1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters
2. FY21 NDAA — House
3. FY21 Defense Approps – House
4. Hearings & Mark-Ups
5. On the Record
Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.
Monday, July 13 webinar “Imagining Together a Shared, One-State Reality,” featuring Peter Beinart and Yousef Munayyer, in conversation with Lara Friedman? Watch the video here.
1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters
(FY21 SFOPS – HOUSE) HR 7608: On 7/13, HR 7608, the “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act,” was officially filed (with a report) and placed on the House Calendar.
- On 7/16, the House Appropriations Committee announced that next week the full House will take up HR 7068, “the first minibus of fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills. The package includes four FY 2021 spending bills: State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.”
- For a comprehensive look at Middle East-related details in the bill, see lLast week’s edition of the Round-Up.
- In preparation for floor consideration, on 7/15 the House Rules Committee opened the window for the submission of amendments to HR 7068. The submission period ends July 20 at 1pm. No proposed amendments are available on the Rules Committee website as of this writing, at 11:30am ET, 7/17/20).
(FY21 NDAA – HOUSE) HR 6395: The House is getting set to take up HR 6395 – the FY21 NDAA – on the House floor next week. On Details of amendments submitted to the Rules Committee are in Section 2, below.
(FY21 DEFENSE APPROPS) HR 7617: On 7/13, the House Appropriations completed work on the FY21 Defense Appropriations bill. Bill text is here; the committee report is here. The Committee’s bill summary (of the text before amendments were adopted in the full committee) is here. The bill includes many Middle East-related provisions, and even more have been introduced as amendments that could be taken up on the House floor. For details, see Section 3, below.
(FY21 ENERGY APPROPS – HOUSE) HR 7613: On 7/13, the House Appropriations Committee marked up and passed “the FY21 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act”. As highlighted in a press release issued by Frankel (D-FL), the bill includes substantial funding for US-Israel projects. The projects are not mentioned in the bill text but are covered in the report that accompanied the bill, as follows:
- Under the heading “Research and Development,” for “Desalination and Water Purification Program,” the report states that $6,000,000 “shall be for desalination projects as authorized in section 4009(a) of Public Law 114–322” with “special consideration to drought-prone regions and in collaboration with possible partners in the Middle East, including Israel” [only Middle East possible partner mentioned by name].
- Under the heading “International Affairs,” the Committee recommendation “includes $2,000,000 for the Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation and $4,000,000 for the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering and Water Technology.”
(TURKEY SANCTIONS) HR 7639: Introduced 7/17 by Kinzinger (R-IL), Spanberger (D-VA), and McCaul (R-TX), “To impose sanctions with respect to Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 air and missile defense system.” Referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, Oversight and Reform, the Judiciary, and Ways and Means.
(TURKEY/RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS) H. Res. 1050: Introduced 7/17 by Maloney (D-NY) and Bilirakis (R-FL), “Urging Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Maloney press release is here.
