Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived.
New FMEP programming this week:
- New FMEP Occupied Thoughts podcast: Israeli Government Escalates Pressure on Israelis Who Stand in Solidarity with Palestinians, ft. Lara Friedman in conversation with Oriel Eisner and Maya Eshel, two of the activists detained by the Israeli police last week (in separate but connected incidents).
- New FMEP Occupied Thoughts podcast: Texas & the Constitutional Right to Boycott, ft. FMEP fellow Peter Beinart in conversation with Texas speech pathologist Bahia Amawi and CAIR attorney Gadeir Abbas about the fight for the right to boycott Israel in Texas
(WEAPONIZING US BANKING SYSTEM TO TARGET PALESTINIANS) S. 3318 (pdf): Introduced 12/6 by Cotton (R-AR) and 12 cosponsors (all Republicans), “A bill to deter foreign financial institutions from providing banking services for the benefit of foreign terrorist organizations and from facilitating or promoting payments for acts of terrorism” aka, “the Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act.” Referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Per Cotton’s explainer, the bill “is intended to deter foreign banks from making martyr payments by putting at risk their access to the U.S. financial system.” It does so by giving the Treasury Department “additional authority to designate foreign banks as institutions of primary money laundering concern and to forbid them from holding or using correspondent accounts in the United States if: The banks are used to facilitate or promote martyr payments to terrorists; or if the banks knowingly provide financial services to Hamas.” Also see:
- Tweets & Press releases: Cotton (R-AR), Daines (R-MT), Daines (R-MT), Cotton (R-AR), Cruz (R-TX), Hagerty (R-TN), Hagerty (R-TN), Hagerty (R-TN)
- Media: Jewish Insider, Jerusalem Post, Washington Times
- The Force Family role: per Jewish Insider 10/6, “…Stuart Force, the father of Taylor Force, the U.S. Army veteran who was killed in a 2016 terrorist attack in Israel, described the new legislation to Jewish Insider as ‘a more nuts-and-bolts approach to the actual mechanics of funding terrorism.’ Force is set to speak at the announcement today alongside the senators. He added that he and his wife, Robbi, ‘will do whatever we can do to help [Cotton] attack the problem’ and promote the bill. The Taylor Force Act ‘became our mission and it was our therapy. We didn’t go to grief counseling, we focused on doing this,’ he continued.”
(TARGETING UNRWA) HR 6155: Introduced 12/8 by Gooden (R-TX) and 11 cosponsors (all Republicans), “To prohibit United States contributions to the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
(WORLD MUST RECOGNIZE JEWISH TIES TO JERUSALEM) H. Res. 843: Introduced 12/8 by Gaetz (R-FL) and no cosponsors, “Affirming the historical connection of the Jewish people to the ancient and sacred city of Jerusalem and condemning efforts at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to deny Judaism’s millennia-old historical, religious, and cultural ties to Jerusalem.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
(WEAPONS SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA) S. J. Res. 31: Introduced 11/8 by Paul (R-KY) and having 8 bipartisan cosponsors, “A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of the proposed foreign military sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of certain defense articles.” Brought up on the Senate floor 12/7 (with a motion to discharge it from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and bring it to a vote). That motion to discharge was defeated by a vote of 30-67 (in effect, a vote to reject the resolution), with Paul and Lee (R-UT) being the only Republicans voting yes. Also see:
- Floor debate: Full debate is here. Money quote (pun intended) is at the end of the debate, when, in summing up opposition to the resolution, McConnell (R-KY) articulated what was arguably the most honest (if entirely morally bankrupt) rationale for supporting arms sales: “…we know that Russia and China will happily sell them advanced weapons systems. The importance of so-called great power competition is a matter of general consensus. So we should be wary of turning our backs on longtime partners and of pushing them into the arms of our adversaries.”
- Biden Administration: White House Statement of Administration Policy strongly opposing S. J. Res. 31
- Analysis/Opinion: America Must Stop Enabling the Saudi War in Yemen (Rand Paul in The American Conservative); Congress should support the Biden administration’s effort to sell defensive missiles to Saudi Arabia (FDD in Defense News ), Congress Must Halt Biden’s Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia (DAWN in Foreign Policy)
- Media Coverage: Senate rejects attempt to block Biden’s Saudi arms sale (The Hill), Senate shuts down effort to block arms sale to Saudi Arabia (Jewish Insider); Senate rejects bipartisan bid to stop $650M Saudi arms sale (AP), Senate votes to allow Saudi ‘defensive’ arms sale to proceed (Roll Call)
- Senate Tweets/statements: Paul (R-KY) 12/07/2021: Retweet of @amconmag – “NEW: “I am leading a bipartisan effort to end America’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s war on the Yemeni people. This week, I will force a vote on a bipartisan disapproval resolution that proposes to cancel the arms sale,” writes @RandPaul. America Must Stop Enabling the Saudi War in Yemen – The American Conservative”. Sanders (I-VT) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “LIVE: The Saudi government is waging a devastating war in Yemen and repressing its own people. We should not be rewarding them with more weapons of war. I’m on the floor of the Senate NOW to block an arms sale to this regime. Bernie Sanders… | twitter.com”. Durbin (D-IL) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “Just voted with a bipartisan group of Senators to halt a proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Given long list of Saudi atrocities, including brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, jailing of Raif Badawi, & war in Yemen, I see no reason to continue aiding & abetting their violence.” Merkley (D-OR) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “The war in Yemen has had devastating humanitarian impacts and we must end it as swiftly as possible. Selling more weapons to a key party to the conflict when there’s been no progress does the opposite.” Sanders (I-VT) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “My simple question is, why in the world would the United States reward a regime that has caused such pain in Yemen with more weapons. The answer is we should not. Link to video”. Cornyn (R-TX) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @Norman_Roule – “The Saudi people and those expatriates living in Riyadh deserve better international support, to include U.S. military technology to aid their defense. Link to quoted tweet”. Statement by Inhofe (R-OK) – Inhofe Urges Colleagues to Support Strategic Arms Sales
- House Tweets: Khanna (D-CA-17) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “The US has no place selling weapons to Saudi Arabia as it continues to bomb Yemeni civilians and drive the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. The Senate has a moral obligation to block it.” Omar (D-MN-5) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “The Senate must block this weapons sale and send a clear message: Congress will not tolerate Saudi impunity as it commits war crimes and starves the people of Yemen.” Omar (D-MN-5) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “Why are we selling weapons to one of the worst human rights abusers in the world?”
