Legislative Round-Up: November 5, 2021

1. Bills, Resolutions, Letters
2. The Great 2021 Iron Dome Supplemental Debacle (cont.)
3. FY22 NDAA – Senate
4. Hearings & Markups
5. On the Record

*Brought to you in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Round-Up was born!

Special note: On October 22, 2021, the Israeli government declared six Palestinian human rights groups to be “terror organizations” – a designation that effectively outlaws the groups, criminalizes their work under Israeli law and enables Israel to seize assets, arrest staff, prohibit funding, and punish public expressions of support and solidarity. With this terror designation, the Israeli government has escalated its longtime efforts to crush Palestinian organizations that document Israel’s ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights and seek to hold Israel accountable. FMEP is proud to present a compendium of resources on this issue (which we are adding to every day).

New additions this week:

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

(DEMANDING DESIGNATION OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AS AN FTO) HR 5840/S. 3151: Introduced 11/3 in the House by Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and 13 cosponsors (all Republican), and in the Senate by Cruz (R-TX) and 2 Republican cosponsors, “To require the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, respectively. Cruz press release here, including as background: “The Biden administration has recently conditioned assistance that our Egyptian allies would use for security operations, including counterterrorism, until Egypt ends prosecutions against extremists and drops charges against 16 specific but unnamed individuals. Those actions come against the backdrop of a broader push by Democrats to pressure Egypt to release extremists, including Muslim Brotherhood members.” [Cruz is on a tear venting his rage at the Biden Administration’s alleged unfair treatment of Israel – for more see Section 4, below].

(SANCTIONS FOR KHASHOGGI MURDERERS) S. 3155: Introduced 11/3 by Menendez (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT) and Wyden (D-OR), “A bill to impose sanctions with respect to individuals responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi, to protect human rights in the sale, export, and transfer of defense articles and defense services to Saudi Arabia, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

(DEFENDING FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS: H. Res. 770: Introduced 11/3 by Murphy (R-NC) and 24 Republican cosponsors, “Expressing support for the First Amendment to the Constitution and its bipartisan impact regarding the protection of free speech as well as academic freedoms for all students and faculty.” Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. NOTE: this resolution is yet another resounding Republican statement defending free speech on campus, which taken at face value would at least appear to include campus speech and activism challenging Israeli policies and Zionism [but clearly not intended to extend to supporting ALL free speech on campus, given that it is co-sponsored by the likes of Budd, R-NC, who has actively targeted criticism of Israel on campuses — e.g., here, here]

Letters

(NO F-16s FOR TURKEY) Pappas et al letter to Blinken: On 11/1, Rep. Pappas (D-NH) led a letter to SecState Blinken, cosigned by 41 House colleagues, regarding plans to sell Turkey F-16s. Per the press release, the letter expresses the members’ opposition to the plans and demands “information from the State Department following recent reports of a request from Turkey to purchase 40 F-16 fighter jets and dozens of modernization kits for its existing warplanes from the United States.” Also see Sarbanes (D-MD) press release and tweet.

(NO US CONSULATE IN JERUSALEM) Zeldin et al letter to Biden: On 11/1, Rep. Zeldin (R-NY) led a letter President Biden, signed by almost all House Republicans, expressing  “strong opposition” to any plans to “reopen the U.S. consulate general in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.” The letter argues that such a move would be “inconsistent” with U.S. law (not true) and the bipartisan consensus in Congress (not clear at this time whether this is true or not). The letter also suggests that such a move would “create a misguided situation in which the U.S. would essentially have two separate diplomatic missions in Israel’s capital” and that doing so (among other terrible things) would “reward and turn a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority engaging in real obstacles to peace…” Also see: Zeldin press release & tweet; 200 House Republicans sign letter opposing Jerusalem consulate (Jewish Insider); More GOP members sign onto letter opposing Jerusalem consulate (Jewish Insider). Also see tweets from: Gonzales (R-TX), Granger (R-TX), Cawthorn (R-NC-11), Grothman (R-WI-6), Long (R-MO-7), McCarthy (R-CA-23), Scalise (R-LA-1), Westerman (R-AR-4), Green (R-TN-7), Steube (R-FL-17), Smith (R-MO-8)

(SANCTIONS TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC & POLITICAL REFORM IN LEBANON) Menendez-Risch letter to Biden Admin: On 10/31, Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Risch (R-ID) sent a letter to SecState Blinken and Treasury Secretary Yellen “to express our ongoing concern over the political and economic crisis facing Lebanon and to urge the administration to complement the European Union’s announced sanctions framework to push Lebanese leaders to take difficult but important steps to help their country.” The letter goes on to state: “we urge the administration to take steps to complement the EU’s announced sanctions framework and to work closely with counterparts both in Brussels and in member-state capitals to coordinate sanctions so that Lebanese leaders, including members and supporters of Hezbollah, fully understand the consequences, including the freezing of any assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction, of their behavior.” It closes noting: “The United States must make it clear that it continues to stand ready to help the people of Lebanon, not only through the provision on desperately needed assistance but also by ensuring that Lebanese leaders work on behalf of all Lebanese and that they will face accountability if they do not.” Press release is here.

(NO WEAKENING OF IRAN SANCTIONS) Brooks et al letter to Biden: On 10/29, Rep. Brooks (R-AL), Miller (R-IL), Perry (R-PA), Moore (R-AL), and Good (R-VA) sent a letter to President Biden “regarding your Administration’s recent decision to drop sanctions against two Iranian missile producers. Further, we request that you reject Iran’s request for $10 billion in sanctions relief as a precondition to any resumption of nuclear talks as well as urge against any return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) framework.” The letter goes on to urge Biden to “maintain a maximum pressure campaign against Iran and disavow further relief of any other sanctions. Iran has proven they cannot be trusted. Providing Iran with the financial relief they request will put the United States in a position of weakness for future negotiations, permit Iran to continue their nuclear conventional build up, and line the pockets of extremists.