(US SHOULD LISTEN TO ISRAEL WHEN COUNTING PALESTINIAN TERRORIST ACTS) Lamborn/McKinley letter to Pompeo: Reps. Lamborn (R-CO) and McKinley (R-WV) reportedly sent a letter at some point in recent days to Secretary of State Pompeo regarding the State Department’s 2019 Human Rights Report’s section on Israel and the Palestinians. The letter (text of which is not available as of this writing) reportedly supports the allegations/demands put forward on July 7 by Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom — allegations that the report’s methodology was faulty and under counted Palestinian terrorist acts, and demands that the data the State Department use data that “has been collected by the group Boomerang, which advocates for Israel and publishes a weekly report on terrorism statistics.” Apparently that letter was well-received, because on 7/15, Israel Hayom published an article headline, “Following flawed report, US to publish new figures on Palestinian terrorism.” Also see Jerusalem Post 7/16: The US State Department’s clumsy calculus of Palestinian terror
(IT IS ANTISEMITIC TO OPPOSE ANNEXATION/TALK ABOUT CONSEQUENCES) Perry et al letter to Pompeo: As reported on last week’s Round-Up (based on a report published by the Jewish News Syndicate and a tweet from Riggleman, R-VA), on 7/10 a group of House GOP members sent a letter to SecState Pompeo regarding opposing annexation. The letter expresses support for Israel keeping “Judea and Samaria.” It goes on to state: “You soon will receive a letter criticizing any potential annexation of the Judea and Samaria Area. We urge you to reject the blatant anti-Semitism that pervades that letter…” The letter Perry at al are attacking is the one led by Ocasio-Cortez (sent some time ago – either Perry’s information is out of date, or his letter has been in process for so long that it has been overtaken by events). This is made clear by Perry’s 7/14 Facebook post on the letter, in which he writes: “America’s policy toward Israel won’t be driven by the Left’s prejudice. In response to a blatant anti-Semitic letter to the State Dept. sent by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, I led a letter to Sec. Pompeo asking that he reject the racist language pervading her letter, and continue the critical work of furthering peace and justice for the Israeli and Palestinian people.” He also wrote on Twitter 7/14: “America’s policy toward Israel won’t be driven by the Left’s prejudice. I led a letter to @SecPompeo asking that he reject the blatant anti-Semitic letter sent by House Dems, and continue the critical work of furthering peace and justice for the Israeli and Palestinian people.” The letter was signed by Perry (R-PA), Harris (R-MD), DesJarlais (R-TN), Wright (R-TX), Hice (R-GA), Gosar (R-AZ), Weber (R-TX), Fulcher (R-ID), Duncan (R-SC),Budd (R-NC), Riggleman (R-VA) and Biggs (R-AZ). Also see: Middle East Eye 7/15 – US Republican lawmakers claim criticism of Israeli annexation is antisemitic
(Remove Turkey from F-35 Technology Supply Chain) Tillis et al letter to Esper: On 7/6 (not previously reported in the Round-Up), Senators Tillis (R-NC), Lankford (R-OK), Shaheen (D-NH), and Van Hollen (D-MD) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Esper expressing concern over the delay by Department of Defense to remove Turkey from the supply chain of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. Press release is here.
2. FY21 NDAA – House
As noted in last week’s Round-Up, the House is getting set to take up HR 6395 – the FY21 NDAA – on the House floor next week. As a reminder, Middle East-related provisions in the base bill are:
- Section 736 – Grant program for increased cooperation on post-traumatic stress disorder research between the US and Israel
- Section 1221 – Extension and modification of authority to provide assistance to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
- Section 1222 – Extension of authority to provide assistance to the vetted Syrian opposition
- Section 1223 – Extension of authority to support operations and activities of the Of-fice of Security Cooperation in Iraq
- Section 1224 – Prohibition on provision of weapons and other forms of support to cer-tain organizations.
- Section 1225 – Consolidated budget display and report on Operation Spartan Shield.
- Section 1226 – Sense of Congress on Peshmerga forces as a partner in Operation Inherent Resolve
- Section 1269 – Sense of Congress with respect to Qatar
- Section 1270 – Sense of Congress on United States military support for and participation in the Multinational Force and Observers
- Section 1271 – Prohibition on support for military participation against the Houthis
- Section 1272 – Rule of construction relating to use of military force
- Sec. 1659 (Missile defense cooperation between the United States and Israel, with $300 million provided for these programs)
In preparation for floor consideration, last week the House Rules Committee opened the window for the submission of amendments to the House NDAA. While the submission period ended July 13th at 1pm, late amendments were still being submitted well into the week. The full list of amendments (most of which will not be ruled in order, or considered at all) is here – 751 in total. The Rules Committee hearing to decide the fate of the various amendments is/was July 17 at 11am.
Middle East-related amendments (submitted) are detailed below. Stay tuned for next week’s Round-Up to see how they fared.
- IRAN/INSTEX: Steil (R-WI), “Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to apply one or more special measures with respect to a foreign financial institution that conducts a significant transaction with INSTEX, if the transaction facilitates the evasion of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Requires consultation with European allies and clear objectives as the basis for a special measure…does not apply to non-sanctionable activities such as humanitarian assistance.”
- ISRAEL: Biggs (R-AZ), “Expresses a sense of Congress about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
- IRAQ/SYRIA: Lynch (D-MA) & Hice (R- GA), “Reauthorizes the independent and bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting to ensure greater oversight of U.S. overseas contracting and reconstruction spending in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and other war zones.”
