Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived.
- 7/11/22 FMEP/Jewish Currents webinar – Mr. Biden Goes to the Middle East – a conversation with U.S.-based experts Peter Beinart (CUNY), Dana El Kurd (University of Richmond), Lara Friedman (FMEP), and Trita Parsi (Quincy). Register here.
- 7/4/22 FMEP Occupied Thoughts podcast – “The people are devastated”: Demolitions, Harassment, and Live Fire IDF Training in Masafer Yatta – ft. Ali Awad (journalist and activist from the village of Tuba in Masafer Yatta) in conversation with FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin.
Also of note: 7/11/22 event on Capitol Hill – Human Rights Concerns in the Middle East Ahead of President Biden’s Trip to the Region [“dissidents from the Middle East and Members of Congress will join the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Human Rights Watch, PEN America, the Freedom Initiative, Freedom House, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Win Without War, and Human Rights First for a briefing for media ahead of President Joe Biden’s July 15-16 visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with the leaders of the GCC+3”]
(FY23 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL – HOUSE) HR 7900: What has happened so far and what happens next:
Last week: As reported in last week’s edition of the Round-Up, on 6/22 the House Armed Services Committee held a marathon 16-hour mark-up of the FY23 Defense Authorization bill (part 1 video, part 2 video), during which they dealt with a number of amendments related to the Middle East/Iran. On 6/28/22 the House Rules Committee sent out a message alerting members that the Rules Committee expects to consider HR 7900 the week of July 11th, and set a due-date for amendments of July 5, 2022 (keeping in mind that Rules allows amendments to be submitted late).
This week: As of 1:30pm on 7/8/22, 1192 amendments have so far been submitted to the Rules Committee, including many, many, many amendments related to Iran/Israel/Middle East. Rather than send out a 40-page Round-Up, I’ve compiled all of the Iran/Israel/Middle East-related amendments into a handy table/tracker, which I will update as the process moves forward.
Next week: Next week the House Rules Committee should be meeting to decide which amendments are “in order” (i.e., can be brought up on the floor) and to pass a Rule that will govern floor debate on both the underlying bill and on the “in order” amendments (including bundling many of the amendments into a managers’ package, and grouping others together into “en bloc” packages. The bill will then go to the floor for the annual amendments-palooza of point-scoring and grandstanding. Watch my tracker for developments as they happen.
HR 7900 — Middle East provisions in the Base text: Coming out of committee, HR 7900 includes a number of Israel/Iran/Middle East-related provisions. These are:
- The tables at the end of the bill include some specific funding lines (that will be fleshed out in the Report) — $80 million for the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Systems; $40 million for Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD); and $80 million for Iron Dome..
- Section 778: Grant program for increased cooperation on post-traumatic stress disorder research between United States and Israel.
- Section 1333: Extension of United States-Israel cooperation to counter unmanned aerial systems.
- Section 1334: Modification and extension of United States-Israel cooperation to counter unmanned aerial systems.
- Section 1205: Public report on military capabilities of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
- Section 1221: Extension of authority to provide assistance to vetted Syrian groups and individuals.
- Section 1222: Extension and modification of authority to provide assistance to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
- Section 1223: Extension of authority to support operations and activities of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq.
- Section. 1224: Extension and modification of report on the military capabilities of Iran and related activities.
- Section 1225: Prohibition on transfers to Iran.
- Section 1645:. Middle East integrated air and missile defense.**** Note: This section was added to by an amendment in Committee offered by Panetta (D-CA). It is a version of HR 7987 & S. 4366 – the DEFENSE Act – which has been covered previously in the Round-Up). A version of that Act has also reportedly been added to the Senate version of the FY23 — meaning Congress is (yet again) on track to pass a major national security-related initiative into law — one that seeks to establish something akin to a US-sponsored regional Middle East defense pact — with zero debate, oversight, hearing, expert views, etc. Notably, Khanna (D-CA) has submitted an amendment to the Rules Committee that “adds additional reporting requirements to the “Middle East Integrated Air and Missile Defense” report required by Sec 1645 including an assessment of the overall costs to taxpayers of United States support for establishing and sustaining such an architecture over the next five and ten year periods.”