(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS) S.3347: Introduced 12/8 by Toomey (R-PA), Cardin (D-MD) and Rosen (D-NV), “A bill to identify and impose sanctions with respect to persons who are responsible for or complicit in abuses toward dissidents on behalf of the Government of Iran,” aka, the “Masih Alinejad HUNT Act.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. NOTE: this is the bill that, as reported in last week’s Round-Up, was purportedly introduced on 12/2 (but in fact wasn’t formally introduced until 12/8). And as noted in last week’s Round-Up, the measure was also offered as an amendment to the NDAA (the NDAA that got stalled in the Senate).
(FIGHTING ISLAMOPHOBIA) HR 6204: Introduced 12/9 by Omar (D-MN) and 54 cosponsors (all Democrats, the “Combating International Islamophobia Act.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. See Section 3, below, for details of 12/9 mark-up of a previous version of this bill, HR 5665 [Both bills are being covered in the Round-Up because the Markup focused a great deal on Israel.]
(WE <HEART> BAHRAIN) H. Res. XXX (pdf): Introduced (reportedly) on 12/10 by Malliotakis (R-NY), and Gottheimer (D-NJ), and 7 cosponsors (all Republicans), “Recognizing Bahrain on the 50th anniversary of its independence.” Text highlights, among other things, Bahrain’s normalization of ties with Israel. Also see: Malliotakis press release.
(ATTACKING AIRBNB) Rubio letter to Airbnb: On 12/17, Sen. Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky, expressing his concern “with Airbnb’s shameful decision to feature rental properties on land owned by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a Chinese state-owned paramilitary organization complicit in the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).” Rubio goes on to argue: “By maintaining these listings, Airbnb is complicit in enriching an organization facilitating horrific human rights abuse and risks violating U.S. sanction law that prohibits such transactions from occurring.” Remarkably, in seeking to bolster his case against Airbnb, Rubio invokes – and implicitly appears to validate – Airbnb’s effort to stop listing properties in West Bank settlements, noting: “Given Airbnb’s history of involving itself in debates putatively related to human rights in Israel’s West Bank, as well as its commitment to causes related to racial and ethnic justice in the United States, it is surprising that the company has decided that listing rental properties on XPCC land is acceptable.” The invocation of this precedent is all the more remarkable given that Rubio joined in/cheered on the effort to punish Airbnb for its actions vis-a-vis the West Bank – an effort that succeeded in pressuring Airbnb to reverse its action. Also see: Rubio press release.
(CONFIRM SARAH MARGON) Bipartisan Foreign Policy/NatSec leaders letter to SFRC chair & ranking member: On 12/6 a group of self-described “foreign policy and national security and in the Jewish community who have served and supported presidents of both parties” sent a letter to Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Risch (R-ID) to convey their “strong support for Sarah Margon to be confirmed as the next Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.” The letter goes on to state: “We lament the attacks questioning Ms. Margon’s position on and support of Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship, and fundamentally reject these claims. As Ms. Margon testified before your committee, her support for the U.S.-Israel security relationship includes her “support for Israel’s right to defend itself and to protect its people,” opposition to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, and a commitment to address unfair bias against Israel in multilateral fora, including the UN Human Rights Council. We are confident in her commitments.” See coverage of her confirmation hearing – and those attacks – in the Sept. 24, 2021 edition of the Round-Up. Also see: coverage of the letter in Politico.
Given that in recent weeks we have been focused on HR 4350 — the FY22 NDAA as passed by the House on 9/23 and stalled in the Senate ever since — observers could be forgiven for wondering what the heck is going on and where this new bill came from. The answer:
- S. 1650 is a bill that was introduced by Senator Scott (R-FL) back on 5/13/21. At that time it was entitled, “To designate the National Pulse Memorial located at 1912 South Orange Avenue in Orlando, Florida, and for other purposes.”
- Under that title (and with the subject matter of the bill mirroring that title) the bill was passed by the Senate on 6/9/21 and sent to the House, where it languished, untouched, until this week, when the House decided to re-purpose it as a vehicle for the alternative NDAA text.
- To do so the House brought S. 1650 to the floor on 12/7, and then voted to delete the entire text and replace it with the “compromise” text of the FY22 NDAA (text that House and Senate unofficial conferees had been unofficially negotiating for weeks, as a means of circumventing the political stalemate in the Senate).
- Notably, House members who were not part of those negotiations reportedly got their first glimpse of that compromise text, which weighs in at more than 2000 pages, the same day it was brought to the floor for a vote.
- Once passed, the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee issued a celebratory press release – Democratic-Led House Passes Bipartisan, Bicameral NDAA Agreement).
S. 1650 has now been “returned” to the Senate — for all intents and purposes a brand new bill, but in terms of congressional protocol merely an amended version of an already-passed Senate measure. This gambit (akin to a legislative hermit crab) enables the Senate to avoid normal order for a new bill (i.e., referral to committee) and instead proceed with what should be a pro forma vote and passage. That said, as of 4pm on 12/10, the Senate has not yet voted on the measure – stay tuned.