 

2.The Great 2021 Iron Dome Supplemental Debacle (cont.)

This week marked another week in which the supplemental $1 billion for Israel for Iron Dome is still being blocked in the Senate by Rand Paul (R-KY) — and another week in which voices that were raised in dismay/rage over a handful of House members expressing concerns or objections to the extra $1 billion for Israel (concerns that didn’t prevent the funding being approved within 2 days of the issue being brought up) remain silent about the delay in the Senate.

For those who need to catch up on what has happened with respect to the Iron Dome supplemental for Israel BEFORE this week, see:

3.FY22 NDAA – Senate

It remains an open question when the Senate will (finally) take up the FY22 NDAA. For more on this open question, see:

In anticipation of it doing so, amendments are rolling in. Amendments introduced (so far) are include SA 3867 (text here) – offered by Chairman Reed (D-RI), an amendment in the nature of a substitute (deleting the entire text of the House bill and replacing it with the text of S. 2792.

Middle East-related elements in SA 3867 (which will become the base bill in the Senate) are:

  • Section 1221 — “Extension and modification of authority to provide assistance to vetted Syrian groups and individuals.”
  • Section 1222 — “Extension and modification of authority to support operations and activities of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq.”
  • Section 1223 — “Extension and modification of authority to provide assistance to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”
  • Section 1271 — “Modification of United States-Israel Operations-Technology cooperation within the United States-Israel Defense Acquisition Advisory Group.” This extensive section, among other things, establishes a joint US-Israel operations-technology working group that seems, in effect, to be an effort to merge, to a great degree, U.S. and Israeli military planning. The section legislates that the purpose of the joint working group is, “(A) to provide a standing forum for the United States and Israel to systematically share intelligence-informed military capability requirements; (B) to identify military capability requirements common to the Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Israel; (C) to assist defense suppliers in the United States and Israel by assessing recommendations from such defense suppliers with respect to joint science, technology, research, development, test, evaluation, and production efforts; (D) to develop, as feasible and advisable, combined United States-Israel plans to research, develop, procure, and field weapon systems and military capabilities as quickly and economically as possible to meet common capability requirements of the Department and the Ministry of Defense of Israel; and (E) to seek ways to broaden Israeli cooperation with– (i) the signatories of the Abraham Accords; (ii) Egypt; and (iii) Jordan.”
  • Section 1272 — “Prohibition on support for offensive military operations against the Houthis in Yemen.”
  • Section 1555 — “Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system and Israeli cooperative missile defense program co-development and co-production.” This section provides
    • “not more than $108,000,000” for Israel for Iron Dome
    • “not more than” $30,000,000 for Israel for David’s Sling Weapon System,
    • “not more than” $62,000,000 for Israel for the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Interceptor Program
    • The table at the end of the bill notes that the bill provides $300,000,000 for Israeli cooperative programs [not clear what accounts for the additional $100,000,000)

Middle East-related amendments submitted to SA 3867 (so far) include:

  • [ISRAEL] SA 3895, submitted by Moran (R-KS), to add a new sectionl, “Grant Program for Increased Cooperation on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research Between United States and Israel.” [aka, S. 221, introduced by Moran 2/4/21 and referred to SFRC, where it has not been considered in any way]
  • [ISRAEL] SA 3896, submitted by Moran (R-KS), to add a new section, “Grant Program for Increased Cooperation on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research Between United States and Israel.” [this appears to be an abbreviated version of the language in SA 3895]
  • [EGYPT] SA 3883, submitted by Durbin (D-IL), Leahy (D-VT), Baldwin (D-WI), Booker (D-NJ) and Murphy (D-CT), to add a new section, Disbursement of Foreign Military Financing Funds for Egypt to Foreign Military Sales Trust Fund.” The section reads: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds appropriated pursuant to the Foreign Military Financing Program for assistance for Egypt for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 shall be disbursed to the Foreign Military Sales Trust Fund” [and NOT in an interest-bearing account]. Durbin explained the amendment in this tweet: “Egypt must answer for their ongoing harassment and detention of dissidents and human rights activists. I’m introducing NDAA amendments to hold them accountable—including a proposal to take away their interest-earning benefit on U.S. security aid.” NOTE: that tweet includes a link to a press release that appears to have been removed; see cached copy, entitled, “Durbin Files NDAA Amendment to Hold Egypt Accountable for Disappearances of Family Members of Illinois Resident”.
  • [LIBYA] SA 3884, submitted by Durbin (D-IL), to add a new section, “Report on Allegations of War Crimes and Torture Committed by United States Citizens in Libya.”
  • [EGYPT] SA 3885, submitted by Durbin (D-IL), Leahy (D-VT), Baldwin (D-WI), Booker (D-NJ) and Murphy (D-CT), to add a new section, “Report On Incidents Of Arbitrary Detention, Violence, And State-Sanctioned Harassment By The Government Of Egypt.
  • [ISRAEL] SA 3926, submitted by Portman (R-OH), Booker (D-NJ), Cardin (D-MD), and Young (R-AL), to add a new section, entitled, the “Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021.” [aka, S. 1061, introduced 3/35/21 by Portman, and held up in the Senate over opposition from Cruz (R-TX) over the bill’s rhetorical support in the bill for a two-state solution – language also included in this amendment; the House version, HR 2748 was reported out of HFAC on 9/30] [NOTE: this is an amendment to the base bill, not an amendment to the Substitute]
  • [ISRAEL] SA 3935, submitted by Rosen (D-NV), Collins (R-ME), Young (R-AL), and Whitehouse (D-RI), to add a new section, “United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement  [aka, S. 1193, introduced by Rosen 4/15/21 and referred to the SFRC, where there has been no further action on the bill; the House version, HR 2659, is similarly languishing in HFAC]
  • [ISRAEL]  SA 4044., submitted by Cruz (R-TX) to insert a new section, United States-Israel Directed Energy Capabilities Cooperation.” [See:  HR 1795 (2019) and HR 6725 (2020). Also note that this builds on a report required under the FY2021 NDAA relating to “potential areas for US-Israel directed energy cooperation”]
  • [SYRIA] SA 4012, submitted by Lee (R-UT), to add a new section, “Prohibition On Use Of Funds To Provide Assistance To Vetted Syrian Opposition.
  • [ISRAEL] SA 4068, submitted by Merkley (D-OR), to add a new section requiring a “Report on Israeli Settlement Activity in Occupied West Bank.”
  • [SYRIA] SA 4125, submitted by Shaheen (D-NH), to add a new section, “Modification of Establishment of Coordinator for Detained ISIS Members and Relevant Displaced Populations in Syria.”
  • [GREECE] SA 4150, submitted by Menendez (D-NJ), to add a new section, “U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act” (with lots of references to Israel). [aka, S. 2000/HR 4129]
  • [IRAN] SA 4241, submitted by Menendez (D-NJ), to add a new section, “Combating International Cybercrime” [with lots of references to Iran)
  • [TURKEY] SA 4283, submitted by Menendez (D-NJ), to require a “Report on and Determination with Respect to Exports by the Republic of Turkey of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.” Also see Menendez press release, Chairman Menendez Announces NDAA Amendments to Hold Turkey and Azerbaijan Accountable.
  • [SYRIA] SA 4307, submitted by Shaheen (D-NH), to add a new section, “Modification of Establishment of Coordinator for Detained ISIS Members and Relevant Displaced Populations in Syria.”
  • [ISRAEL] SA 4332, submitted by Rubio (R-FL) and a bipartisan group of cosponsors, to add a new section “United States-Israel Artificial Intelligence Center” [aka, S. 2120, introduced by Rubio 6/17/21 and sitting in the SFRC ever since, and HR 5148, introduced 10/12/21 and sitting in the HFAC’s Middle East subcommittee]
  • [IRAN/KSA] SA 4358, submitted by Rubio (R-FL) to add a new section, “Preventing the Recognition of Terrorist States Act of 2021” [aka, S. 2745, introduced by Rubio 9/14/21, and HR 5333, introduced by Scott (R-FL) 9/22]. Includes provisions related to Iran and Saudi Arabia.
  • [PALESTINIAN TEXTBOOKS] SA 4446, submitted by Kennedy (R-LA), to add a new section entitled,  “Reports on Curriculum Used in Schools in Areas Controlled by the Palestinian Authority and in Gaza.” [Yes, we are seeing daily violence against Palestinians by settlers, and Gaza is trying to recover from another war, but once again, members of Congress want to focus on the idea that it is textbooks that are teaching Palestinian kids not to love Israel, its people, and its soldiers].
  • [GREECE] SA 4511, submitted by Menendez (D-NJ) and Rubio (R-FL), to add a section, “U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021.” [This is similar to SA 4150, but not identical – for example, it omits last finding re: Turkey].
  • [SYRIA/LEBANON] SA 4487, submitted by Risch (R-ID), to add a new section, “Prohibition on Use of Funds for the Arab Gas Pipeline.
  • [GAZA] SA 4533, offered by Sanders (I-VT), to add a new section, “Report on the Humanitarian Impact of the Gaza Restrictions and the Feasibility of Ending the Restrictions.
  • [SAUDI ARABIA/YEMEN] SA 4535, submitted by Sanders (I-VT) and Markey (D-MA), adding a new section, “Prohibition on Support or Military Participation in Saudi-Led Operations in Yemen.”
  • [GULF STATES] SA 4477, submitted by Romney (R-UT) and Shaheen (D-NH), to add a new section, “Sense of Congress on Allies and Partners Assisting Evacuation from Afghanistan.” [List of allies/partners includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates].
  • [KSA/UAE] SA 4489, submitted by Risch (R-ID), to add a new section, “Authority to Enter Into a Cooperative Agreement to Protect Civilians in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from Weaponized Unmanned Aerial Systems.”

Text of these amendments can be found in the Congressional Record here, here, here, here, and here.

4.Hearings & Markups

November 3: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled, “Assessing Progress and Challenges in State Department Management, Operations, and Reforms. The sole witness was Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (written testimony). And just like last week in the SFRC, one of the issues raised was the Biden Administration’s plans with respect to opening/re-opening a U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. This time around, the issue was raised by Zeldin (R-NJ) and also by a Democrat, Sherman (D-CA), starting at 58:50 in the video (also see AIPAC’s tweet lauding Sherman for his question):

Sherman: “When you testified in the Senate I believe you affirmed that the government of Israel would have to give affirmative consent before the U.S. reopens a U.S. consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. Can you confirm that the State Department needs the consent of the host government to open a diplomatic facility and that that applies to Jerusalem?

McKeon: “Yes, Mr. Chairman, we’re working with the government of Israel. The practical reality is that we would need privileges and immunities which only the state of Israel can provide.”