HR 7900 – the Committee Report: On July 2, 2022, the Armed Services Committee released the Report (oddly, it later released a second part, also dated 7/1/22 and appearing to be identical to the original) laying out details of the bill and intent of House authorizers. Middle East/Israel/Iran-related details of that Report (that are in addition to what is already covered in the Bill) are as follows:
- Arms Deliveries to Threatened Democracies [“The committee recognizes the critical importance of United States military aid to our allies and partners under threat. The committee also recognizes that in many cases, there is a sustained backlog of arms deliveries to our allies and partners that have otherwise been processed and approved. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services, no later than March 1, 2023, that includes the following: (1) a list of all approved foreign military sales to Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine that exceed $100 million and have not been fully delivered as of the date of the report…”]
- U.S. Allies-Israel Military Exercises [“The committee believes that it is in the national security interest of the United States for the Department of Defense to promote and support multilateral exercises in the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command area of operations that include Israel and United States regional partners and allies. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services by December 30, 2022 on efforts to host, promote, and participate in such exercises.”]
- United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group [“The committee applauds the Department’s establishment on November 1, 2021, of the United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group, which Congress authorized in section 1299M of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (Public Law 116-283). Following the inaugural meeting in May, the committee continues to believe the working group can play a vital role in strengthening the military research and development relationship with Israel and help ensure American warfighters never confront adversaries armed with more advanced weapons. The committee expects the working group to fulfill four primary responsibilities. These include: (1) providing a standing forum for the United States and Israel to systematically share intelligence-formed military capability requirements; (2) identifying military capability requirements common to the Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Israel; (3) assisting 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; and (4) developing, 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…“]
- Section 1333–Extension of United States-Israel Cooperation to Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems [“This section would extend section 1278 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (Public Law 116-92).”] NOTE: The funding tables at the end of the report earmark $15 million for this section]
- Section 1334–Modification and Extension of United States-Israeli Cooperation to Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems [“This section would modify and extend section 1278 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (Public Law 116-92).”]
- Section 1645–Middle East Integrated Air and Missile Defense [“This section would authorize the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence, to seek to collaborate with allies and partners of the United States in the area of responsibility of U.S. Central Command, and require a strategy on increasing such cooperation.”]
- Cooperation with Israel on Space Capabilities [“The committee directs the Secretary of Defense, with the consultation from the Secretary of State, to provide a report to the House Committee on Armed Services not later than March 15, 2023 on potential areas for space cooperation with Israel…”]
- Section 1205–Public Report on Military Capabilities of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Russia [“This section would direct an annual report on the military capabilities of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea be produced and posted to a publicly accessible website.”]
- Section 1224–Extension and Modification of Report on the Military Capabilities of Iran and Related Activities [“This section would amend section 1227 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (Public Law 117-81).”
- Section 1225–Prohibition on Transfers to Iran [“This section would prohibit funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act from being used to transfer currency or items of value to Iran.”]
- Iranian Attacks on U.S. Servicemembers and Civilian Personnel in Iraq [“…the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to brief the House Committee on Armed Services by January 31, 2023, on the status of requests for information made by the families of service members, federal employees, and government contractors who died or sustained injuries as a result of attacks in Iraq after March 19, 2003, that were conducted or supported by the Government of Iran, Iran-backed militants, or an entity receiving material support from the Government of Iran…”]
- Iranian Military Assistance to Venezuela and Bolivia [“The committee is concerned with the increased cooperation between Iran and South American nations like Venezuela and Bolivia. Therefore, the committee wishes to be better informed on the extent to which these partnerships may impact U.S. national security interests.The committee directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not later than December 31, 2022, on Iranian military assistance to Venezuela and Bolivia…”]
- Report on the Nuclear and Missile Programs of Iran and the DPRK [“The committee recognizes that the Iranian and North Korean nuclear and missile programs pose a significant national security threat to the homeland, as well as national security interests in the Indo-Pacific and the Middle East. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, to deliver to the House Committee on Armed Services an unclassified report on the current and projected state of the North Korean and Iranian nuclear and missile programs not later than February 1, 2023…”]
- United States Security Relationship with Bahrain [“The committee believes that it is in the national security interest of the United States to maintain a strong relationship with Bahrain and support its military efforts and asserts that Bahrain plays a critical role as host of the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the United States Naval Forces Central Command. Bahrain is a major defense and security cooperation partner and a major non-NATO ally since 2002. The committee further believes that it is in the best interest of the United States and Bahrain to work together to oppose terrorism and strengthen the forces of peace and stability in the Middle East.”]