The Consensus FY22 NDAA – What’s In, What’s Out
The House’s summary of the “Bipartisan, Bicameral NDAA Agreement” is here; the Senate’s summary is here. The joint explanatory statement accompanying the bill (in effect, the joint report language) is here. The actual text is here. Highlights are as follows:
What ISN’T in the NDAA agreement (Middle East-related)
- the $1 billion in supplemental funding for Israel for Iron Dome
- provisions that would have established accountability vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia’s activities [Also see: analysis from the Project on Middle East Democracy; Twitter thread from Malinowski (D-NJ-7); Washington Post – Backroom defense bill lets dictators and kleptocrats off the hook”; Tweet from Khanna (D-CA-17)]
- a provision repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF (see: Tweet from Nadler, D-NY-10)
- a provision (from the Senate bill) to establish the US-Israel Artificial Intelligence Center
- A provision (from the House bill) to establish a grant program for increased cooperation on post-traumatic stress disorder research between United States and Israel
- Report on Israeli regional military coordination
- Provisions requiring 2 reports on Egypt (included in the Senate version)
What IS in the NDAA agreement (Middle East-related)
- Authorization of $500 million in funding for Israel, comprised of $200 million in procurements ($108 million for Iron Dome, up to $30 million for David’s Sling, and up to $62 million for the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Interceptor – Sec. 1669) and $300 million for “US-Israel Cooperative Programs” under the category of “Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation” (shows up only in the funding tables at the end of the bill). REMINDER: this funding is in addition to the regular $3.8 billion in funding for Israel in the annual State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.
- Authorization for an additional not less than $30 million over 5 years to fund US-Israel cybersecurity cooperation [Section 1551]. REMINDER: this funding is in addition to the regular $3.8 billion in funding for Israel in the annual State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.
- Section. 1221: Extension and modification of authority to provide assistance to vetted Syrian groups and individuals.
- Section 1222: Defense and diplomatic strategy for Syria.
- Section 1223: Extension and modification of authority to provide assistance to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
- Section 1224: Extension and modification of authority to support operations and activities of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq.
- Section 1225: Prohibition on transfers to Badr Organization.
- Section 1226: Prohibition on transfers to Iran.
- Section 1227: Report on the military capabilities of Iran and related activities.
- Section 1228: Sense of Congress on enrichment of uranium by Iran [“It is the sense of Congress that– (1) the Government of Iran’s decision to enrich uranium up to 60 percent purity is a further escalation and shortens the breakout time to produce enough highly enriched uranium to develop a nuclear weapon; and (2) the Government of Iran should immediately abandon any pursuit of a nuclear weapon.”]
- Subtitle B–United States-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021 (including lots of Israel-related stuff, including Section 1316: Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States 3+1 Interparliamentary Group.). Also see press release from Bilirakis (R-FL).
- Section 1339: Extension of prohibition on in-flight refueling to non- United States aircraft that engage in hostilities in the ongoing civil war in Yemen.
- Section 1340: Statement of policy and report on Yemen.
- Section 1341: Limitation on support to military forces of the Kingdom of Morocco for multilateral exercises.
December 9-10: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a mark-up of various measures, including:
- HR 6089, the Stop Iranian Drones Act (passed by the Committee on a roll call vote, after a Republican amendment seeking to dictate Biden Administration policy vis-a-vis Iran was defeated on a party-line vote)
- H. Res. 376, Condemning Turkey for its occupation of Cyprus and encouraging President Biden to make the resolution of the Cyprus problem a top foreign policy priority (passed – see press release from Malliotakis, R-NY) by a vote of ; and
- HR 5665, introduced 10/21 by Omar (D-MN) and 52 cosponsors (all Democrats, the “Combating International Islamophobia Act.” The bill was ultimately passed (amended) by a party-line roll call vote (demanded by Republicans) of 27-16. Details below.
HR 5665 – Combating Internatonal Islamophobia Act
Committee Democrats strongly supported HR 5665. Committee Republicans attacked the bill, in a series of statements that bear watching in full. Among other things, they repeatedly sought to shift the debate to focus on antisemitism — including Chabot (R-OH), who suggested that the mere introduction of the bill trivialized antisemitism, represented false symmetry, and could fuel more antisemitism. Zeldin (R-NJ) and others used the measure as a hook to (once again) bash Omar for alleged antisemitism, hostility towards Israel, and much more. Perry (R-PA) argued that such an office would “invariably become a taxpayer-funded office for [fomenting] antisemitism” and attacking Israel.
The hearing is summarized in this Twitter thread from the JTA’s Ron Kampeas (worth reading whole thing, including responses). Also see: Dem leaders considering anti-Islamophobia bill to answer Boebert-Omar controversy (Politico); Foreign Relations Committee [sic] members clash over Islamophobia envoy bill (Jewish Insider)
The 15 amendments submitted by Republicans to HR 5665 sum up the often un-civil (to say the least) tenor of the debate, including implying that the bill is intended to promote BDS, and to defend terrorism and practices like female genital mutilation. They include the amendments below (with results indicated in cases of amendments that received votes):
- An amendment from Mast (R-FL) seeking to require that the position provided for in the bill be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate [Mast said this was required because he doesn’t “want to see the Secretary of State appoint some left-wing activist in the Middle of the night who’s going to go out there and turn an office of this government into their own tax-payer funded vendetta against the Jewish state of Israel…” [he goes on to bash Omar personally]. PASSED by Voice Vote. [See tweets – Mast (R-FL-18) 12/09/2021: Tweet – “.@Ilhan has tried to deflect legitimate criticism of terrorists by hiding behind claims of “Islamophobia.” She even attacked pro-Israel Democrats for it. Now, she wants to create a government agency to investigate. HELL NO! Link to video”; Mast (R-FL-18) 12/10/2021: Tweet – “Ilhan Omar wants to create a new, taxpayer-funded government office to investigate whatever she deems Islamaphobia [sic] (which apparently includes criticizing Hamas). I successfully passed an amendment to require any position be Senate confirmed so we can block her radical picks! Link to video”]
- An amendment from Mast (R-FL) seeking to add language to the bill to make it about “intra-religious violence and incitement of violence committed by,among, and between different Muslim groups, sects, and adherents of varying beliefs” DEFEATED by a party-line vote of 17-26.