Commentary/Analysis: As noted on last week’s Round-up – The fact that some people seem to have believed that the US could establish a diplomatic mission in any other country without the explicit consent of that country suggests that people don’t understand how diplomacy works, and how it relates to the issue of sovereignty. This is actually not complicated at all. A diplomatic mission operates as, literally, an island of foreign sovereignty within the territory of the host country, staffed by foreign diplomats who (for the most part) enjoy immunity from the jurisdiction of the host government. This is why people fleeing persecution from a country’s authorities sometimes seek refuge in foreign embassies; to forcibly enter those embassies would be tantamount to an attack on the country itself. And to be clear: no nation can simply rent/buy a property in a foreign country and declare it, unilaterally, under their own country’s sovereignty. The host country must consent to giving up its sovereignty to a foreign nation (and this includes countries having the authority to veto locations where they don’t want foreign missions – say, for their own security reasons). Likewise, only a host country can decide whether to issue diplomatic visas to people sent by a foreign country — and without such visas there is no diplomatic immunity for diplomats (and the U.S. will not send diplomats abroad in such a situation).

Also see: Sherman (D-CA-30) 11/03/2021: Twitter thread – “(1/3) During today’s @HouseForeign hearing, I was pleased that Dep. Sec. McKeon confirmed that requiring U.S. citizens to register with the State Department when entering war zones would have vastly improved the Afghanistan evacuation. My SAFE Act (H.R. 5387) would do just that. (2/3) This is not a new issue. In the U.S.’s evacuation of 15,000 Americans from Lebanon in 2006, the subsequent GAO report found that the lack of registration significantly hampered evacuation efforts, just like it did in Afghanistan this year. (3/3) My commonsense legislation will better prepare the State Department to assist Americans in emergencies abroad. I urge my colleagues to support it. Read my bill here: Link to www.congress.gov

5. On the Record

NOTE: As of this week, the Round-Up’s “On The Record” section has gotten an upgrade, with far better tracking of members’ comments on Twitter, via a fantastic tool built by @Justice2590. For folks who want to see what members are saying on Twitter (about the Middle East) on an ongoing basis – rather than waiting for the Round-Up – check out that fantastic tool here.

Also note: For the second consecutive week, there is not a single statement from a member of Congress regarding Donald Trump’s assertion – recorded on a radio talk show – that “…Israel literally owned Congress – you understand that – 10 years ago, 15 years ago. And it was so powerful. It was so powerful. And today it’s almost the opposite,” and blamed Israel losing ownership of Congress on progressive Democrats – “You have between AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and [Rep. Ilhan] Omar – and these people that hate Israel, they hate it with a passion – they’re controlling Congress and Israel is not a force in Congress anymore. I mean, it’s just amazing; I’ve never seen such a change.” As a reminder, in the past, statements by progressive members of Congress who are critical of Israeli policies have repeatedly been creatively parsed/interpreted to accuse these members of Congress of evoking an antisemitic trope (for daring to suggest, for example, that pro-Israel political donations has even the tiniest bit of impact in Congress). And in each instance, the accusations have prompted a flood of outraged statements/tweets, demands for apologies and resignations, and accusations that the entire Democratic party has an “antisemitism problem.” But when the former U.S. president – who continues to be a powerful force within the Republican party and among congressional Republicans – states forthrightly that Israel “literally owned” Congress — but only as a hook for once again using Israel as an issue with which to bash progressive Democrats — members of Congress on both sides of the aisle fall conspicuously silent.

Israel-Palestine (NO US CONSULATE IN JERUSALEM!!)

Cassidy (R-LA) 11/05/2021: Tweet – “The Jewish State of Israel is one of our greatest allies. The Biden administration must not threaten this relationship with a plan that is in clear conflict with U.S. law, which states Jerusalem should not be divided.” Link to article.

Hagerty (R-TN) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “Biden continues to push forward his inflammatory plan to establish a second mission in Jerusalem despite the fact this plan violates the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. My colleagues & I introduced legislation to block the Admin’s efforts to subvert the law. Link to www.timesofisrael.com

Hagerty (R-TN) 10/31/2021: Tweet – “After introducing legislation to protect full & faithful implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, I was pleased to receive confirmation from Dep. Sec. Brian McKeon that Israel must consent before opening any diplomatic facility in their country. Link to www.jpost.com

Jewish Press 10/31: Report: Democratic Congressmen Working to Prevent Reopening of Consulate in Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority

Israel Hayom 10/31: Democrats to call on Biden not to open Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem

Inhofe (R-OK) 10/30/2021: Twitter thread – “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel—plain and simple. In 1995 I sponsored legislation to reflect that, but it wasn’t implemented until President Trump took office. .@SenatorHagerty and I secured an amendment earlier this year to prevent a change in policy. We just introduced the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law of 2021 to protect the law and ultimately ensure Jerusalem remains the capital of Israel permanently.”

Hagerty (R-TN) 10/28/2021: Tweet – “Biden’s proposal to open a 2nd US mission in Jerusalem would reverse the recognition of Jerusalem & divide Israel’s undivided capital city. I questioned Deputy Sec. of State Brian McKeon over the Admin’s controversial plan to reopen a US consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem.  Link to video

Hagerty (R-TN) 10/29/2021: Tweet – “The Biden Admin insists on making moves that divide the U.S. & Israel. Trump Admin kept its promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, & Congress must do everything in our power to strengthen our posture. Pleased to lead my colleagues in this effort.  Link to www.jpost.com

Confirmations & Elections

Jewish Insider 11/5: Why DMFI entered the Florida 20 race [“‘Until Hardy emerged as an anti-Israel candidate, there was not a compelling reason for us to be engaged in the race,’ Mark Mellman, the president of DMFI’s political action committee, explained in an interview with JI on Thursday. ‘Once he emerged as an anti-Israel candidate, there was a compelling rationale to make sure that he did as poorly as possible.’”]