- Defense Capabilities of Fifth Fleet [“The committee directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the House Committee on Armed Services not later than February 1, 2023, on improving interoperability with the Kingdom of Bahrain, upgrading the capabilities of the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet to address emerging threats in the region of the area of responsibility of the Fifth Fleet, and any costs associated with such capability upgrades…”]
- Report on Persian Gulf Air and Missile Defense Requirements [“…the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Commander of U.S. Central Command, to provide a report to the House Committee on Armed Services not later than February 1, 2023, on the assessed defensive capability and capacity in the Persian Gulf against Iranian and non-state actor air and missile threats; the status of efforts to improve air defense capabilities, and recommendations on necessary improvements of air defense capabilities to counter this threat.”]
- Section 1035–Prohibition on Use of Funds for Transfer or Release of Individuals Detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Certain Countries [“This section would prohibit the use of funding authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2023, to transfer, release, or assist in the transfer or release of any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan.”]
- Lower Tier Air & Missile Defense Sensor [“…Given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the increased use of advanced ballistic missiles and UAS systems by Iranian proxies to attack civilian targets in the Middle East, and the ever-present threat of conflict in the Indo-Pacific, the committee believes more must be done to accelerate the proliferation and deployment of LTAMDS and IBCS to our allies through Foreign Military Sales. However, the committee is also cognizant of the significant challenges posed by the non-recurring engineering costs associated with enabling such sales, particularly with regard to program protection capabilities and backfit compatibility which are not currently part of the program of record. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees by December 31, 2022, on how the department plans to accelerate the proliferation and deployment of LTAMDS and IBCS to our allies through Foreign Military Sales.”]
- Flexible and Responsive Security and Development Assistance for United States Africa Command [“…The committee is concerned by the metastasizing of Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) and their affiliate groups across Africa and their threat to U.S. interests on the continent. These affiliates include, but are not limited to, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS), and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in West Africa (ISIS-WA)….the committee directs the Commander, USAFRICOM, to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not later than February 1, 2023, analyzing the current challenges and proposed solutions to implementing security cooperation and assistance within the USAFRICOM area of responsibility…”]
- Expediting Marine Corps Air Defense Capabilities [“The committee remains concerned about increased cruise missile, artillery, and other rocket attacks on United States’ personnel, bases, and allies in the Middle East, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine. The committee notes the work of the United States Marine Corps to rapidly field a Medium Range Interceptor Capability (MRIC) to provide expeditionary cruise missile defense capability. The committee further notes the work by the Marine Corps to expedite and ensure robust oversight of both the program and its testing. Therefore, the committee directs the Commandant of the Marine Corps, to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services not later than November 31, 2022, on the cost, schedule, and performance of the MRIC program and what steps, if any, can be taken to accelerate the program.”]
Amendments: Some of the Middle East-related amendments submitted to HR 7900 have attracted media attention or have been the subject of press releases/tweets from backers. These are:
- An amendment submitted by Carson (D-IN) and 12 Democratic cosponsors requiring the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Secretary of State, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense, to submit to Congress a report on the death of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Also see: Progressives Introduce Legislation to Force US Investigation into Israel’s Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh (Jewish Currents 7/6/22), Tweets from Carson (D-IN-7), García (D-IL-4); statement of support from a coalition of US Christian groups
- Several amendments introduced by Omar (D-MN) and Khanna (D-CA) to related to US military alliances with Saudi Arabia and UAE (here, here, here). Also see: Democrats propose blocks on Biden security pacts with Saudi Arabia, UAE (Responsible Statecraft 7/6/22), Tweet from Omar (D-MN-5)
- An amendment submitted by Gottheimer (D-NJ) to require a DOD report “on whether any contractor of the Department of Defense participates in or supports any organized effort or organization that, based on a belief that Israel is oppressing Palestinians, promotes a boycott of removal of investments from, or economic sanctions against Israel or any person or entity in Israel.” As I noted in a Tweet – “To be clear, the amdt is not interested in folks who boycott Israel because they are, say, antisemites. It only cares if the boycotts is “based on a belief that Israel is oppressing Palestinians.”
- Malliotakis (R-NY) 7/6/22: Malliotakis Cosponsors Amendment Prohibiting F-16 Sale to Turkey
(US MUST SPEAK OUT TO DEFEND PALESTINIAN NGOS) Pressley-led letter to SecState & DNI: This week Rep. Pressley (D-MA) circulated a Dear Colleague seeking cosigners on a letter to SecState Blinken and DNI Haines raising concerns about Israel’s targeting of 6 prominent Palestinian NGOs (reportedly set to close on 7/7/22, but maybe extended). As summed up in an Action Alert from Americans for Peace Now: “Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) is leading an important letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, expressing serious concern for the six Palestinian human rights organizations and requesting an inter-agency briefing to discuss this designation and the secret evidence distributed by the Israeli government. The letter urges Secretary Blinken and Director Haines to; call on the Israeli government to reverse course; to confirm a date for an inter-agency briefing with members of Congress; and provide a report to Congress on these efforts within 30 days, and ultimately to publicly reject this decision.”