- An amendment from Chabot (R-OH) stating, “In this section, ‘Islamophobia’ shall not be understood to include non-violent forms of criticism or opposition when such criticism or opposition are well-founded and based in established fact, and allege that some combination of Sharia Law and Islamic countries, entities, individuals, or beliefs are, or have been, wholly or partially responsible for, have contributed or do contribute to, or have advocated or do advocate in favor of— (1) acts of terrorism; (2) the demeaning treatment of women, including female genital mutilation; (3) the persecution of Christians, including in Africa and other places; ‘(4) the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel; or (5) penalties for blasphemy, as interpreted under certain interpretations of Islamic teaching.” DEFEATED on a party-line vote of 17-27.
- An amendment from Perry (R-PA) to ban the office from taking any action to “assess any action (to include counter-terorism measures) taken by the Israeli Government”. DEFEATED on a party-line vote of 16-27.
- An amendment from Perry (R-PA) bashing CAIR (here). DEFEATED on a party-line vote of 17-27.
- An amendment from Perry (R-PA) asserting that “The efforts of the European Union – in particular, the efforts of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia – to deter illegal migration from Belarus into the EU shall not be characterized as Islamophobic for the purposes of the Office to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia”. DEFEATED on a party-line vote of 17-26.
- An amendment from Perry (R-PA) to add language to the bill bashing Omar by name. DEFEATED on a party-line vote of 15-28.
- An amendment from Pfluger (R-TX), stating, “No funds made available pursuant to this Act or an amendment made by this Act may be used to promote or endorse a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement ideology.”
- An amendment from Salazar (R-FL), to add language to the bill to also make it about addressing antisemitism.
- An amendment from Buck (R-CO), stating that “For the purposes of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, it shall not be considered Islamophobia for an individual to criticize the practice of suicide bombing promoted by radical Islamic groups like Hamas and Hezbollah”;
- An amendment from Buck (R-CO) stating, “For the purposes of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, no state or non-state actor, or any other entity shall be considered to engage in acts of Islamophobia or Islamophobic incitement based on their condemnation of radical extremist Muslim individuals or groups, including but not limited to Hamas and Hezbollah, that engage in acts of violence or endorse or otherwise promote such violence.”
- An amendment from Buck (R-CO) stating, “For the purposes of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, no state or non-state actor, or any other entity shall be considered to engage in acts of Islamophobia or Islamophobic incitement based on their condemnation of female genital mutilation (as such term is defined in section 116(e) of title 18 United States Code).”
December 9: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism held a hearing entitled, “What’s Next for Libya? The Path to Peace.” Witnesses were: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Africa Karen Sasahara (Testimony) and Deputy Assistant USAID Administrator Megan Doherty (Testimony). Video of the hearing is here.
December 9: The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing entitled, “Holding Big Tech Accountable: Legislation to Build a Safer Internet.” Witnesses were: Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League (Testimony, including, “antisemitic content seems to be given even more of a free pass when it comes from foreign leaders or when it is couched in language that makes passing allusion to Israel or Zionists”); Nathalie Marechal, Ranking Digital Rights (Testimony); Imran Ahmed, Center for Countering Digital Hate (Testimony); Josh Golin, Fairplay (Testimony), Rick Lane, Iggy Ventures LLC (Testimony); Jessica Rich, Former Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission (Testimony). Video of the hearing is here.
Jewish Insider 12/8: The ball’s in Alex Lasry’s court in Wisconsin [“‘I’m proud to have the J Street stamp of approval, and that’s because we agree that a two-state solution is the solution, and I can be very pro-Israel while also saying I believe very much in a Palestinian state,’ Lasry, who says he is against Israeli settlement expansion, told JI. ‘I don’t think those two issues are at odds, and I think that’s where J Street and I both see very much eye to eye.’ Lasry’s campaign declined to provide JI with an Israel position paper.”]
Bacon (R-NE-2) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “ICYMI: As a champion for the US-Israel relationship, I thank the Pro-Israel America PAC for their early endorsement for 2022. In the Air Force, I helped stand-up the long-range missile defense capability in Israel and I will continue to support Israel in Congress. Link to image”
Jewish Insider 12/6: Steven Olikara’s next act: A Senate bid [“‘My interest in supporting pro-Israel issues and supporting the Jewish community here starts with the people who I love most — my close circle of friends,’ said Olikara, emphasizing that his engagement with Jewish issues extends well beyond Klezmer. ‘Hearing their passion for Israel has truly moved me on a deep level, and so we’ve had conversations over the years about a number of the pressing issues both facing Israel and the Jewish community here in the U.S.’”] Also see position paper on Israel [including on “sacrosanct” and “unbreakable” support for Israel, but also attacking BDS, calling out antisemitism “from the right or the left,” etc.