Congratulating Tom Nides confirmation as US Ambassador to Israel 11/4 and 11/5: Levin (D-MI), Deutch (D-FL-22), Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Frankel (D-FL)[also press release], Trone (D-MD-6), Klobuchar (D-MN), Rosen (D-NV)

Jewish Insider 11/4: Foreign Relations Committee approves Emanuel, Leaf in heated meeting

Jewish Insider 11/4: Tom Nides confirmed by Senate, following GOP obstruction

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/2: Unanimous Consent request to move ahead with confirming 8-9 nominees for State Department posts (blocked by Hawley, R-MS) — “So we will have no Ambassador in Israel as we deal with the challenges of Iran and others in the region. It is mind-boggling, all of those who get up here and talk about our ally, the State of Israel, the importance of the State of Israel, but we won’t have an Ambassador there to help us meet the challenges that Israel has.”

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Press release – Sen. Cruz Blasts Biden Middle East Nomination: ‘The American People Have a Right to Know if the Biden Administration is Trying to Pressure our Allies to Release Muslim Brotherhood Extremists’

Cruz (R-TX) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “I asked Biden’s hand-picked nominee to run Middle East policy if the 16 prisoners that Biden is coercing Egypt to release are affiliated with groups that push Islamic extremism or hatred against Jews. Barbara Leaf’s response: 1000 words of gobbledygook but no answer. Link to video

Free Beacon 11/3: Pro-BDS House Candidate Soundly Defeated in Florida Primary

Jewish Insider 11/3: GOP delays Lipstadt confirmation hearing over old tweets

Haaretz 11/3: Republican Senator Blocks Confirmation of Biden’s Choice for U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Jewish Insider 11/2: Republicans block U.S. ambassador to Israel but confirm U.S. ambassador to Canada

NGOs Under Attack

Cruz (R-TX) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “Nonsense. I’ve read through the evidence about these so-called “humanitarian” NGOs. There’s no question they finance Palestinian terrorism. The Israelis have the receipts (literally!) Link to quoted tweet

McCollum (D-MN) 11/03/21: Twitter – I introduced H.Res.751 and #HR2590 because Israel’s military occupation abuses the human rights of Palestinian children & families—and now, even the NGOs defending Palestinians. Human rights are not negotiable.” Linked to article, Israel’s secret ‘evidence’ against rights groups is based on torture and lies, and Europeans rejected it — Palestinian leaders tell a DC audience (Mondoweiss)

Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) 10/29/2021: Tweet – “Proud to cosponsor this Resolution. Labeling Palestinian human rights/civil society groups as “terrorist organizations” allows Israeli authorities to close offices, seize assets, and arrest/jail staff of legitimate human rights groups. It has no place in a Democratic society.  Link to quoted tweet

Omar (D-MN-5) 10/29/2021: Retweet of @jjz1600 – “Listening to a forum w/ the 6 Palestinian civil society groups that Israel has smeared as “terrorist.” They have been exposing Israel’s human rights violations & Israel wants to silence them. Among the groups are: @Addameer @alhaq_org @DCIPalestine. Their work must be defended! Link to photo

Tlaib (D-MI-13) 10/28/2021: Retweet of @DCIPalestine – “Tomorrow (Friday) at 10:30 am ET (5:30 pm Jerusalem), hear from leaders of all six Palestinian organizations being targeted by the Israeli government. Watch on Facebook live or register to watch on Zoom: Link to www.facebook.com   Link to photo

Targeting Congressional Support for Palestinian Rights

Jewish Insider 11/4: Rep. Elaine Luria: Some Iron Dome aid opponents think ‘Israel doesn’t have a right to exist’

Israel-Palestine (general)

Castro (D-TX-20) 11/03/2021: Retweet of @SarabiaTX – “>> @JoaquinCastrotx called for NSO Group to be blacklisted and sanctioned for human rights violations, along w @Malinowski, @katieporteroc and @RepAnnaEshoo. Biden administration took action today.  Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “As they should be. Negotiating with Iran? Consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem? Emboldening the Taliban with feckless withdrawal from Afghanistan? #StandWithIsrael Link to quoted tweet

Murphy (D-CT) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “This will help rein in the unchecked spread of this surveillance spyware.  Link to quoted tweet

Jewish Insider 11/3/2021: Threading a needle on social media reforms in Israel [Excerpt: “The problem is Talmudic in complexity: How to regulate the ill effects of social media platforms — algorithms that push people toward radicalism, the dissemination of false information and the spread of antisemitism and other forms of hate — without trampling on free speech and privacy rights? That knotty question, which no Western government has been able to answer even as the influence of the internet has evolved at breakneck speed, is now on the shoulders, in Israel at least, of Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel. Just back from a visit to the U.S., where he shared ideas with members of Congress and Jewish groups about ways to regulate social media platforms and hold them accountable for their actions, Hendel is getting to work..”]

Levin (D-MI-9) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “If the U.S. wishes to be a true friend to the people of Israel, it is critical that we make clear which policies we believe to be harmful. As MK @YairGolan1 puts it, “The best friends are not those who enable counterproductive or self-destructive behavior.  Link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

Omar (D-MN-5) 11/02/2021: Retweet of @ajplus – “Israel told 4 Palestinian families in #SheikhJarrah it would delay forcibly removing them for 15 yrs, if they accept Israeli settlers own their homes. Families said no. The UN says Israeli moves to displace 150 Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem may be a war crime.  Link to photo

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Retweet of @Kredo0 – “VIDEO: @TedCruz Praises @FreeBeacon on Senate Floor for Exposing Biden Admin Effort To Ban Term ‘Abraham Accords’  Link to freebeacon.com

Rubio (R-FL) 10/31/2021: Tweet – “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Deuteronomy 6:4” [yes, that’s the whole tweet]

Israel Hayom 10/31: Breaking the Silence director meets with Ilhan Omar in Washington

Levin (D-MI-9) 10/30/2021: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “.@RepAndyLevin’s Two-State Solution Act is now up to 35 cosponsors!? Thank you to @RepMaxineWaters @RepThompson @RepJoshHarder @RepBillFoster and @RepMcNerney for joining this week in the fight for peace, equality and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians!”