- IRAQ/SYRIA: Deutch (D-FL) & Engel (D-NY), “Expands required reporting on U.S. support to partner forces to include a list of any lethal action taken in support of partner force and the program or funding authority under which such Armed Forces are operating, how such action furthers U.S. national security objectives, and steps taken to ensure partner forces will not engage in human rights abuses.”
- IRAN: Huizenga (R-MI), “Expresses the sense of the Congress that U.S. citizens’ bank deposits should not be used to finance the Government of Iran, and prohibits the issuing of licenses that authorize U.S. financial institutions to provide financial services to Tehran. Provides for waivers in the case of medical goods, humanitarian assistance, and agricultural commodities, as well as financial services for persons not engaged in sanctionable activities.” Also see Huizenga press release.
- TURKEY: Kinzinger (R-IL) & Spanberger (D-VA), “Requires the imposition of sanctions with respect to the Government of Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 air and missile defense system from the Russian Federation.”
- AUMF: Biggs (R-AZ), Gaetz (R-FL), Massie (R-KY), “Repeals the Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks; directs the Department of Defense to report to Congress a plan for (1) the orderly withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and (2) political reconciliation and elections in Afghanistan independent of U.S. involvement; and gives members of the U.S. Armed Forces who deployed in support of the Global War on Terror a $2,500 bonus.”
- EGYPT: Fortenberry (R-NE) & Ruppersberger (D-MD), (revised) “Expresses a sense of Congress that it is in the best interests of the stability of the region for Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to immediately reach a just and equitable agreement regarding the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.”
- IRAN: Crow (D-CO): “Updates the space strategy and assessment requirement to include Iran and North Korea, and adds the Director of National Intelligence as a tasked senior official.”
- EGYPT: Reschenthaler (R-PA) & Trone (D-MD), “Authorizes the President to transfer two excess OLIVER HAZARD PERRY class guided missile frigates to the Government of Egypt, upon certifying that certain conditions are met.”
- HAMAS/HIZBALLAH/ETC: Gottheimer (D-NJ), “Requires the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to report to Congress on the use of online social media by U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organizations, and the threat posed to U.S. national security by online radicalization.”
- ISRAEL/IRAN: Gottheimer (D-NJ), “Requires a study and report to ensure Israel is prepared for all contingencies if Iran seeks to develop a nuclear weapon.”
- IRAN: Hill, French (R-AR) “Requires the President to submit a report to Congress on the estimated funds held in domestic and international financial institutions by certain Iranian government leaders, unless the funds were acquired through noncorrupt means, as well as a list of financial institutions providing significant financial services to such persons. Provides for certain exemptions and waivers for national interest and law enforcement purposes. Further requires the Department of the Treasury to brief Congress on any illicit or corrupt means employed to acquire or use such funds. These provisions were introduced in the bipartisan Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act (H.R. 6081).”
- SYRIA/IRAN: Gabbard (D-HI), “Requires the President, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the United States Ambassador to the United Nations to submit a report to Congress on humanitarian impacts of all bilateral and multilateral economic sanctions imposed on foreign countries.”
- AUMF: Slotkin (D-MI) & Gaetz (R-FL), “Requires any future AUMF to sunset after 3 years unless otherwise authorized or renewed”
- SAUDI ARABIA: Zeldin (NY) & Malinowski (D-NJ), “Requires the Department of State to review vetting procedures for diplomatic visas provided for international military educational training programs in annual country strategy reports. Additionally, the amendment requires the GAO to conduct a study on vetting procedures for international students participating in military education and training programs on United States military bases.”
- KUWAIT: McGovern (D-MA), Lynch (D-MA), Pressley (D-MA), Keating (D-MA) “Expressed a Sense of Congress relating to payment of amounts owed by Kuwait to about 45 U.S. hospitals and medical institutions since 2018.”