(STOP DOOMSDAY SETTLEMENT OF E-1) Pocan-Schakowsky letter to Blinken: On 7/1, Reps. Pocan (D-MI) and Schakowsky (D-IL) led a letter, cosigned by 29 fellow House Democrats, to SecState Blinken to express “alarm” over Israel’s renewed plans to move forward with the settlement of E-1. The letter closes: “We are encouraged by reports that the Biden administration has pushed the Israeli government not to move forward with the planned hearing on E-1 settlement construction, and we hope you will continue to prioritize this issue with the current interim Israeli government and any future coalitions.5 We urge you to continue emphasizing in the lead-up to this visit that settlement construction in E-1 remains a red line for the United States, and to use every diplomatic tool at your disposal to ensure that Israel does not further advance these devastating plans.” Also see:
- Tweets/Press releases: Pocan (D-WI-2) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “The Israeli government must stop any effort to build settlements in the E-1 area of the West Bank. Period. 29 of our colleagues joined @JanSchakowsky and me in urging @SecBlinken to hold firm and work with Israel to prevent any expansion in this region. Link to image Link to quoted tweet” Retweeted by Schakowsky (D-IL-9)
- Media: Progressive Democrats press Biden on ‘doomsday settlements’ ahead of trip to region (Middle East Eye 7/4/22); U.S. Lawmakers Press Biden Over Israel Priorities Ahead of Mideast Trip (Haaretz 6/28/22); 29 US lawmakers urge Biden to prevent Israeli construction of “doomsday” settlements in W. Bank’s E1 (Quds Network 7/6/22)
No hearings to report.
Media on members’ travel to Israel:
- Jewish Standard 7/6/22: Josh Gottheimer talks about Israel — The Democratic congressman tells some of what he learned on the official trip
- Legistorm 7/5/22: Private groups are spending big on congressional travel [“Several representatives and their spouses spent the week of Memorial Day on an expensive trip to Japan, thanks to the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, which dropped an average of almost $28,000 per member. But that trip was relatively cheap compared to what the American Israel Education Foundation spent to fly Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and his wife to Israel earlier this spring: $49,705 – the most money that a sponsor has ever disclosed spending on travel for a single member or staffer. Travel for Reps. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) and Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) and their wives cost the organization another $46,713 and $43,565, respectively.]”
- Jerusalem Post 7/3/22: US congressmen finish Israel trip, say US-Israel ties remain strong [“The congressmen spoke with Israeli officials about Biden’s visit, Iran, Abraham Accords, BDS, antisemitism and regional cooperation, among other things.”]
- Jewish News Syndicate 7/2/22: Congress member trip affirms import of US-Israel dialogue, regional conversations [“‘There’s a recognition among many that one of the best pressure points on the Palestinian Authority, which are not part of the Abraham Accords, is actually the success of the economic relationship and the security relationship in the region,’ said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.).”]
- Jewish Insider 7/1/22: Visiting Israel, Gottheimer says Abraham Accords have led to ‘huge sea change’ in region [“A congressional group is meeting with leaders in Israel this week, including Lapid, Bennett and Netanyahu”]
Members on travel to Israel:
- Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 07/07/2022: Twitter thread – “Our bipartisan congressional trip to Israel showed that there is palpable excitement around the Abraham Accords and all that it offers the region, and of course, deep concern regarding the threat of Iran’s nuclear capabilities and its terrorist proxies. Visiting Israel, Gottheimer says Abraham Accords have led to ‘huge sea change’ in region… | jewishinsider.com It was an honor to meet with so many leaders, including new Israeli PM @yairlapid & outgoing PM @naftalibennett, and I look forward to making sure that the U.S.-Israel relationship remains bipartisan and durable.”
- Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 07/08/2022: Retweet of @NorthJerseyNew1 – “Gottheimer Visits Israel to Strengthen Security, Economic Ties Gottheimer Visits Israel to Strengthen Security, Economic Ties | North-JerseyNews.com”
- Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 07/08/2022: Twitter thread – “Our congressional trip showed our historic ally, Israel, that efforts to strengthen and maintain our nations’ strategic relationship are bipartisan and more important than ever. Congress member trip affirms import of US-Israel dialogue, regional conversations… | jns.org I met with new Israeli PM @yairlapid & outgoing PM @naftalibennett, and saw how exciting of a time this is for Israel & regional cooperation stemming from the Abraham Accords. We also discussed concerns regarding the threat of Iran’s nuclear capabilities & its terrorist proxies. It was an honor to meet with many leaders and have the opportunity to hear their many perspectives. Despite the significant challenges faced across the region and the world, it was refreshing to see how much agreement there is on the issues that really matter.”
- Bacon (R-NE-2) 07/06/2022: Retweet of @Zimmlaw175 – “@RepDonBacon @godiva484 Thank you, Representative Bacon for standing with Israel and against terrorism.”
- Barragán (D-CA-44) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “Just touched down back in the U.S. Covid finally caught up with me while on official travel in Israel. I’m thankful to the doctors at the US Embassy in Jerusalem who oversaw my care and the OAP for their consultation. I expect to return to regular activities soon.”
- Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 07/06/2022: Twitter thread – “Our congressional trip showed our historic ally, Israel, that efforts to strengthen and maintain our nations’ strategic relationship are bipartisan and more important than ever. US congressmen finish Israel trip, say US-Israel ties remain strong – The Jerusalem Post I met with new Israeli PM @yairlapid & outgoing PM @naftalibennett, and saw how exciting of a time this is for Israel & regional cooperation stemming from the Abraham Accords. We also discussed concerns regarding the threat of Iran’s nuclear capabilities & its terrorist proxies. Link to image It was an honor to meet with many leaders and hear their perspectives. We must remember that Israel’s national security is key U.S. national security, and to our fight against terror. I look forward to making sure that the U.S.-Israel relationship remains bipartisan and durable. Link to image”
- Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 07/07/2022: Retweet of @JewishStandard – “Josh Gottheimer talks about Israel Josh Gottheimer talks about Israel… | ift.tt”
- Bacon (R-NE-2) 07/05/22: Bacon Returns from Bipartisan Trip to Israel – Commits to Ironclad Partnership with Israel
- Houlahan (D-PA-6) 07/06/2022: Twitter thread – “This past week, many of my family members were able to travel to Israel (on personal time and dime) and visit @yadvashem, the World Holocaust Center in Jerusalem. This trip was deeply personal, and I’d like to share it with you and tell you a bit more about my family’s story Link to image This is a photo I’ve never shared before. In this scrapbook, you’ll see my dad, grandparents and their Polish marriage certificate dated 1940. Link to image I was fortunate enough to get to know my grandmother before she passed, but my grandfather, Karol, was murdered during the Holocaust. In one post-war letter, a family friend described his death as too terrible to put into writing. My family survived in part because of the grace of one person in particular, Father Jozef Czapran. A Catholic priest, he put himself at great personal risk by helping my family forge papers to hide their Jewish identity so my dad, just a toddler at the time, could survive. Link to image It was an honor to be present as Father Jozef Czapran was posthumously recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. This designation is given to those who helped families like mine during the war. Link to quoted tweet Our nation and world continue to grapple with rising rates of antisemitism and other forms of bigotry. That’s why I’ve joined bipartisan efforts like @RepSchneider’s calling on the DHS Secretary to address antisemitism nationwide: 92 Bipartisan Members of Congress Call on DHS Secretary to Address Antisemitism Nationwide… | schneider.house.gov It’s also why Father Jozef Czapran’s story – a story of love for one’s neighbor – is such an important reminder of our shared humanity.”
- Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 07/01/2022: Retweet of @marcrod97 – “Spoke to @RepJoshG from Israel yesterday about his trip. Topics include the “huge sea change” brought about by the Abraham Accords, the “remarkably consistent message” from different political parties and the Shireen Abu Akleh investigation. Visiting Israel, Gottheimer says Abraham Accords have led to ‘huge sea change’ in region… | jewishinsider.com”
Media & Members – Elections
Maryland Matter 7/8/22: Edwards vs. Ivey: A Race Between Former Insiders, Being Dominated by Outsiders
PoliticalEmails.org posted AIPAC’s 7/7/22 fundraising email in support of Ivey/opposing Edwards
The Washington Informer 7/6/22: Candidates Donna Edwards and Glenn Ivey Push for Democratic Support [“
Washington Post 7/3/22: Donna Edwards wants her Md. seat back. Glenn Ivey stands in the way. [“Some of the same criticisms that hurt her unsuccessful campaigns for Senate in 2016 and for Prince George’s county executive in 2018 have resurfaced, leaving Edwards at times on defense against charges that she had ineffective constituent services during her time in office. A super PAC associated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — which has endorsed Ivey — has spent nearly $2 million on ads highlighting that criticism and supporting Ivey, a campaign Edwards acknowledged was ‘daunting’ in the final leg of the race. J Street, the liberal pro-Israel group that endorsed Edwards, has spent $660,000 on pro-Edwards ads and mailers to counter the negative narrative.”]