Iran

Steil (R-WI-1) 11/05/2021: Tweet – “As the Biden Administration continues to negotiate re-entering the Iran Nuclear Deal, I remain very concerned about Iran‘s growing nuclear capabilities and attempts to intimidate the United States. We must hold #Iran accountable. Link to freebeacon.com

Cassidy (R-LA) 11/05/2021: Tweet – “It seems President Biden would rather outsource Americans energy jobs to Russia, Iran, and China than support energy workers in Louisiana.”

Bacon (R-NE-2) 11/04/2021: Retweet of @EzraFriedlander – “Today Nov 4,in (1979), in a flagrant violation of international law, militants seized control of our Embassy in Iran, taking American hostage. Thank u @RepTomSuozzi @RepDonBacon @AlexPadilla4CA @marcorubio f honoring them w Congressional Gold Medal; a process I am spearheading!”

Cruz (R-TX) 11/04/2021: Retweet of @SteveGuest – “Sen. Ted Cruz: Biden “said publicly that if Iran enters into a new nuclear deal, that the United States would stay bound by it in perpetuity… I want to be absolutely clear on something: President Biden has ZERO constitutional authority to make that commitment.” Link to video

Biggs (R-AZ-5) 11/03/2021: Retweet of @LibertyIranian – “Behind the scenes photos from yesterday’s 16th Congressional Meet & Greet of 2021. Thank you again to @RepAndyBiggsAZ for connecting with the Iranian American community. We are thankful for his support! Link to photo

Biggs (R-AZ-5) 11/04/2021: Retweet of @Bryan_E_Leib – “Over the last nine months, @LibertyIranian has hosted 16 Congressional Meet & Greets! It’s truly been an honor for me to meet so many amazing patriots! Some of which are pictured below: @RepSteel, @RepAndyBiggsAZ, @RepHerrell, @RepChipRoy & @RepDonaldsPress More to come! Link to photo

Hagerty (R-TN) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “Unsurprisingly, Russia & OPEC member countries—including Iran and Venezuela—are not rushing to bail out Biden and the Dems’ failing energy policies. Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “Our department of defense is in a race – but it’s not in a race to beat China. It’s not in a race to beat Iran ” “It’s in a race to train our soldiers on the finer points of Critical Race Theory and climate ideology.” More on how wokeness=weakness: Link to www.youtube.com   Link to video

Roy (R-TX-21) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “Honored to take part! Link to quoted tweet

Cassidy (R-LA) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “.@POTUS’s policy of killing U.S. energy jobs & production doesn’t decrease U.S. energy consumption. It just outsources emissions and our jobs to countries like Russia and Iran.”

Hagerty (R-TN) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “U.S. law mandates congressional review to block or allow Russia sanctions relief. Dozens of senators support my bill to extend the same review to Iran sanctions relief. Need to add to NDAA if Biden circumvents Constitution & INARA to rejoin Iran deal. Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “Of course Iran will join “negotiations” – what with @JoeBiden turning his back on Israel, abandoning Americans & assets to the Taliban, and begging the world for oil… Iran knows America will give them what they want. Link to quoted tweet

Brooks (R-AL-5) 11/02/2021: Retweet of @yhn – “.@RepMoBrooks says Biden ‘appeasing’ Iran over sanctions lift, calls on president to employ ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against regime #alpolitics By @DylanSmithAL Link to yellowhammernews.com

Cassidy (R-LA) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “The U.S. cannot continue to cede energy production to countries like Russia and Iran. Producing cleaner burning natural gas here in the U.S. creates American jobs, and exporting it abroad decreases global emissions. Link to www.cassidy.senate.gov

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “A 1, 2 punch for the Biden administration to empower our adversaries. Iran gets money and China gets cheap oil while the Biden administration sits on their hands. Link to quoted tweet

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “Of course a mouthpiece for Iran’s terrorist regime thinks following the Constitution makes America a rogue regime. But our President is not the Ayatollah. He can’t murder or imprison political opponents & yes, a future GOP President will tear up any Iran deal that isn’t a treaty. Link to quoted tweet

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “As the Iranian regime has been building up to a nuclear weapon, Joe Biden has been dismantling pressure on the regime. There’s no question about that any more. The only question left is why. Link to quoted tweet

Scott (R-SC) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “The Iran Nuclear Deal was a bad agreement with a bad actor. Under no circumstances should Joe Biden re-enter it. Link to www.cnn.com

McConnell (R-KY) 11/02/2021: Floor statement on NDAA, including: “Emboldened terrorists are already stepping up violence against Americans and our allies in the Middle East. The administration is failing to deter Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.”

Brooks (R-AL-5) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “Those pulling the strings of the Biden presidency are desperately trying to salvage Obama’s legacy by bringing back his Iran nuclear deal. The Senate shouldn’t confirm another state department nominee until they secure a commitment to halt these negations. Link to www.breitbart.com

Fallon (R-TX-4) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “Why is this Administration reentering negotiations with the largest state sponsor of terror in the world? We need to reimplement maximum pressure on the Iranian regime.”

