Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived.
More great FMEP programming over the past week:
- 6/4: Shifts in US discourse on Israel/Palestine & Black-Palestinian solidarity, ft. Dr. Maha Nassar (University of Arizona)
- 6/3: “The Cast Changes, The Policies Stay the Same — the Bennett/Lapid coalition”, ft. Yousef Munayyer, non-resident fellow at Arab Center DC.
- 5/28: “Israel’s Mass Arrest & Collective Punishment of Palestinian Citizens of Israel,“ ft. Nareman Shehadeh Zoabi, a social and economic rights attorney working with Adalah.
- 5/29: Check out this episode on Al Jazeera’s “Listening Post” – “Israel-Palestine: The double standard in American newsroom“, ft. Linda Sarsour (MPower Change); Omar Baddar – (National Policy Council); Lara Friedman (FMEP), and Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss)
- 4/20 (video now online): “The Politics of Defining: A Roundtable Discussion about the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism” – ft. Dr. Nadia Abu El-Haj (Columbia University), Dr. Seth Anziska (University College London), Lara Friedman (FMEP), Dr. Brian Klug (Oxford University), in conversation Dr. Atalia Omer (University of Notre Dame and RCPI Affiliate) and Dr. Sara Roy (Harvard).
(MORE $$ FOR ISRAEL/IRON DOME) Gottheimer et al letter to SecDef Austin: On 6/2, Rep. Gottheimer (D-NJ) led a letter, cosigned by 56 colleagues (bipartisan), expressing support for “replenishing Israel’s stock of interceptors for the Iron Dome missile defense system and other important matters” and asking him to “continue urgently engaging with Israel on this request, and that you please report to Congress regarding Israel’s needs as soon as possible.” The letter states: “If Israel requests additional assistance, as contemplated in the MOU, please work closely with Congress to expeditiously fulfill this request.” Press release is here; also see articles in the Jewish Insider and The Hill.; also see Tweets of approval from the ADL. Also see: new AIPAC memo published 6/4:
(FIGHTING ANTISEMITISM) Deutch-Meng et al letter to Biden: As previewed in last week’s Round-Up (based at that point on a 5/28 Jewish Insider report), on 6/2, Reps. Deutch (D-FL), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Meng (D-NY), and Smith (R-NJ) led a letter to President Biden, signed by a total of 133 House members (bipartisan), urging him to respond to the rising antisemitism in the United States and around the world. Deutch press release is here. The letter includes: “Jewish Americans are also deeply concerned by the rise in physical and violent antisemitic attacks taking place in communities across the country. In Los Angeles, patrons at a restaurant were identified as Jewish and violently attacked in an apparent attempt to hold them responsible for the conflict between Israel and Hamas. In New York, a protest devolved into individuals shooting fireworks into a crowd of Jews. There have been countless instances of inappropriate Holocaust invocations and deplorable comparisons of Nazi Germany to Jews and the State of Israel and horrific signs and social media posts suggesting Jews should return to the gas chambers where millions perished during the Holocaust. Between May 7 and May 14, more than 17,000 tweets used some variation of the phrase “Hitler was right.” In just the last few weeks, antisemitic incidents, both online and in-person, have increased by 75-80 percent in the United States.”
(RELEASE AID FOR PALESTINIANS) Raskin et al letter to Sen. Risch: As previewed
in last week’s Round-Up (based on reporting by the JTA), on 6/2 Rep. Raskin (D-MD) led a letter to Sen. Risch (R-ID), consigned by
143 House colleagues (all Democrats), asking Risch to stop blocking aid to the Palestinians. Also
see: Raskin tweet announcing the letter; report in The Hill
– House Democrats press key GOP senator to release hold on aid to
(HELP GAZA!) Van Hollen et al letter to SecState Blinken: On 6/1, Sens. Van Hollen (D-MD), Kaine (D-VA), Murphy (D-CT), and Merkley (D-OR) led a letter, cosigned by 13 additional senators (12 Democrats and 1 Independent), “regarding the recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and the need to use all diplomatic tools to support a durable end to hostilities in Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.” The letter states: “We must address this humanitarian emergency while supporting a durable ceasefire and a return to international diplomacy,” and goes on to lay out (in detail) four immediate steps requested of the Biden Administration: Support Emergency Relief, Support Humanitarian Access, Robustly Fund Humanitarian Efforts, and Restore the U.S. Diplomatic Presence on the Ground. Press releases/tweets: Van Hollen, Murphy, Whitehouse (D-RI), Murray (D-WA), Merkley (D-OR). Also see Haaretz report, 17 Democratic Senators Urge Blinken to Take Action on Gaza Humanitarian Crisis
(DON’T GO BACK TO IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL) Schweikert et al letter to Biden: On 5/27 (not covered in last week’s Round-Up), Rep. Schweilert (R-AZ) led a letter to President Biden, consigned by 23 House colleagues (all Republicans), urging the Administration not to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to not lift any sanctions imposed on Iran. Press release is here.
June 17: The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing entitled, A Review of the FY 2022 Department of Defense Budget Request.
June 9: The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing entitled, Missile defense strategy, policies, and programs in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2022 and the Future Years Defense Program. Scheduled witnesses are: Vice Admiral Jon Hill, Director Missile Defense Agency; Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler, Commander U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense; General Glen VanHerck, Commander United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command; Ms. Leonor Tomero, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy; Mr. Ankit Panda, Stanton Senior Fellow Nuclear Policy Program Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Dr. Robert Soofer, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy.
