | trib.al”
Cornyn (R-TX) 06/04/2022: Tweet – “Israel Builds a Laser Weapon to Zap Threats Out of the SkyIsrael Builds a Laser Weapon to Zap Threats Out of the Sky – The New York Times”
Cornyn (R-TX) 06/04/2022: Retweet of @naftalibennett – “Israel has successfully tested the new “Iron Beam” laser interception system. This is the world’s first energy-based weapons system that uses a laser to shoot down incoming UAVs, rockets & mortars at a cost of $3.50 per shot. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s real. Link to video”
Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) 06/03/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Join us Sunday on the AIPAC app for a conversation with @MarioDB and learn about his support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. Click here to register and watch: Join me on the AIPAC App… | app.aipac.org @MarioDBCamp Link to video”
Wilson (R-SC-2) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “Happy to see the inaugural meeting of the US Israel Operations Technology Working Group taking place. I was grateful to introduce a bipartisan bill this Congress pushing for its full implementation. Link to quoted tweet”
Smith (R-NE) 06/03/2022: press release/essay – Standing with Israel
Risch (R-ID) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “Until the regime, and it’s #Russian and #Iranian backers, are held to account for their crimes in #Syria, this will never be over. We must condemn any effort to normalize Bashar al-Assad. Assad is not normal, he’s a brutal & murderous dictator. Ranking Member Risch Questions Witnesses on Panel One at Hearing on U.S.-Syria Policy… | youtube.com”
Cornyn (R-TX) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “Lebanese spy chief says he will visit Syria over missing U.S. reporter Lebanese spy chief says he will visit Syria over missing U.S. reporter | Reuters@Austin_Tice”
Blackburn (R-TN) 06/10/2022: Tweet – “Reviving the 2015 nuclear deal should be off the table. Iran has shown the world time and time again that they cannot be trusted. Opinion | The Iranian Nuclear Deal Dream Never Dies”
Markey (D-MA) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Iran has just disabled the UN cameras that monitor enrichment levels at nuclear facilities. There is still time to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon and a needless war, but it requires all sides returning to the Iran Nuclear Deal now. Link to quoted tweet”
Meeks (D-NY-5) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: The @IAEAOrg was right to censure #Iran for its continued non-compliance with its nuclear Safeguards Agreement. Iran must become compliant and cease its provocative nuclear behavior. This vote shows the world is losing patience. Iran slams censure by UN watchdog in new cloud over nuclear talks… | news.yahoo.com”
Sullivan (R-AK) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “There is nobody in the Biden administration who more regularly undermines America’s national interests than John Kerry. Our so-called Climate Czar is well known for kowtowing to the Chinese Communist Party, kissing up to Iranian terrorists, all while trying to kill U.S. energy. Link to video”
Wicker (R-MS) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Iran continues to race toward a nuclear weapon, but President Biden still wants to rejoin a flawed deal. Even Democrats in Congress agree – you cannot make a deal with a fundamentally corrupt and dishonest regime.”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 06/09/2022: Twitter thread – “Pleased to see the IAEA Board of Governors adopt a resolution censuring Iran submitted by the US & our European partners which criticizes Iran’s consistent failure to answer the IAEA’s outstanding questions regarding uranium particles found at undeclared Iranian nuclear sites. Iran’s failure to answer the IAEA’s questions is particularly egregious considering Iran agreed to a 3-month plan to resolve this in March. Iran’s refusal to be forthcoming raises further questions about how any nuclear deal w/ Iran could possibly be verifiable & enforceable. This censure resolution is an important step to address Iran’s confrontational behavior towards the IAEA,counter Iran’s increasingly escalatory nuclear behavior, and strengthen the int’l nuclear non-proliferation movement which must ensure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.” Retweeted by Meeks (D-NY-5).
Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) 06/08/2022: Twitter thread – “During the #SummitAmericas, the Biden Admin should: 1. Include civil society, independent journalists, human rights activists, former political prisoners, & independent labor activists, particularly from totalitarian countries where these brave heroes are the true leaders. 2. Refuse all attempts to legitimize illegitimate, unelected dictatorships that perpetrate egregious human rights abuses and threaten U.S. national security interests. 3. Emphasize the malign influence posed by #CCPChina, #Russia, #Cuba, #Iran, #Nicaragua, and the #Maduro regime in our hemisphere. 4. Coordinate strategies for nearshoring and bringing critical manufacturing to the Americas so that we are not held hostage by dangerous adversaries for energy, medicines, tech, and other basic necessities. 5. Galvanize other countries in the Americas to support us in strengthening democracy, liberty, and human rights and opposing tyranny.”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 06/09/2022: Twitter thread – “LR @RepMcCaul: “I am glad the IAEA censured Iran for its obstructionism. It is telling that Russia and the PRC opposed the censure – they cannot be trusted to negotiate a nuclear deal. The Iranian regime responded by further limiting the IAEA’s visibility of its nuclear work. “The regime is obviously violating international norms to further its malign activities. We need to focus on overwhelming economic pressure to compel them to stop.“”
Menendez (D-NJ) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “ICYMI: #SFRC Chairman Menendez statement on yesterday’s @iaeaorg vote to censure Iran for its glaring lack of cooperation & transparency regarding its undeclared nuclear materials: Link to image”
Risch (R-ID) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “Iran’s censure at the @iaeaorg Board of Governors meeting today is a long-overdue step. #Iran responded to this censure with the removal of IAEA monitoring equipment – making it clear yet again that the regime is acting in bad faith. Link to quoted tweet”
Hagerty (R-TN) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “It’s long past due for the @iaeaorg’s 35-nation Board of Governors to censure the Iranian regime for noncompliance & refer the case to the U.N. Security Council. Moreover, the Biden Admin should revive maximum pressure, not the flawed Iran nuclear deal. UN nuclear watchdog urges Iran to comply with monitoring… | washingtonpost.com”
Hoeven (R-ND) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “Cosponsoring this legislation to ensure we hold Iran and China accountable for their destabilizing and terrorist activities and human rights abuses & to prevent the Biden administration from using taxpayer dollars to advance a nuclear agreement with Iran. Link to quoted tweet”
Keller (R-PA-12) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “Instead of the Biden administration calling on Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other nations that don’t have our best interests in mind to produce more energy, we must instead put faith back in our domestic energy producers to meet our energy needs.” Keller: Biden administration should support domestic drilling… | standard-journal.com”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “The Iran deal was working until the former president unilaterally withdrew from it. Now is the time for the P5+1 to redouble their efforts and reach an agreement so that Iran cannot produce more fissile material. #DiplomacyWorks”
Stewart (R-UT-2) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “President Biden’s State Department is publicly worried about secret nuclear activity in Iran, but he keeps negotiating with them anyway. Trusting Iran without verification is bad policy. Link to video”
Womack (R-AR-3) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “The Biden White House energy agenda is: Pro-foreign dependence Pro-Chinese solar panels made with slave labor Pro-considering Venezuela and Iran oil Pro-draining our emergency Strategic Petroleum Reserve Anti-American production We are paying for these policies at the pump. Link to quoted tweet”
Blackburn (R-TN) 06/06/2022: Retweet of @Kredo0 – “JUST IN: Chinese Surveillance Giant Arming Iran With Advanced Spy Tech Amid Crackdown on Protestors — Sen. @MarshaBlackburn and colleagues move to disrupt $400 billion CCP-Tehran alliance Chinese Surveillance Giant Arms Iran With Advanced Spy Tech… | freebeacon.com”
Meeks (D-NY) and McCaul (R-TX) 6/6/22: press release – Meeks, McCaul Release Statement Regarding U.S. Hostages Held in Iran Tweets – McCaul (R-TX-10), Meeks (D-NY-5)
Bacon (R-NE-2) 06/05/2022: Retweet of @IAC_NE – “Our community appreciates bipartisan support by policymakers across the US in solidarity with #IranProtests & for a Secular, Democratic, Non-nuclear Republic #Iran. #FreeIran2022 @RepDonBacon Link to quoted tweet”