Cassidy (R-LA) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “After killing U.S. energy jobs, @POTUS admits the world can’t stop all oil & natural gas use tomorrow, BUT his solution is to have OPEC and Russia supply it?!? This administration is a stronger ally to Iran and Russia than American energy workers. Link to www.npr.org

Inhofe (R-OK) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “Tune in at 11 AM ET as I join my Senate colleagues pushing for a Senate vote on this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. With all the threats we face from China, Russia, terrorists, Iran, North Korea, national security must be Congress’ top priority. #FY22NDAA  Link to quoted tweet

Womack (R-AR-3) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “While POTUS Biden is abroad, let’s review some of his foreign policy thus far: – Greenlighting Putin’s pipeline, which is already weaponizing energy shortages – Leaving Americans in Afghanistan – Signaling concessions to Iran – Southern border crisis – CCP aggression flourishing”

Cruz (R-TX) 10/31/2021: Tweet – “Nope. Joe Biden has ZERO constitutional authority to make that commitment. Unless any deal w/ Iran is ratified by the Senate as a treaty—which Biden knows will NOT happen—it is a 100% certainty that any future Republican president will tear it up. Again. Link to www.theguardian.com

Omar (D-MN-5) 10/29/2021: Retweet of @dylanotes – “Good to see @POTUS meeting E3 leaders to discuss a path forward on Iran talks — and important that it’s clearly framed in the context of diplomacy & working toward an agreement That’s what worked before Trump broke the deal & triggered the current crisis with sanctions & threats Link to photo

Cassidy (R-LA) 10/29/2021: Tweet – “The Iran Nuclear Deal guaranteed Iran a nuclear weapon if they just waited 10 years. Nothing has changed. The U.S. should never negotiate with those who wish to do our allies harm. Link to www.cnbc.com

Lebanon

LaHood (R-IL-18) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “I enjoyed visiting with General Joseph Aoun, Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. I am grateful for General Aoun’s continued leadership of the LAF. As Iran and Hezbollah try to exert influence in the region, the US must remain supportive of a strong and independent LAF. Link to photo

Dingell (D-MI-12) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “Every day, I hear from neighbors who are desperate to help family members & friends in Lebanon as they endure a devastating humanitarian crisis. That’s why I’m continuing to urge @StateDept to act now to support humanitarian aid & grant TPS for those seeking refuge. Link to photo

Murphy (D-CT) 11/02/2021: Retweet of @SecBlinken – “Productive meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister @Najib_Mikati at @COP26. We discussed the need to implement urgent reforms to address Lebanon’s economic crisis and to hold free and fair elections next year.

Risch (R-ID) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “Last week, I asked the admin. to complement #EU sanctions and push #Lebanon’s leaders to commit to meaningful reforms that support #democracy for the #Lebanese people, instill accountability, & counter #Iran-backed #Hezbollah.⤵️ Link to www.foreign.senate.gov

DeFazio (D-OR-4) 10/29/2021: Tweet – “Proud to help secure needed funding for the Lebanon Veterans Home. It is our obligation to care for the men and women who have served our nation. I’m committed to securing resources that assist our senior veterans. Link to www.lebanonlocalnews.com

Egypt

Leahy (D-VT) 11/05/2021: Twitter thread – Egyptian human rights defender @FreeRamyShaath has spent 28 months in prison without charge. One can only conclude that Egyptian authorities have no lawful basis for detaining him. He should be released immediately. It is the responsibility of governments to protect human rights defenders, not to persecute them. Ramy Shaath has not even been charged, not to mention tried, despite more than two years behind bars. Egypt must release him and other prisoners of conscience.”

Cruz (R-TX) 11/05/2021: Tweet – “President Biden’s hand-picked nominee to run Middle East policy needs to stop stonewalling Congress and start telling the American people the truth. Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 11/04/2021: Retweet of @Logan_Ratick – “NEW: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) reintroduce the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.” Link to www.cruz.senate.gov

Cruz (R-TX) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “They are. Link to quoted tweet

Cruz (R-TX) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “It’s high time we join our allies in the Arab world in formally recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood for what they truly are—a terrorist organization. Link to www.cruz.senate.gov

Cruz (R-TX) 11/04/2021: Retweet of @Logan_Ratick – “NEW: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) reintroduce the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.” Link to www.cruz.senate.gov

Cruz (R-TX) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “Joe Biden is using American taxpayer money as a quid pro quo for Egypt to release imprisoned extremists. He won’t tell Americans who the extremists are or whether they’re affiliated with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Why is it being kept from the American public? Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “The Biden administration is withholding $130 million for fighting terrorism in Egypt under the condition that Egypt release extremists. This is both inexplicable and a brazen quid pro quo. Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 11/03/2021: Retweet of @HoustonKeene – “.@SenTedCruz says the #Biden admin is “holding hostage” millions of dollars in military funds for Egypt while “demanding a quid pro quo” for the release of 16 currently incarcerated prisoners. Cruz says Biden admin “refuses to identify” prisoners Link to quoted tweet

Cruz (R-TX) 11/03/2021: Retweet of @RichSementa – “.@tedcruz: Biden Mid East Nominee Won’t Answer If Biden Is Coercing Egypt To Release Extremist Prisoners Link to rumble.com

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “RELEASE: Sen. Cruz Blasts Biden Middle East Nomination: ‘The American People Have A Right To Know If The Biden Administration Is Trying To Pressure Our Allies To Release Muslim Brotherhood Extremists’ Link to www.cruz.senate.gov

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “President Biden and Biden-Harris officials are boosting Muslim Brotherhood extremists, elevating Palestinian groups tied to terrorism at the expense of our Israeli and Arab allies, and dismantling pressure on Iran.  Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “President Biden and Biden-Harris officials are boosting Muslim Brotherhood extremists, elevating Palestinian groups tied to terrorism at the expense of our Israeli and Arab allies, and dismantling pressure on Iran. Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “Barbara Leaf essentially told me to go jump in a lake when I pressed her on why the Biden Administration is withholding aid for fighting terrorism from our Egyptian allies. Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “Joe Biden is withholding $130m in aid for fighting terrorists from Egypt. We know Democrats are pressuring Egypt to release anti-Semitic hate preachers and Muslim Brotherhood extremists. Link to video