Jewish Insider 12/5: Ritchie Torres endorses Jazz Lewis in Maryland’s 4th [“In an interview with JI in November, Lewis, 32, described himself as ‘unabashedly a progressive’ who is also a ‘consensus-maker.’ Like Torres, Lewis says his support for Israel is in line with his progressive beliefs. ‘I fell in love with the people. And that is the message I would carry to progressives on the Hill, to get to know the people,’ Lewis told JI of his views on Israel.”]
Israel – Palestine (General)
Deutch (D-FL) 12/10/21: Tweet – “Wonderful to see Israel’s Minister for Diaspora Affairs @DrNachmanShai in DC this week. We had an excellent discussion w/ @RepKManning about engaging the American Jewish community, fighting antisemitism and advancing our shared values.”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 12/10/2021: Tweet – “When Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever decided to participate in the antisemitic BDS movement, New Jersey had to respond, and we have. Now, Unilever will have $182 million in stocks and bonds pulled and be placed on New Jersey’s Prohibited Investment List. NJ closes case on Unilever over ice cream sales ban in settlements… | northjersey.com”
McCollum (D-MN-4) 12/10/2021: Twitter thread – “It’s @UN #HumanRightsDay, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal & inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, & peace in the world.” (1/2) My thoughts are with Palestinians, Uyghurs, the people of Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Tibet, Myanmar, and all those facing conflict and repression. All people everywhere deserve to have their human rights recognized and respected. #HumanRightsDay (2/2)”
Chu (D-CA-27) 12/09/2021: Tweet – “The Iran nuclear deal was the only thing that was keeping Iran from a nuclear weapon. But Donald Trump ended that deal because it was negotiated by Barack Obama. He put politics and ego over security and now the US, Israel, and the world are less safe. Israel opposed the Iran nuclear deal, but former Israeli officials increasingly say U.S. pullout was a mistake… | washingtonpost.com”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 12/08/2021: Tweet – “Wonderful meeting with the leaders of Yanabia! The work they are doing to uplift Bedouin communities in Israel is inspiring. I look forward to seeing some of their projects first hand. Link to image”
Grothman (R-WI-6) 12/08/2021: Tweet – “I was glad to meet again with Israeli doctor Yaakov Nahmias to further discuss his research investigating the benefits of Fenofibrate, an FDA-approved medication, in combatting #COVID19. This accessible drug may substantially reduce symptoms and death among hospitalized patients. Link to image”
Levin (D-MI-9) 12/08/2021: Tweet – “If we want to achieve real, lasting security for Israelis and full human rights for Palestinians, the U.S. must oppose vocally actions that push peace out of reach and prevent us from seeing a two-state solution in my lifetime. J Street article: If You Back a Two-State Solution, You Should Back US Action to Make it Possible”
Manning (D-NC-6) 12/08/2021: Tweet – “It was great to welcome my dear friend and Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs @DrNachmanShai for a discussion with @RepTedDeutch about strengthening ties between the American Jewish community and Israel and working together to combat rising antisemitism. Link to image”
Haaretz 12/7: Iron Dome Emergency Funding Stymied by D.C. Political Gridlock [excerpt: “Israeli officials who have been tracking the matter are not unduly concerned“]
Pocan (D-WI-2) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “Reminder: I’ll be hopping on Zoom tonight at 7 CT to discuss my recent trip to Israel and Palestine. WI-02 residents, register to join at the link below Link to quoted tweet”
Cassidy (R-LA) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “For decades, Hezbollah operatives have been quietly infiltrating Latin America, for the primary purpose of raising money to send to their fight back home against #Israel. Latest in the @Jerusalem_Post. Link to jpost.com”
Thune (R-SD) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “The relationship between the United States and Israel is deeply important. I was glad to speak with the new Israeli Ambassador Michael Herzog today about how we can continue to work together to protect the security of our nations and build greater stability in the Middle East. Link to image” [Re-tweeted by AIPAC; AIPAC re-tweet re-tweeted by Thune]
FoxNews 12/6: Ilhan Omar part of ‘systemic’ anti-Semitism, a ‘civil rights issue of epic proportions’: Human rights lawyer [Lawfare Project’s Brooke Goldstein – some background here]
Fischbach (R-MN-7) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “Tonight marks the last night of #Hanukkah! I hope for a joyous end of the holiday to all those celebrating, especially for our friends in #Israel Link to image”
Grothman (R-WI-6) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “In their latest attack on Israel, the UN General Assembly voted to rebrand the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, as exclusively Islamic. The U.S. must continue to stand with Israel following this attack on the Jewish community and their history.129 nations ignore Jewish ties to Temple Mount, call it solely Muslim… | bit.ly”
Levin (D-MI-9) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “It’s not enough to say “We support a two-state solution.” We need to ask “What should the US be doing to help make it possible?” How can we push back against unjust policies that deliberately undermine the chances for Israeli-Palestinian peace? If You Back a Two-State Solution, You Should Back US Action to Make it Possible… | jstreet.org”
Levin (D-MI-9) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “This is exactly what @RepAndyLevin’s Two-State Solution Act aims to do. It goes beyond mere rhetoric, laying out actions the US can take to oppose occupation and help make a two-state solution a reality. You can learn more and support this legislation at Help Build Support for the Two-State Solution Act… | jstreet.org.”