Cotton (R-AR) 06/03/2022: Retweet of @KatieBrittforAL – “As the Biden Administration was working to give sanctions relief to Iran, Iran was trying to hack the Boston Children’s Hospital. Rejoining the Iran Deal would be a dangerous mistake. #alsen FBI Director Says Agency Thwarted Cyberattack on Boston Children’s Hospital… | nbcboston.com”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 06/03/2022: Twitter thread – “The IAEA will soon report that Iran again failed to answer its questions about uranium particles found at 3 undeclared sites & that Iran’s stockpile of 60% enriched uranium has passed a “significant quantity” meaning possibility of manufacturing a weapon cannot be excluded. (1/2) Link to quoted tweet Iran must never get a nuclear weapon. I look forward to building on my conversations with DG Grossi in Vienna to ensure that Iran’s nuclear capabilities and its obstruction of the IAEA are addressed at the upcoming IAEA Board of Governor’s meeting. (2/2)”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “Iran must immediately release the two Greek ships it seized and their crews. Maritime security is national security. This blatant act of piracy is yet another reminder that Iran’s regional aggression must be addressed for the US, the Mid East, & the int’l community to be secure. Link to quoted tweet”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “These are the people President Biden is looking to cut another disastrous deal with and who he rather buy oil from when we can use our own natural resources. FBI Chief Blames Iran for Cyberattack on Boston Children’s Hospital… | wsj.com”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “Thank you, @FBI and @BostonChildrens for mitigating the Iranian regime’s attack on a children’s hospital. Iran must be held accountable for this despicable act, and our critical infrastructure and institutions must be defended against such vile attacks. FBI Chief Blames Iran for Cyberattack on Boston Children’s Hospital… | on.wsj.com”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “LR @RepMcCaul: “Violence against protestors. Cutting off the internet. Detaining a journalist. The Iranian regime must stop these despicable human rights violations. The Iranian people have a right to free assembly and free speech.” Death toll in Iran building collapse rises to 37… | wapo.st”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 06/02/2022: Twitter thread – “LR @RepMcCaul: “IAEA reports Iran continues to obstruct investigation of Iran’s undeclared nuclear material & has enough 60% HEU for a nuclear weapon. Iran must be censured at the IAEA Board of Govs meeting. “The Biden administration must end its nuclear talks and pressure Iran to stop its malign activities.“”
Murkowski (R-AK) 06/02/2022: Twitter thread – “Hard to believe the Biden administration is cheering on OPEC+, and looking to ease sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, while stalling U.S. projects and canceling U.S. lease sales. This is their energy policy at record-high gas prices? It makes zero sense to promote foreign supply while shackling U.S. producers. #UnleashAmericanEnergy”
Scott (R-SC) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “Iran has stockpiled enough uranium to produce a nuclear weapon. Yet, the Biden Administration continues negotiations to revive the failed Iran Nuclear Deal. A nuclear-armed Iran makes the world less safe. Iran’s enriched uranium now 18 times more than nuclear deal’s limit, UN watchdog says… | foxnews.com”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “Recently my office helped an Egyptian immigrant, caught in the red tape of the immigration system for 4 years, become a proud U.S. citizen. Read more about how we cut through bureaucracy to help. Malliotakis Helps Egyptian Immigrant Become Citizen After Four Years of Red Tape… | malliotakis.house.gov”
Kushner & Saudi Arabia
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/06/2022: Tweet – “You don’t need to be Chair of the Oversight Cmte or on the Financial Services Cmte to know something doesn’t smell right with the $2BILLION Saudi investment from Crown Prince MBS’s fund into Jared Kushner’s unproven firm. Today would be a good day for Jared to release the docs. Link to quoted tweet”
Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8) 06/07/2022: Retweet of @AliVelshi – “What exactly has Jared Kushner been up to in Saudi Arabia? The House Oversight intends to find out. “For six years, I’ve been sounding the alarm about Jared Kushner being a walking, talking conflict of interest,” says @CongressmanRaja. #Velshi Rep. Krishnamoorthi wants to know what Jared Kushner is up to in Saudi Arabia… | ow.ly”
Swalwell (D-CA-15) 06/06/2022: Retweet of @CREWcrew – “Jared Kushner is being investigated by the House Oversight Committee for possibly trading on his official position in order to get $2 billion from Saudi Arabia for his investment fund, and we think that’s some great news to start off your week.”