Saudi Arabia & Yemen

Buck (R-CO-4) 11/04/2021: Retweet of @RepRoKhanna – “FARA records exposed the Saudi lobbying campaign against my efforts to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. My bill with @RepKenBuck, @SenLummis, & @SenWhitehouse will help show which foreign governments are influencing our elected leaders. Link to www.axios.com

Khanna (D-CA-17) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “FARA records exposed the Saudi lobbying campaign against my efforts to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. My bill with @RepKenBuck, @SenLummis, & @SenWhitehouse will help show which foreign governments are influencing our elected leaders. Link to www.axios.com

Hagerty (R-TN) 11/04/2021: Tweet – “Had a good discussion with Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Princess Reema al-Saud, and Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed al-Jaber. We discussed what Saudi Arabia is doing to resolve the situation in Yemen and the challenges posed by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Link to photo

Connolly (D-VA-11) 11/3/21: Press release – Connolly Submits Testimony in Support of DC Council’s Jamal Khashoggi Way Designation Act of 2021

Connolly (D-VA-11) 11/03/2021: Retweet of @DAWNmenaorg – “Please add my voice, as Jamal’s Congressman, to the chorus of support for the Jamal Khashoggi Way Designation Act of 2021.” @GerryConnolly delivered a testimony to the @councilofdc today, explaining his committee to justice and representation for Jamal through Bill 24-22. Link to photo

Warren (D-MA) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “I am disappointed that the Saudi authorities aren’t allowing US citizen Dr. Walid Fitaihi to return back home to his family and community in Boston. The Saudis should immediately lift the travel ban and permit him to return home safely. Link to www.middleeasteye.net

Armstrong (R-ND-0) 11/01/2021: Retweet of @SenKevinCramer – “. @POTUS says the idea OPEC+ countries won’t produce more oil to fuel our nation is “not right.” What’s not right is relying on Russia and Saudi Arabia for a dirtier product all while the administration wages war on our domestic producers and raises costs for every American. Link to video

Risch (R-ID) 11/02/2021: Tweet – “I condemn the #Houthi’s ballistic missile attack on a mosque & religious school in #Marib, which left dozens killed & injured. This deliberate targeting of civilians is abhorrent & highlights the Houthi’s lack of commitment to peace. Link to www.al-monitor.com

Crenshaw (R-TX-2) 11/02/2021: Retweet of @GovernorPerry – “As Dr. @FareedZakaria recently said, “America is the Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas” and we have the ability to utilize our own resources at home while exporting environmental progress abroad. #COP26 Link to www.washingtonpost.com

Cramer (R-ND) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “. @POTUS says the idea OPEC+ countries won’t produce more oil to fuel our nation is “not right.” What’s not right is relying on Russia and Saudi Arabia for a dirtier product all while the administration wages war on our domestic producers and raises costs for every American. Link to video

Gooden (R-TX-5) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “Joe Biden blamed high gas prices on Saudi Arabia not pumping more oil. Since Biden took office, he has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline and suspended new oil and gas leases.

Scalise (R-LA-1) 10/31/2021: Tweet – “Joe Biden has been a better president for Saudi oil companies than for hardworking American families. Let that sink in. Link to www.cnbc.com

Cornyn (R-TX) 10/31/2021: Twitter thread – “Biden disappointed by lack of climate commitments from China, Russia Link to thehill.com They are happy to see the rest of the world limit energy sources and restrict their economies while China is on a building binge of coal-fired plants, and Russia and Saudi Arabia fill the void left by constraints on US energy production.

Turkey

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/01/2021: Retweet of @SFRCdems – “Osman Kavala was unjustly arrested by the Turkish state four long years ago. I join those calling for his immediate release as well as the release of all political prisoners and journalists illegally detained in Turkey.   The rule of law must prevail. Link to quoted tweet

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/01/2021: Tweet – “Osman Kavala was unjustly arrested by the Turkish state four long years ago. I join those calling for his immediate release as well as the release of all political prisoners and journalists illegally detained in Turkey.   The rule of law must prevail. Link to quoted tweet

Pallone (D-NJ-6) 10/31/2021: Tweet – “Good to see President Biden is holding Erdogan accountable for his adversarial actions & his blatant violations of international law. Last week, I joined my colleagues in urging the Biden Admin not to sell F-16 fighter jets & other military equipment to Turkey for those reasons. Link to quoted tweet

Sessions (R-TX-17) 10/29/2021: Retweet of @TurkishEmbassy – “We are also thankful to Congressmen @PeteSessions, @RepDonBacon, @RepSteveChabot and @RepJoeWilson for cosponsoring H.Res.733, the resolution congratulating the Turkish Republic Day!  Link to quoted tweet

Other – Middle East

Murphy (D-CT) 11/03/2021: Tweet – “Just so we’re all operating on the same information about who America’s “allies” are, read this story about how Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE facilitated the coup in Sudan. Link to www.wsj.com

Cruz (R-TX) 11/01/2021: statement on the Record slamming Obama and Biden policy in the Middle East [“…I rise today because history is repeating itself, because I am deeply worried that President Biden and the Biden-Harris administration are returning to the very worst policies and the very worst tactics of the Obama years and that the consequences are going to be far worse. Once again, the Biden-Harris administration is boosting the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious extremist groups in the Middle East. They are elevating the Palestinians at the expense of our Israeli and Arab allies, and they are dismantling pressure on Iran. And, once again, they are hiding those details from Congress…”]

Buck (R-CO-4) 10/31/2021: Tweet – “Joe Biden is failing America: ISIS is back. Inflation is skyrocketing. Gas prices are up. The border is out of control. Violent crime is spiking. Link to nypost.com

Cruz (R-TX) 10/31/2021: Tweet – “.@cnn is deranged. And no, as a factual matter, supporting genocidal religious zealots is not the same as disagreeing with the current President. Link to quoted tweet