Levin (D-MI-9) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “It’s important to note the role of the U.S. in preventing the new Atarot settlement. When the U.S. speaks up and opposes settlements, we protect the two-state solution and Palestinian rights. Link to quoted tweet”
Waltz (R-FL-6) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “-Soleimani -Baghdadi -300 dead Russian mercenaries -lethal aide & relative stability in Ukraine -Abraham Accords Happy to have a debate on the RESULTS of the last year vs previous four any time! Link to quoted tweet”
Pocan (D-WI-2) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “This is very important news. It’s critical that we keep up the pressure against settlement expansion and de facto annexation, which trample Palestinian rights and imperil Israel’s future. Link to quoted tweet”
Pocan (D-WI-2) 12/05/2021: Tweet – “I’ll be giving an update from my recent congressional delegation trip to Israel this Tuesday. After some brief remarks about my trip, I’ll hold a Q&A about my experience. WI-02 residents, sign up here to join: Webinar Registration – Zoom”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 12/04/2021: In reply to Tweet – “@ADL @HillelIntl In May, a young Jewish man was beaten in the middle of Times Square, one of many attacks during the conflict b/w Israel and Hamas. This is why @AJCGlobal found nearly 1 in 4 Jewish Americans in 2020 avoided publicly wearing or displaying things that might identify them as Jewish.”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 12/04/2021: Tweet – “I’m helping lead a bipartisan effort to call on the SEC to review Unilever’s filings. Why? Because by taking part in the antisemitic BDS movement, Ben & Jerry’s & Unilever are facing major financial consequences & putting people at risk. Gottheimer Helps Lead Bipartisan Effort Calling on SEC to Review Unilever Filings, Combating Ben & Jerry’s Biased Boycott Undermining Israel – Insider NJ”
Dingell (D-MI-12) 12/03/2021: Tweet – “.@SecBlinken strongly emphasized that Israel should refrain from unilateral steps like advancing settlement activity & I agree. The Israeli government should stop this process – an active barrier to peace – immediately. Secretary Blinken’s Call with Israeli Prime Minister Bennett – United States Department of State”
Levin (D-MI-9) 12/03/2021: Twitter thread – “I strongly oppose the Atarot settlement and agree with @SecBlinken that settlement expansion undermines prospects for a two-state solution, the surest way to ensure true security for Israel and realize Palestinians’ human rights. Link to quoted tweet My Two-State Solution Act will help to ensure U.S. taxpayer money is not allocated to actions like settlement expansion. The uptick in settler violence and clampdown on anti-occupation activism makes increased accountability all the more urgent for Israelis and Palestinians.”
Levin (D-MI-9) 12/03/2021: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “Help us build support for the Two-State Solution Act! Make sure your representative has signed on and, if not, call them to voice your support for this crucial bill. Your voice can make a difference. Learn more and take action at Help Build Support for the Two-State Solution Act… | jstreet.org Link to quoted tweet”
Celebrating 4-year Anniversary of Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration
Gosar (R-AZ-4) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “Yet it should not have been “courageous” since all sovereign countries get to choose the location of their capitol. The fact that presidents prior to Trump “promised” to support that capitol but balked reflects their cowardice and Trump’s resolve. A rare commodity. Link to quoted tweet”
Grothman (R-WI-6) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States showed the world that we’re willing to stand with our allies. Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East and I will continue working to keep the U.S.-Israel relationship strong.” Linked to Tweet from Mike Pence
Bilirakis (R-FL-12) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @Mike_Pence – “Four Years Ago Today, the Trump-Pence Administration made history recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel. America Must Always Stand With Israel! Link to image”
Donalds (R-FL-19) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “Promise made, promise kept. Four years ago today, the Trump-Pence administration sent a clear message to the world and our most trusted ally in the Middle East by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Isreal [SIC]. We must always #StandWithIsrael. Link to quoted tweet”
Duncan (R-SC-3) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “On this day in 2017, President Trump made history in recognizing Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel and announcing the US would move its embassy there. America must stand with Israel, always. Link to quoted tweet”
Granger (R-TX-12) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @Mike_Pence – “Four Years Ago Today, the Trump-Pence Administration made history recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel. America Must Always Stand With Israel Link to image”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “President Trump was a CHAMPION for our allies! Four years ago today, he formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital. Even though he received unfair criticism from the Radical Left, it has proven to be one of the best decisions of his presidency. THANK YOU, President Trump!”
Long (R-MO-7) 12/07/2021: Retweet of @mikepompeo – “On this day in 2017, our Administration announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our intention to move the U.S. Embassy there. We always kept our promises and our commitment to our ally, Israel.”
Long (R-MO-7) 12/07/2021: Retweet of @Mike_Pence – “Four Years Ago Today, the Trump-Pence Administration made history recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel. America Must Always Stand With Israel! Link to image”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “The United States of America officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel four years ago today. On this occasion, we commemorate the unbreakable US-Israel alliance and our shared commitment to a secure and prosperous Middle East. Link to quoted tweet”
Waltz (R-FL-6) 12/07/2021: Retweet of @mikepompeo – “On this day in 2017, our Administration announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our intention to move the U.S. Embassy there. We always kept our promises and our commitment to our ally, Israel.”
Cruz (R-TX) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “Four years ago President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, bringing US policy in line with Cong law – and with reality. It sent a powerful message America stands with our Israeli allies and against delegitimization, and led to a flourishing of peace.”
Crist (D-FL-13) 12/10/2021: Tweet – “Almost two years ago, over 100 brave US servicemembers suffered traumatic brain injuries following an Iranian missile attack on their base in Iraq. For 39 of these heroes, the military has now recognized their sacrifice and bravery with overdue Purple Hearts. Link to image”
Fallon (R-TX-4) 12/09/2021: Tweet – “‘Congress must reassert its authority over economic sanctions and use all legislative tools available to force a vote on any sanctions that are lifted by President Biden.’ Be sure to check out the rest of my most recent op-ed! It’s time for Iran to concede, not the United States… | thehill.com”
Gimenez (R-FL-26) 12/10/2021: Tweet – “From standing up for the freedom fighters in Cuba, cutting off Maduro in Venezuela, or ending the Sandinista terrorists’ reign in Nicaragua, the need for us to re-engage in Latin America is clear. China, Russia, and Iran cannot be allowed to play with dictators in our hemisphere.”