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “I am demanding Jared Kushner produce his communications with Saudi Crown Prince MBS, Saudi officials, or Saudi Arabia from 2017 to the present relating his family’s present or future business ventures. Jared Kushner Now Under Congressional Investigation for Landing Sketchy Saudi Investment… | rollingstone.com”
Omar (D-MN-5) 06/03/2022: Retweet of @nytimes – “The House is investigating whether Jared Kushner traded on his government position to land a $2 billion investment in his new private equity firm from a prominent Saudi Arabian wealth fund, lawmakers said Thursday. House Panel Examining Jared Kushner Over Saudi Investment in New Firm… | nyti.ms”
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “Kushner’s support for Saudi Arabia was unwavering, even as they carried out human rights abuses and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. And after leaving the WH his investment firm raised $2 BILLION from Crown Prince MBS’s controlled fund. I’m investigating. House Panel Examining Jared Kushner Over Saudi Investment in New Firm… | nytimes.com”
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “The day after the Trump Admin ended, Kushner created his investment firm, Affinity. 6 months later it secured a massive $2B investment from Saudi Crown Prince MBS. I am investigating how his financial interests may have influenced foreign policy. Link to quoted tweet”
Maloney (D-NY-12) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “Senior Saudi officials had concerns about the “inexperience of [Jared Kushner’s firm’s] management” and concluded the firm’s operations were “unsatisfactory in all aspects.” Yet they were overridden by the sovereign wealth fund board led by MBS. I’m investigating. Link to quoted tweet”
Swalwell (D-CA-15) 06/02/2022: Retweet of @TVietor08 – “This is an incredibly important investigation. It’s not just that Jared is getting a kickback for all the favors and murder coverups he did for the Saudis in the past, it’s also a downpayment on what they hope he will do for them in the future. Link to quoted tweet”
Cotton (R-AR) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “The media is wrong to attack golfers for participating in a tournament backed by Saudi Arabia, an important Gulf partner. Many of these sanctimonious outlets make money from our enemy, the Chinese Communist Party—pure hypocrisy.”
Cotton (R-AR) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “The same PGA that partnered with China is attacking golfers for playing in a tournament funded by Saudi Arabia. What a joke.”
Fischbach (R-MN-7) 06/09/2022: Tweet – “Biden has been begging dictators and foreign adversaries for help easing gas prices. Why? We have the ability to increase our own gas production and lower prices right here in the USA! Biden officials in Saudi Arabia for talks on oil, planned visit… | axios.com”
Huffman (D-CA-2) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “This trip is a terrible idea. ‘Pariah’ no more? Democrats grit their teeth over Biden’s Saudi trip… | politico.com”
Long (R-MO-7) 06/08/2022: Retweet of @ClayTravis – “How many sports media members currently grilling pro golfers about joining the LIV tour would leave their current jobs for $100k in extra pay a year for a Saudi Arabian owned sports media company? I’m going with 100%.”
Doggett (D-TX-35) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “Harrowing, groundbreaking new investigation makes plain the unthinkable but true unauthorized U.S. involvement in the brutal, Saudi-led war in Yemen—an involvement which I continue to vocally oppose, as a sponsor of the Yemen War Powers Resolution. Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have been called war crimes. Many relied on U.S. support…. | washingtonpost.com”
LaMalfa (R-CA-1) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “Instead of unleashing American gas production to drive down costs, Biden is begging Saudi Arabia for their oil. He’s hurting Americans while simultaneously lining the pockets of OPEC oligarchs. Whatever happened to making Saudi Arabia a “pariah” like he promised when campaigning?”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “This @washingtonpost analysis confirms what we already knew: US support enabled the Saudi-led coalition to commit war crimes. We are overdue for accountability for these strikes and a reckoning on how the US enables partners to commit human rights abuses. Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have been called war crimes. Many relied on U.S. support…. | washingtonpost.com”
Smith (D-WA-9) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “Saudi Arabia’s leadership has repeatedly acted at odds with U.S. policy and values — recalibrating the relationship is long overdue. Proud to join @HouseIntel, @HouseForeign, @OversightDems, and @HomelandDems colleagues in sharing our priorities with @POTUS. Link to quoted tweet”
Bishop (R-NC-9) 06/06/2022: Retweet of @Jim_Jordan – “Gas prices have more than doubled since President Biden took office. President Biden’s answer? Beg the Saudis for more oil. Why not just increase AMERICAN oil production?”
Bowman (D-NY-16) 06/06/2022: Tweet – “A transition to renewable energy not only increases our chances of a livable future, but decreases the power of autocratic governments like Saudi Arabia’s to exert influence on the global stage.”
Burchett (R-TN-2) 06/06/2022: Tweet – “That’s really unfortunate because people are hurting @POTUS White House says oil production ‘not the focus’ of conversations with Saudi Arabia… | news.yahoo.com”
Jordan (R-OH-4) 06/06/2022: Tweet – “Gas prices have more than doubled since President Biden took office. President Biden’s answer? Beg the Saudis for more oil. Why not just increase AMERICAN oil production?” Also on GETTR
Long (R-MO-7) 06/06/2022: Retweet of @The_FJC – “Will Saudi Arabia make Biden wear a Burka before they bend him over as he’s begging for more oil?”