Tikkun 7/7/22: “Anti-Israel” and “Pro-Israel” in Michigan Election
Detroit News 7/5/22: Levin-Stevens primary gets more heated, but candidates’ approaches differ
Twitter thread from IfNotNow (with video, links) 7/5/22, opening with: “WATCH: Rep @HaleyLive literally turns her back and walks away from a young Jewish mother who politely asks why Stevens takes @AIPAC funding when AIPAC supports insurrectionists. Just last week, AIPAC’s super PAC UDP used far-right ad firm @OnMessageInc to buy ads for Stevens”
Arab American News 7/1/22: Sanders endorses Tlaib, Levin; criticizes pro-corporate, pro-Israeli funds targeting primaries
Schiff (D-CA-28) 07/07/2022: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “J Street is proud to endorse Adam Schiff in #CA30. Rep. Schiff has proudly and tirelessly led the effort to protect our democracy in the United States and is a champion for democratic freedoms abroad. Link to image”
NOTE: You can see major PAC spending in this election cycle at opensecrets.org. Specifically, see details of 2022 primary spending from groups with focus on Israel-related policy, like United Democracy Project (AIPAC’s PAC), Democratic Majority for Israel, Urban Empowerment Action PAC, Pro-Israel PAC, Pro-israel America Action Fund, J Street Action
Media/Report – General
Haaretz 7/5/22: Democrats’ Rising Jewish Star Has Some Advice for Biden Ahead of Israel Trip [“Jon Ossoff, Georgia’s first-ever Jewish senator, tells Haaretz of his bipartisan efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians talking again, despite the pessimistic atmosphere on the subject”]
NEW Congressional Research Service 7/1/22: Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief
Members on the Record
Israel – Palestine
Ernst (R-IA) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “The DEFEND Act is uniting the United States and our partners and allies against Iranian aggression in the Middle East. From Peace Deal to Military Pact: Congress Wants Israel, Arab Allies to Unite Against Iran… | freebeacon.com”
Roy (R-TX-21) 07/08/2022: Tweet – “We indeed have a dearth of qualified volunteers at the moment (some estimates indicate only 1 in 4 18-25 year olds qualify in terms of health & education). But that failure does not justify drafting daughters to war. PS – Supporting Israel does not mean following Israel. Link to quoted tweet”
Cornyn (R-TX) 07/05/2022: Retweet of @CUFI – ““Israel and the United States are bound by common values.” @JohnCornyn”
Long (R-MO-7) 07/04/2022: Retweet of @business – “The collapse of Israel’s government will add pressure on the central bank’s governor to face down inflation Biggest Israeli Rate Hike Since Fischer Comes With Hawkish Shift – Bloomberg”
Zeldin (R-NY) 7/3/22: Rep. Zeldin Statement on CUNY Chancellor Declining to Participate in Antisemitism Hearing Timed to Fit His Schedule [“…CUNY’s law school faculty and student government have openly endorsed the antisemitic BDS movement, an adjunct professor at CUNY called to ‘erase this filth called Jews’, and the school’s faculty union adopted a harshly and ignorantly worded anti-Israel resolution. Just a few weeks ago, an antisemite was CUNY Law School’s commencement speaker. Antisemitism in all forms must be identified, called out and crushed. It’s time to clean house at CUNY!”]
Bacon (R-NE-2) 07/02/2022: Retweet of @jacobkornbluh – “Yair Lapid in first address to nation as interim PM: “We believe that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Its establishment didn’t begin in 1948, but rather on the day Joshua crossed the Jordan and forever connected the people of Israel with the land of Israel.” Link to image”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 07/02/2022: Tweet – “This is what our bipartisan group of 25 Members have called for — for the Palestinian Authority to provide access to the forensic evidence & for an independent investigation. Read here: Link to image Link to quoted tweet”
Long (R-MO-7) 07/02/2022: Retweet of @HananyaNaftali – “BREAKING: Israel shot down 3 Hezbollah UAVs that headed towards the Israeli natural gas rig ‘Karish’ in the Mediterranean Sea.”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 07/01/2022: Retweet of @ProIsraelAm – “Pro-Israel America sends its best wishes to new Prime Minister @yairlapid. Read the latest from Executive Director Jeff Mendelsohn on the peaceful transfer of power from Bennett to Lapid: Statement from Pro-Israel America Executive Director Jeff Mendelsohn on Prime Minister Yair Lapid – Pro-Israel America… | proisraelamerica.org”
Manning (D-NC-6) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “Congratulations to Yair Lapid, the new Prime Minister of the State of Israel. I look forward to working together and continuing to strengthen and advance the historic, bipartisan U.S.-Israel relationship.”