Hagerty (R-TN) 12/09/2021: Tweet – “Per @AP, Biden Admin may “press Ukraine to formally cede a measure of autonomy to eastern Ukrainian lands now controlled by Russia-backed separatists.” What lessons will China’s Xi Jinping, North Korea & Iran learn from Biden’s appeasement to Putin? Talks on Ukraine would pose challenge of their own for Biden | AP News”
Risch (R-ID) 12/09/2021: Tweet – “This #SummitForDemocracy should serve as a stark warning to the threat of growing authoritarian regimes around the world like #China, #Russia, & #Iran who cont. to grow their malign influence. We must protect democracies – not just convene to pat one another on the back.”
Franklin (R-FL-15) 12/09/2021: Tweet – “.@POTUS’s failed foreign policies have emboldened our advisories. Russia is threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty The Chinese Communist Party is threatening Taiwan’s sovereignty Iran is arming its terrorist proxies and expanding nuclear operations”
Steel (R-CA-48) 12/08/2021: Tweet – “A nuclear Iran is a global danger. The Iran Deal and capitulating to Iran’s demands are not the answers. Iran Doubles Down on Demands as Nuclear Talks Resume… | wsj.com”
Rice (D-NY-4) 12/08/2021: Tweet – “I’m proud to cosponsor the bipartisan Stop Iranian Drones Act to protect our national security and promote regional peace in the Middle East. The growing threat of Iranian drones must be addressed.”
Gallego (D-AZ-7) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “To protect the oil fields that they shut down to increase the price of oil? We really need to reevaluate our relationship with Saudi Arabia. Link to quoted tweet”
Inhofe (R-OK) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “A vote to discharge this resolution is a vote to give Iran and China and Russia more power and influence in the region, and will make our world less safe. Link to quoted tweet”
Hagerty (R-TN) 12/07/2021: Retweet of @WSJopinion – “Iran and Russia give every sign they don’t take President Biden seriously. Opinion | Rogues Are on the March Around the World”
Khanna (D-CA-17) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “There’s no reason for the US to support Saudi warplanes bombing Yemeni civilians. My NDAA amendment with @SenSanders will put an end to it.”
Cruz (R-TX) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @RichardGrenell – “You and yours gave the Iranian Regime pallets of cash. The Regime lied about their programs but you wanted the Europeans to like you. AIPAC tried to stop you. Link to quoted tweet”
Hagedorn (R-MN-1) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “The Obama Iran deal has always been flawed. It only appeased Iran and contributed to instability in the region. We need to stand up to the Iranian regime and protect our national security. U.S. Hope for Iran Nuclear Talks Now Rests on China, Russia… | wsj.com”
Lamborn (R-CO-5) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “America’s adversaries have been emboldened under Joe Biden: Russia is massing troops on the Ukrainian border – #CCP is threatening Taiwan’s sovereignty & committing genocide – Taliban takeover of Afghanistan – Iran is re-nuclearizing – North Korea is testing new missiles”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 12/06/2021: Retweet of @RiponAdvance – “’With this bill, we are ensuring the world knows that the U.S. will use every tool to cut off Iran’s UAV supplies and to punish those who continue to supply Iran with UAVs and parts despite their destructive impact,’ said @RepMcCaul McCaul sponsors Stop Iranian Drones Act – Ripon Advance Link to image”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “The Biden Admin must fully enforce existing sanctions on Iran! Especially those on its oil and natural gas sectors. Thank you to @LibertyIranian and @ZOA_National for continuing to bring attention to this vitally important issue. Link to quoted tweet”
Waltz (R-FL-6) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “Right now, Russia, Iran, China, & North Korea on the march, threatening our national security. The world is watching very closely to see what Biden does regarding Ukraine. If Biden does little, he’ll be the next Neville Chamberlain & that’s dangerous for the Free World. Link to video”
Donalds (R-FL-19) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “Vladimir Putin sees Joe Biden as a joke & is acting accordingly. Robert Gates said it best, Biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy decision in the last 4 decades. China, Russia, & Iran will continue to take advantage of the weak & dysfunctional Biden-Harris admin. Link to quoted tweet”
Cardin (D-MD) 12/04/2021: Retweet of @thehill – “.@SenatorCardin: “We want a message to all authoritarian rulers globally, that if you violate basic international rights, if you dare to attempt to come to our nation and attempt to kidnap an American citizen, there will be dire consequences.” Senators propose sanctions against Iran over alleged plot to kidnap… | hill.cm Link to video”
Frankel (D-FL-21) 12/03/2021: Tweet – “I’m proud to cosponsor the Stop Iranian Drones Act to protect American troops & our allies in the Middle East. Just last month, Iranian drones attacked hundreds at a U.S. base in Syria – the only reason no one was killed was thanks to an Israeli intelligence warning. Link to quoted tweet”
Fallon (R-TX-4) 12/03/2021: Tweet – “‘The regime of Iran is going to gain almost $160 billion and 1.7 billion Euros, and yet it is not going to stop its nuclear actions.’ We must do everything in our power to ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon. ‘Collaborating with the mullahs’: Iranian dissidents warn US not to return to the nuclear deal… | foxnews.com”
Cruz (R-TX) 12/03/2021: Tweet – “Joe Biden’s policy of giving everything away to the Ayatollah continues, with predictable and catastrophic results for Americans and our national security. Link to quoted tweet”
Khanna (D-CA-17) 12/04/2021: Tweet – “The civil war in Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world—it’s past time for the US to end its involvement in the war. @BernieSanders and I introduced an amendment to the defense budget to do just that.”