- AUMF: Spanberger (D-VA) & 10 bipartisan co-sponsors, “Limits the use of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to the countries where U.S. Armed Forces are currently engaged in hostilities under the authorization at the time of enactment of this act.” [likely same as HR 7500]
- IRAN/IRAQ: Steil (R-WI), (revised), “Requires the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Secretary of State to submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees on the short- and long-term threats posed by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq to Iraq and to United States persons and interests.” Steil press release is here.
- SAUDI ARABIA: Khanna (D-CA), “Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit to Congress a report on U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition’s war against the Houthis in Yemen, not later than one year after enactment of this Act.”
- YEMEN: Lieu (D-CA), Yoho (R-FL), Malinowski (D-NJ), “Requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, to submit a report to Congress on U.S. policy in Yemen, including diplomatic efforts, humanitarian assistance, and civilian protection. Requires GAO to report to Congress on U.S. military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and expresses a Statement of Policy on the conflict.”
- IRAN: Khanna (D-CA), “Expresses the sense of Congress that the use of the Armed Forces against Iran is not authorized by this Act or any other Act.”
- EGYPT/SYRIA: Ruiz (D-CA), Hudson (R-NC), Welch (D-VT), Cárdenas (D-CA) “Require DOD and VA to expand Burn Pits Registry to include Egypt and Syria.”
- AUMF: Lee (D-CA) “Repeals the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force.”
- AUMF: Lee (D-CA) “Expresses the sense of Congress that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force should be repealed, and details criteria for any potential replacement.”
- EGYPT: Malinowski (D-NJ), Wagner (R-MO), Trone (D-MD), “Requires the Secretary of State to provide a certification on whether state-sanctioned intimidation and harassment by the Egyptian government against Americans and their families constitutes a ‘pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment,’ which would trigger a suspension of security assistance under section 6 of the Arms Export Control Act.”
- SAUDI ARABIA/UAE: Malinowski (D-NJ), McGovern (D-MA), Lieu (D-CA), Bera (D-CA), Sherman (D-CA), Deutch (D-FL), Cicilline (D-RI), Khanna (D-CA), Allred (D-TX), Spanberger (D-VA) “Pauses the delivery of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recognition of the continuing devastation to civilians caused by US-provided weapons in the Yemen conflict. This suspension of munitions transfers would prevent further civilian casualties from airstrikes and support UN-led efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict.”
- SURVEILLANCE TECH: Malinowski (D-NJ “Uses existing DOC structures to create a review process strengthening U.S.G. oversight of exports of technologies that could be integrated into abusive surveillance architectures. Provides for a systematic response to growing concern over potential misuse of technologies and capabilities exported by US and like-minded countries to countries where it could end up contributing to surveillance regimes that undermine US national security and are used against journalists, religious minorities, political opponents, lawyers, Americans, and activists.”
- IRAN: Ruiz (D-CA), “Authorizes assistance in the form of training, equipment, supplies, and small-scale military construction to countries bordering the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea to help them deter and combat illegal smuggling and related maritime activity by Iran.”
- SURVEILLANCE TECH: Malinowski (D-NJ) & Gallagher (R-WI), “Limits exports of items allowing repressive regimes to run facial recognition algorithms that are tied to databases of pictures of Americans. This provision would require a DOC policy to regulate this type of software, which offers dictators an off-the-shelf capability to instantly identify dissidents, religious leaders, journalists, peaceful activists, American diplomats, and other individuals—as well as their past online and offline activities.”
- IRAN: Schakowsky (D-IL), Khanna (D-CA), Castro (D-TX) “Prohibits war with Iran absent Congressional authorization.”
3. FY21 Defense Approps – House
On 7/13, the House Appropriations completed work on the FY21 Defense Appropriations bill, formally filed 7/16 as HR 7617.
- Pre-Markup: Bill text is here; Committee bill summary is here; committee report is here.
- Press release announcing passage of the bill by the full committee – including summaries of adopted amendments (including 3 amendments related to Iran/AUMF — see details below) – is here.
- As of this writing, the bill has not been scheduled by the Rules Committee for a hearing (so no amendments to track yet).