Perry (R-PA-10) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “Gas prices have now officially DOUBLED under @POTUS’s incompetence. What’s his plan? Grovel to the Saudis, continue his regulatory assault on US Energy, keep letting American families and job creators suffer. #Bidenflation #BidenGasHike”
Rosendale (R-MT-0) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “Today’s national gas price average is $4.91 per gallon. Biden would rather beg Saudi Arabia and other foreign adversaries for oil instead of restoring American energy production. American families are suffering, and this Administration is doing nothing to alleviate the pain.”
Wyden (D-OR) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “The supporters of this Saudi-affiliated golf tour coming to Oregon at the end of June are shamelessly pocketing blood money being “sports-washed” by a regime that murders journalists & helps its nationals escape U.S. justice in our state & nationwide.Dustin Johnson quits PGA Tour, joins Phil Mickelson in Saudi-backed LIV Golf – The Washington Post”
Omar (D-MN-5) 06/05/2022: Retweet of @justinamash – “U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen is criminal. America should not be arming or aiding these atrocities in any way. Presidents Obama, Trump, and Biden should be held accountable as well as the members of Congress who shilled for the weapons sales. Link to quoted tweet”
Omar (D-MN-5) 06/06/2022: Retweet of @RepAdamSchiff – “The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the brutal murder of an American resident and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. For that — and many other human rights violations — he should be shunned. I would not meet with him or shake his hand. President Biden shouldn’t either. Link to video”
Schiff (D-CA-28) 06/05/2022: Tweet – “The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the brutal murder of an American resident and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. For that — and many other human rights violations — he should be shunned. I would not meet with him or shake his hand. President Biden shouldn’t either. Link to video”
Schiff (D-CA-28) 06/05/2022: Retweet of @FaceTheNation – “Should President Biden go to Saudi Arabia and meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? “In my view, no. I wouldn’t go, I wouldn’t shake his hand. This is someone who butchered an American resident,” says Rep. Adam Schiff. Link to video”
Babin (R-TX-36) 06/04/2022: Tweet – “Biden seems to “lean toward” every option except America. @POTUS: Stop looking to foreign dictators and unleash U.S. energy NOW! As gas prices soar, Biden leans toward visiting Saudi Arabia… | apnews.com”
Levin (D-MI-9) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “.@POTUS should NOT meet w/ MBS. MBS approved journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder—according to his own admin! MBS is responsible for human rights violations at home & abroad. This sends a terrible signal to the global community & undermines US credibility Biden to Travel to Saudi Arabia, Ending Its ‘Pariah’ Status… | nytimes.com”
Meijer (R-MI-3) 06/04/2022: Retweet of @SpencerJCox – “Great. Instead of drastically increasing oil/gas production (and more renewables) in a country with some of the most stringent environmental standards in the world (hint: it’s ours), let’s beg the Saudis. They seem really nice and responsible. Brilliant. Bravo guys. Link to quoted tweet”
Arrington (R-TX-19) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “President Biden’s plea with Riyadh to lower domestic energy prices is weak, foolish, and a slap in the face to U.S. producers who provide the cleanest, safest, and most affordable oil and gas anywhere in the world. Link to quoted tweet”
Biggs (R-AZ-5) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “Biden is apparently looking to visit Saudi Arabia to discuss our oil and gas crisis with regional leaders in the Middle East. Instead of meeting with foreign regimes thousands of miles away, Joe ought to be having these talks with American oil and gas producers here at home.”
Cline (R-VA-6) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “This is a national embarrassment and an insult to Americans who are paying at the pump. Biden has deliberately undermined our energy independence, and this is the result: kowtowing to foreign dictators. America needs #EnergyIndependenceNow Biden Likely to Visit Saudi Arabia as US Gasoline Prices Spiral, Sources Say… | bloomberg.com”
Johnson (R-OH-6) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “It’s disappointing that President Biden prefers begging Middle Eastern royalty to pump more oil instead of unleashing the resources we have under our feet here at home. American families should never be put in such a dependent, vulnerable position. #OPEC”
Joyce (R-OH-14) 06/03/2022: Twitter thread – “The President needs to reach out to American oil and gas producers here at home to solve our #EnergyCrisis instead of turning to Middle Eastern powers We should be using American energy to counter foreign regimes, not relying on them for our energy needs As Gas Prices Soar, Biden Leans Toward Visiting Saudi Arabia… | usnews.com…“
Kelly (R-PA-16) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “This is a slap in the face to hardworking American gas and oil producers across the country. President Biden would rather negotiate with foreign enemies and human rights abusers then unleash the American energy right beneath our feet. #BidenEnergyCrisis As Gas Prices Soar, Biden Leans Toward Visiting Saudi Arabia… | usnews.com”
Pence (R-IN-6) 06/02/2022: Twitter thread – “This Administration never fails to talk out of both sides of their mouths. 1) POTUS begs OPEC Oil Cartel to increase production 2) Biden Admin says high gas prices actually pathway to green revolution 3) Blame “Putin Price Hike” 4) Blame “Price Gouging” Link to quoted tweet We’ve come full circle to Biden Admin praising OPEC? Can’t keep their spin straight..”