Omar (D-MN-5) 12/04/2021: Retweet of @RoKhanna – “The civil war in Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world—it’s past time for the US to end its involvement in the war. @BernieSanders and I introduced an amendment to the defense budget to do just that.”
Khanna (D-CA-17) 12/03/2021: Retweet of @WalkerBragman – “New piece from @SenSanders and @RoKhanna calling on Biden to end US support for the Saudi war on Yemen. “The US may not be able to stop all the violence it helped create, but it can stop enabling Saudi warplanes to bomb Yemeni civilians.” Saudi warplanes carpet-bomb Yemen with US help. This must end | Bernie Sanders and Ro Khanna”
Maloney (D-NY-12) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “I was very concerned by recent reporting from @EricSchmittNYT and @David_Philipps about DOD’s concealing and downplaying of an airstrike in Syria that may have killed dozens of innocent civilians. Today, I asked DOD what steps they are taking to avoid future incidents like this. Link to video”
Hill (R-AR-2) 12/06/2021: Tweet – “This is exactly why I included a provision in the House-passed #NDAA requiring an interagency strategy to disrupt and dismantle narcotics productions, trafficking, and affiliated networks linked to the Assad regime. On Syria’s Ruins, a Drug Empire Flourishes… | nytimes.com”
Cornyn (R-TX) 12/05/2021: Tweet – “On Syria’s Ruins, a Drug Empire Flourishes On Syria’s Ruins, a Drug Empire Flourishes… | nytimes.com”
United Arab Emirates
Cammack (R-FL-3) 12/08/2021: Tweet – “This past weekend at the Nitro RallyCross event in Keystone Heights, we got to be part of a special race with thousands of attendees, generating more than $2M in economic benefits for the Lake Region. The next race in the series is in Dubai; it was great to be there! Link to image”
Torres (D-NY-15) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “.@NYCParks Crotona Park Soccer Field will be renovated & offer soccer programming to all #Bronx residents. Partnership w/ @UAEEmbassyUS @NYCFC & @NYCParks is making this a reality. Stay tuned for the official unveiling. Proud to bring these incredible opportunities to #NY15. Link to quoted tweet”
Cramer (R-ND) 12/07/2021: Tweet – “On the global stage, America is not back as Joe Biden likes to claim. Our allies are now saying the quiet part out loud: they are looking for critical support elsewhere, illustrating the trust has indeed been broken. France’s Macron nears UAE Rafale fighter jet deal… | reuters.com”
Lee (D-CA-13) 12/03/2021: Twitter thread – “In the UAE, persons with disabilities are known as persons of determination, a term that emphasizes the strength & resilience of those with disabilities rather than their deficits. I love this explanation from activist Fatma Al Jassim! @UN A disability activist shows leadership on inclusion at EXPO 2020 and beyond… | youtube.com @UN #InternationalDayofPersonsWithDisabilities”
Larsen (D-WA-2) 12/08/2021: Twitter thread – “Last month, I visited Qatar in my role as a senior member of @HASCDemocrats. @HASCDemocrats During my visit, I had a chance to thank U.S. servicemembers for their role in the Kabul airlift, discuss the critical role Qatar enables the United States to play in the Middle East and see Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 FIFA #WorldCup. @HASCDemocrats While in Qatar, I had lunch with airmen from Washington state at Al Udeid Air Base. Many of the women and men stationed at Al Udeid participated in the Kabul airlift and are directly responsible for the safe evacuation of more than 124,000 people. Link to image @HASCDemocrats I appreciated the opportunity to thank them in person for their service and hear about the important role they played to save the lives of women, men and children. @HASCDemocrats Also, I learned more about Operation Allies Refuge during a visit to Camp As Sayliyah. There, Qatar will continue to host up to 8,000 at-risk Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants in temporary housing. Link to image @HASCDemocrats Earlier this year, I urged @POTUS to raise the U.S. refugee cap to at least 200,000 and supported efforts to resettle refugees in the U.S., including the Second District. @HASCDemocrats @POTUS The FIFA #WorldCup is coming to Qatar in November 2022. As an avid soccer fan and Co-Chair of the Congressional Soccer Caucus, I am excited to watch the Cup—an opportunity for the world to come together to celebrate sportsmanship, teamwork and friendship. Link to image @HASCDemocrats @POTUS In this spirit, I have asked the Qatari government what it is doing to ensure LGBTQ+ visitors are safe and respected at the Cup so that all fans can enjoy the Beautiful Game. @HASCDemocrats @POTUS While in Doha, I stopped by Khalifa International Stadium to learn more about Qatar’s preparations to host the world in 2022.”
Pallone (D-NJ-6) 12/09/2021: Twitter thread – “Today, President Biden is convening the #SummitForDemocracy – a gathering of world leaders from over 100 democracies around the globe. This is an important opportunity to reinforce our commitment to democratic values and to counter the rising tides of authoritarianism. Link to quoted tweet I’m pleased to see that President Biden invited leaders from Armenia, who share our strong democratic principles. Strengthening the ties between our countries should be a top priority as we work to confront authoritarian regimes like Turkey and Azerbaijan.”
Cardin (D-MD) 12/03/2021: Retweet of @HelsinkiComm – “.@HelsinkiComm chair @SenatorCardin calls for release of Osman Kavala, welcomes @coe infringement proceedings against #Turkey: Chairman Cardin Calls for Release of Osman Kavala, Welcomes Council of Europe Infringement Proceedings Against Turkey… | csce.gov Link to image”
Cornyn (R-TX) 12/04/2021: Tweet – “Economic turmoil is ravaging Turkey’s poor and middle class. “Everyone here is outraged.” Turkey’s Economic Turmoil Sends Desperation and Inflation Soaring – WSJ via @WSJ”