Middle East-related provisions in the bill & report are as follows:
Section 8069: Under “Procurement, Defense-Wide” and “Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Defense- Wide,” this section earmarks $500 million for “Israeli Cooperative Programs.” The Report notes that $200 million of this is from the procurement budget, and $300 million is from the RDT&E budget. Per the bill text, the $500 million is sub-earmarked as follows:
- $73 million is for Iron Dome
- $177 million is for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD) program, of which $50 million is for US-Israel co-production activities
- $77 million is for Arrow 3 co-production
- $173 million is for the Arrow System Improvement Program including development of a long range, ground and airborne, detection suite.
In addition, buried in a table in the Report that accompanied the bill is (on page 311) are additional Israel-related funding allocations (with not mention of Israel but helpfully highlighted/explained by AIPAC):
- $47.5 million for US-Israel anti-tunnel technology cooperation
- $25 million for US-Israel counter-unmanned aerial systems (UAS) cooperation.
Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia
Under the section of the bill that provides $6,169,693,000 “an additional amount for ‘Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide,’ the text states that up to $180 million shall be “for payments to reimburse key cooperating nations for logistical, military, and other support, including access, provided to United States military and stability operations in Afghanistan and to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” It also states that these funds “may be used to support the Government of Jordan in such amounts as the Secretary of Defense may determine, to enhance the ability of the armed forces of Jordan to increase or sustain security along its borders…”
In addition, the bill states that up $1,206,296,000 of the funds under this section shall be available “to provide support and assistance to foreign security forces or other groups or individuals to conduct, support or facilitate counterterrorism, crisis response, or other Department of Defense security cooperation programs, of which not less than $130,000,000 shall be available for International Security Cooperation Programs with countries in the United States Africa Command area of responsibility.” It goes on to state: “these funds may be used in such amounts as the Secretary of Defense may determine to enhance the border security of nations adjacent to conflict areas including Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia resulting from actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”
Section 9011: This section states that up to $500 million in funds appropriated by this Act under the heading “Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide” for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency “may [not “shall” – so a soft earmark] be used to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders.”
The Report accompanying the bill notes (p. 110): “The Committee recommendation provides $220,000,000, an increase of $10,928,776 above the request, for International Security Cooperation Programs with countries in the Central Command area of responsibility. Not less than $105,250,000 is included for Jordan, which is the same as the budget request…” It goes on to state: “The Committee recommendation includes requested funding for border security, including support to Jordan and Tunisia.”
Iran & AUMF
Under the section of the bill that provides $700 million for the ‘‘Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Train and Equip Fund,” the text notes that “the Secretary of Defense shall ensure that prior to providing assistance to elements of any forces or individuals, such elements or individuals are appropriately vetted, including at a minimum, assessing such elements for associations with terrorist groups or groups associated with the Government of Iran; and receiving commitments from such elements to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law.”
Section 9023: This section stipulates that: “Nothing in this Act may be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran.”
In addition, per the Committee press release announcing passage of the bill, the following amendments were adopted in Committee, all offered by Rep. Lee (D-CA):
- Amdt #1: Repealing the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force after 240 days after the enactment of this Act (adopted by a vote of 30 to 22).
- Amdt. #2: Repealing the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (adopted by voice vote).
- Amdt. #3: Prohibiting funds in the Act for any use of military force in or against Iran, with certain exceptions (adopted by a vote of 30 to 22).
- Lee’s press release on the amendments is here.
4. Hearings & Markups
5. On the Record...
Members on the Record…
Booker (D-NJ) & Menendez (D-NJ) 7/17: Booker, Menendez Statement on Escalating Violence along Armenia-Azerbaijan Border
Zeldin (R-NY) 7/16: Op-ed in the Washington Examiner – “UN must renew the arms embargo against Iran” (tweet)
Swalwell (D-CA) 7/16: Tweet – “You can speak out against the policies of Israel — and those who support them — without being Anti-Semitic. Just stop. #StopTheSettlements AND #StopTheHate”
Rosen (D-NV) 7/13: Rosen Addresses Hadassah National Video Conference, Discusses Never Again Education Act, Need to Combat Anti-Semitism [“I’m proud to have partnered with Hadassah on important legislation such as the bipartisan Never Again Education Act and a bill to enhance U.S.-Israel medical research cooperation. I will continue working in Congress to fight the alarming rise in anti-Semitism worldwide, foster collaboration between the U.S. and Israel, and promote equal rights for women everywhere.”]