Rubio (R-FL) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “Saudi human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair is serving a 15 yr prison sentence for “inciting public opinion” against #SaudiArabia. Rubio condemns the Saudi govt’s continued disregard for human rights & calls for an end to al-Khair’s unjust imprisonment. #ExpressionNOToppression Link to image”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 06/08/2022: Retweet of @HouseForeign – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: Deeply concerned by the recent mass dismissal of judges in Tunisia. This represents another in a series of democratic rollbacks and a major blow to Tunisia’s judicial independence. Tunisia’s president sacks 57 judges, accuses them of corruption… | reuters.com”
Meeks (D-NY-5) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: Deeply concerned by the recent mass dismissal of judges in Tunisia. This represents another in a series of democratic rollbacks and a major blow to Tunisia’s judicial independence. Tunisia’s president sacks 57 judges, accuses them of corruption… | reuters.com”; re-tweeted by Meeks (D-NY-5)
United Arab Emirates
Romney (R-UT) 06/08/2022: Retweet of @UAEEmbassyUS – “Thank you @MittRomney for the inspiring tour of @washdctemple this PM. The UAE is proud to welcome the future @Ch_JesusChrist Temple in Dubai – the first Temple in the Middle East. The Dubai Temple joins a diverse gathering of other religions in the UAE: Dubai to welcome Middle East’s first Mormon temple… | bit.ly Link to image”
McGovern (D-MA-2) 06/03/2022: Tweet – “Glad to see Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja named a @MartinEnnals 2022 Laureate. Al-Khawaja is a @TLHumanRights #DefendingFreedoms prisoner of conscience; tortured & imprisoned in Bahrain for his brave activism. He should be released immediately & without conditions.Abdulhadi al-Khawaja… | humanrightscommission.house.gov”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 06/08/2022: Tweet – “I commend the announcement of a 2-month extension to the UN-mediated truce in Yemen, which provides a lifeline to millions of Yemenis. I urge all parties to continue to work towards an inclusive political settlement to the war & end this brutal conflict.”
Scanlon (D-PA-5) 06/07/2022: Tweet – “16 million Yemenis are living on the brink of starvation, including 2 million children. The U.S. can no longer be complicit in this crisis. Last week, I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing a resolution to end unauthorized U.S. military involvement in Yemen. Link to image”
Smith (D-WA-9) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “Ending the war in Yemen must remain the ultimate goal for all parties. I welcome news that the UN-mediated truce will be extended, showing the effectiveness of @POTUS Biden’s diplomacy-first approach, the help of the UN, and broad participation toward lasting peace. Link to quoted tweet”
Meeks (D-NY-5) 06/02/2022: Twitter thread – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: I applaud this news of a 60-day extension to the truce in Yemen. I call on all parties to abide by their commitments and convert this truce into a lasting ceasefire and advance a political settlement to end this brutal war.Press statement by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg on the renewal of the UN-mediated truce… | osesgy.unmissions.org I also call on parties to fully implement the humanitarian dimensions of the truce, especially re-opening roads in and around Taiz, regular offloading of humanitarian shipments at Yemeni ports and continued resumption of commercial flights in and out of Sana’a airport.”
Risch (R-ID) 06/02/2022: Tweet – “The announcement that #Yemen’s warring sides have agreed to an additional two month truce is welcome news. All sides must use this as an opportunity to build on recent progress. As the past seven years have shown, there can be no military solution to this conflict.”
I got acquainted with the Occupation in 1986. That year was a significant landmark of the Occupation because by then Israel had ruled the West Bank and Gaza Strip for 19 years, following 19 years of Jordanian rule.
As a rookie reporter for Haaretz Daily, I used to travel to the occupied territories almost every day. I met with numerous Palestinians, documented their life under occupation, and returned to my home in West Jerusalem, to my life as a young professional in a free, democratic environment.
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.