Rosen (D-NV) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “Congratulations to my good friend @YairLapid on becoming Prime Minister of Israel. I look forward to continuing to work with you to strengthen the US-Israel relationship, combat global antisemitism, expand the Abraham Accords, and advance a two-state solution.”
Rosen (D-NV) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “Pleased to see @DHSgov stand up the US-Israel cybersecurity cooperation grant program, which my bipartisan legislation established last year. This program will leverage allied innovations to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity posture.”
Deutch (D-FL) & Wilson (R-SC) 7/1/22: Deutch and Wilson Welcome Lapid as Next Israeli Prime Minister
Zeldin (R-NY) 6/27/22: Rep. Zeldin Applauds Senate Republicans for Opposing Biden Nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Following Antisemitic Comments [“…Ms. Bagley’s dismissive and flagrantly antisemitic and anti-Israel comments should disqualify her from pushing papers at the State Department, much less being the face of a U.S. diplomatic mission.”]
Deutch (D-FL-22) 07/07/2022: Retweet of @USAmbUN – “Last year, the @UN-led cross-border response allowed aid workers to reach over 2.4 million people in northwest Syria every single month. But the deadline to renew and expand the UN’s cross-border mechanism is fast approaching. Link to video”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 07/08/2022: Retweet of @USAmbUN – “Today, the situation in northwest Syria is more dire than at any point. Malnutrition rates are soaring and the price of a food basket increased to record levels for an eighth consecutive month. Without the @UN’s cross-border aid, people will die.”
Graham (R-SC) 07/08/2022: Retweet of @ikhurshudyan – “Today in Ukraine. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal presented Zelensky with a resolution they authored to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. That would put Moscow in company with Syria, Iran, Cuba and North Korea. Link to image”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 07/07/2022: Twitter thread – “Yesterday my colleagues and I called for the @UN Security Council to renew cross-border humanitarian access in Syria. I urge the UNSC to resist Russia’s games. We need a 12 month renewal, without extraneous conditions, provisions, or concessions. Link to image View our full statement here w/ LR @RepMcCaul, CHM @RepGregoryMeeks, @SenateForeign RM @SenatorRisch, and CHM @SenatorMendez. McCaul, Meeks, Risch, Menendez Urge Renewal of Syria Cross-Border Mechanism – Committee on Foreign Affairs”
Schakowsky (D-IL-9) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “We need women at ALL levels of government. At today’s Assyrian Women’s Empowerment Lunch, I was so inspired by all the powerful females making a difference in our community. It’s always good to be with my groundbreaking sisters, @AtourSargon and Josina Morita! Link to image”
Cornyn (R-TX) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “The continued delivery of food to more than four million desperate Syrians turns this week on a debate in the United Nations Security Council Russia Tensions Threaten Food Supplies for 4 Million Syrians – WSJ”
Meeks (D-NY-5) 07/06/2022: Twitter thread – “Chairs @RepGregoryMeeks @SenatorMenendez and Ranking Members @RepMcCaul @SenatorRisch released the following statement reaffirming support for renewal of cross-border humanitarian access to #Syria during the upcoming United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote. Link to image You can view the full press release here: Meeks, McCaul, Menendez, Risch Urge Renewal of Syria Cross-Border Mechanism… | foreignaffairs.house.gov”
Risch (R-ID) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “Russia’s efforts to hinder the delivery of aid to 14M Syrians & to perpetuate atrocities being committed by #Assad, #Russia, & #Iran are atrocious. It’s imperative the UNSC vote to maintain cross-border humanitarian access to #Syria for 12 months tomorrow. Risch, Menendez, Meeks, McCaul Urge Renewal of Syria Cross-Border Mechanism | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations”