June 8 (rescheduled): The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing entitled, A Review of the FY22 State Department Budget Request, with SecState Blinken was scheduled to testify.
June 7 (rescheduled): The House Appropriations Committee’s SFOPS subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, Department of State and Related Programs FY22 Budget Request, with SecState Blinken was scheduled to testify.
Members On The Record
Graham (R-SC) 6/3: Menendez, Graham Op-Ed: The way forward on containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions
Cruz (R-TX) 6/3: Sen. Cruz Visits Israel and Calls For US to Unequivocally Stand With the Jewish State: ‘Israel Not Only Has a Right, But a Responsibility to Defend Yourselves’ [includes links to press coverage of the visit]
Granger (R-TX) 6/3: Tweet – “Israel and the United States have always had a strong partnership. I will continue to do my part to ensure Israel’s future is secured. #StandWithIsrael See part of my conversation with @AIPAC Women’s Program here:”
Cruz (R-TX) 6/2: Sen. Cruz on The Glenn Beck Show: America Must Stand With Israel
Hagerty (R-TN) 6/2: ICYMI—Hagerty joins The Story with Martha MacCallum to talk Israel Visit, Biden Admin’s Misguided Energy Policy
Lankford (R-OK) 6/2: Tweet – “The US unequivocally stands with Israel. I discussed the history & importance of our relationship w/ Israel & the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with former Ambassador David Friedman. You can listen to the episode & subscribe here.”
Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA) 6/1: Problem Solvers Caucus Co-chairs Josh Gottheimer & Brian Fitzpatrick Statement On Rise Of Antisemitism Linked To Violence In Israel And Gaza
Wasserman Schutz 6/1: Congressional Latino-Jewish Caucus Statement on Rise in Antisemitism [“Our Caucus will continue to work to strengthen trilateral ties among the United States, Latin America, and Israel based on shared values and growing common interests…”]
Smith (R-MO) 5/28: Standing With Israel
Roy (R-TX) 5/28: Congressman Roy reiterates call to block funding for UN ‘Human Rights’ Council after its latest anti-Israel disgrace [also see new AIPAC memo published 6/1 – )
Cassidy (R-LA) 5/28: Cassidy, Rosen, Lankford Lead Over Half the Senate in Introducing Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Recent Global Surge of Antisemitism, Calling on Leaders to Act (S. 1939 – covered in last week’s Round-Up)
Lankford (R-OK) 5/28: Lankford, Cornyn, T. Scott, and Former Secretary of State Stress Need for US Sanctions on Iran As Biden Renegotiates Iran Nuclear Deal (S. 1950 – covered in last week’s Round-Up)
DeFazio (D-OR) 5/28: Tweet – “In Feb, I pushed the Admin for answers on how they plan to end ‘offensive operations’ aiding the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen and resolve the humanitarian crisis there. This week, they punted on answering, but I won’t stop pushing for answers”. Linked to: Congress Sought Details About Biden’s Pledge to End U.S. Support for Yemen War. They Got a “Non-Answer.” (The Intercept, 5/27)
AIPAC Policy Memos
June 3, 2021: New Israeli Government Coalition Announced [“Like all previous Israeli governments, the new Lapid-Bennett coalition is committed to maintaining and strengthening the U.S.-Israel partnership.”]
Selected Articles and Reports Related to the Hill
Free Beacon 6/4: House Democrats Scramble To Restore Pro-Israel Bona Fides After Voting Against Iron Dome [in which the Free Beacon erroneously characterizes the text of an amendment as a motion to recommit (they are not the same thing)]
Wall Street Journal 6/4: Congress Gets Back to Globetrotting [“A Republican senatorial delegation arrived in Israel amid the country’s most fraught political moment in years, as rivals to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu neared a deal to oust him from the premiership for the first time since 2009. Netanyahu tried to use the high-level U.S. group to his political advantage, meeting and posing for photos with senators like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas. Graham also met with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who is poised to bolt Netanyahu’s coalition for the rival one led by his former ally Yair Lapid and former Netanyahu protégé Naftali Bennett.”]
Jewish Insider 6/4: Susan Collins advocates for bipartisan consensus on Israel
Jewish Insider 6/4: Deutch links colleagues’ anti-Israel rhetoric to recent antisemitic violence
Roll Call 6/3: Iron Dome funds may hitch a ride on Capitol security supplemental
Jewish Insider 6/3: Senators Rosen, Scott and Booker launch new Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations [“…The announcement comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill have offered a range of proposals to address a recent spike in antisemitism in the wake of last month’s conflict between Israel and Hamas.”]
Roll Call 6/1: Democratic primaries will reveal party’s debate on Israel
Jewish News Syndicate 6/1: Republican senators visit Israel, meet officials to pledge unequivocal US support
Jewish Insider 6/1: Senate Republicans reintroduce Hamas sanctions legislation
Jerusalem Post 6/30: Senate GOP reintroduces ‘Palestinian Int’l Terror Support Prevention Act’
Times of Israel 5/29: Biden again calls out antisemitism; Congress pushes appointment of special envoy