Wagner (R-MS) 7/13: Tweets – “In February I testified in front of the Missouri State Senate’s Government Reform Committee to urge our state legislators to pass S.B. 739, the Anti-Discrimination Against Israel Act, important legislation that counters the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Legislation like this is……critical to rejecting efforts aimed at delegitimizing Israel & I will keep fighting for these initiatives in Congress & in Missouri. Today, Gov Parson affirmed our strong support for the state of Israel & signed this legislation into law, letting our ally know where we stand.”]
Cohen (D-TN) 7/12: Congressman Cohen Condemns Erdogan Efforts to Reconvert Hagia Sophia to a Mosque
Zeldin (R-NY) 7/11: Rep. Zeldin Condemns Erdogan Decision Reverting Hagia Sophia to Mosque
Risch (R-ID) & Menendez (D-NJ) 7/10: Risch, Menendez Statement on Turkey’s Hagia Sophia
Articles and Reports Related to the Hill
Jewish Currents 7/17: Israel/Palestine Looms Large Over Minnesota Primary
Jewish Insider 7/16: With outside help, Antone Melton-Meaux outraises incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar [excerpt: “...In the last filing quarter, between April and June, the first-time candidate raised a whopping $3.2 million…Melton-Meaux told JI that the influx of outside money — only $323,310 in contributions came from Minnesota — is an indication that the race is ‘becoming a referendum on standing up to the politics of division at the national level.’ In recent weeks, Melton-Meaux has managed to raise his profile as a viable candidate against Omar. Nonpartisan pro-Israel groups like NORPAC and Pro-Israel America, among others, have hosted virtual fundraisers for the candidate.”]
Jewish Insider 7/16: Rep. Rashida Tlaib claims her Middle East views have been ‘misinterpreted
Minneapolis Star-Tribune 7/15: Primary challenge to Rep. Ilhan Omar attracts big money [Excerpt: “It’s a dramatic surge for Melton-Meaux, who reported raising nearly $400,000 between December and the end of March. The influx of money came, in part, from some conservative donors and pro-Israel groups like nonpartisan NORPAC, which held a virtual fundraiser for Melton-Meaux in May. According to data from ActBlue, an online fundraising tool, a number of individual donors outside of the district contributed the maximum amount allowed in May.”]
Detroit Jewish News, 7/16: Rashida Tlaib: “It’s The Same Folks Coming After All Of Us” [Excerpt: Nah – just read the whole thing. Seriously. They asked her hard questions and her answers were so uncontroversial — and so impossible to twist to support accusations of antisemitism — that this interview will likely generate zero interest.]
Detroit Jewish News: 7/16: Tlaib or Not Tlaib? Detroit’s Jews Aren’t Sure
Times of Israel 7/16: In Washington, a debate over conditioning US aid to Israel heats up
Washington Post 7/13: Castro to challenge Democratic Party elders for committee chair amid reckoning on foreign policy [Excerpt: “‘Our foreign affairs committee needs to catch up with where Democrats are in terms of foreign policy,’ he said. ‘Over the years, there have been top many voices excluded; I think too often Palestinian voices have been excluded. If the United States is going to be an arbiter of peace, it has to be willing to hear from the different sides, and in my estimation we’ve not always done that.’‘]
The Hill 7/13: Eye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending [also see Roll Call, Politico]
Jewish News Syndicate 7/14: Christians United for Israel opposes Van Hollen amendment
Jewish News Syndicate 7/13: Return to rewarding terrorism? [excerpt: “Last week, the Democrat-controlled House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs officially adopted an amendment to send $250 million in aid to the P.A., even though the pay-to-slay policy has not changed. If enacted, this would bring us back to the dark, pre-Taylor Force days in which the United States helped foot the bill for rewarding and encouraging murder, including the murder of Americans. Pro-Israel organizations need to speak out now to stop this madness before it advances any further.”] NOTE: The SFOPS bill states: “Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund; and made available for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza shall not be made available in contravention of section 1004(a) of the Taylor Force Act...”]