Weber (R-TX-14) 07/06/2022: Twitter thread – “Belgian lawmakers are debating a prisoner exchange treaty with the Islamic Republic of Iran that would return the terrorist, Asadollah Assadi to Iran. I led a letter with 12 of my colleagues to reject any deal that would allow any terrorists to go back to their terror nests. Link to image Earlier this Congress, 254 Representatives co-sponsored H.Res. 118, expressing support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran and condemning violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government. One example of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism was further highlighted in the text of that resolution: Asadollah Assadi’s plot, at the behest of the terroristic regime in Tehran, to blow up a peaceful gathering of dissidents & democracy advocates in Paris, France, on 6/30/2018. Thank you to my colleagues for co-leading this effort @RepBrianFitz @replouiegohmert @RepMcClintock @DrNealDunnFL2 @RepBrianBabin @RepMikeGarcia @RepGregSteube @RepFrenchHill @JacksonLeeTX18 @RepEllzey @RepYoungKim @Lancegooden”
Cornyn (R-TX) 07/04/2022: Retweet of @SamRamani2 – “This is a major victory for Ukraine’s efforts to pressure Turkey on illegal grain transfers. But it will also undermine Turkey’s neutrality between Russia and Ukraine on the food security issue, and augment tensions with Moscow which are rising over northern Syria Link to image”
Graham (R-SC) 07/03/2022: Twitter thread – “I had a very productive trip to Turkey, a member of NATO and a valuable American ally. While we have had a problematic relationship at times, it is imperative Turkey and the US take steps to strengthen the ties between our two nations. Link to image I will do all in my power to support the Biden Administration’s decision to sell F-16s to the Turkish Air Force. These fighter jets, in the hands of our NATO allies, will create a sense of stability and provide capability to the Turkish military that is most definitely in America’s national security interests. Finally, we discussed the continuing situation in northeast Syria and how it impacts Turkey. ISIS rising in Syria is a threat to our American way of life… | foxnews.com”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 07/01/2022: Twitter thread – “I led a letter w/ all the Dem members of the @HouseForeign MENAGCT Subcommittee to support @SecBlinken & @USAmbUN in their efforts to reauthorize the UN’s cross-border humanitarian operations in Syria. Link to image At Russia’s insistence, all but one border crossing for aid to Syria closed in 2020. Now, Russia is deplorably working to further restrict the last open border crossing through which food, medical aid, and other crucial assistance is delivered to Syria. Today, 14.6 million Syrians are dependent upon humanitarian aid to survive. That sole remaining access point at Bab al-Hawa has become a lifeline for NW Syria, reaching over 2.4 million people per month, & its closure would have catastrophic consequences for millions of Syrians. The UNSC has until July 10th to renew the Syria cross-border resolution.The int’l community must work to ensure that Bab al-Hawa remains open for at least 12 months & further champion the expansion of access to life-saving aid across the country through every appropriate route.”
Babin (R-TX-36) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “Iran continues to threaten our allies and take civilians hostage. I teamed up with @txrandy14 to encourage Belgium to stand strong against Iranian pressure and NOT let any of these terrorists off the hook. We need to keep this regime in check! Link to image”
Weber (R-TX-14) 07/07/2022: Retweet of @RepBrianBabin – “Iran continues to threaten our allies and take civilians hostage. I teamed up with @txrandy14 to encourage Belgium to stand strong against Iranian pressure and NOT let any of these terrorists off the hook. We need to keep this regime in check! Link to image”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 07/06/2022: Retweet of @OrgIAC – “Thanks to @RepDonBacon for urging the Belgian Chamber of Representatives to reject any extradition treaty with Iran. @elianetillieux @LaChambreBE #DontFreeTerrorists #No2Appeasement Link to quoted tweet”
Salazar (R-FL-27) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “Los enemigos de Estados Unidos están montando campamento en nuestro vecindario y a Biden parece no importarle. Nuestra seguridad nacional corre riesgo con la Alianza de Tiranos, mientras los neomarxistas de la Casa Blanca miran hacia otro lado. Iran, Russia, China to Run War Drills in Latin America… | rb.gy”
Scott (R-FL) 07/06/2022: In reply to Tweet – “Esto es peligroso y representa una seria amenaza para nuestra seguridad nacional y estabilidad en LATAM. @JoeBiden debe parar su débil apaciguamiento al malvado régimen Iraní y los dictadores brutales, @NicolasMaduro, Putin y Xi y finalmente defender la libertad y la democracia.”
Wicker (R-MS) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “Iran developing rocket technology could have devastating foreign policy implications. State sponsors of terrorism should NEVER be able to develop nuclear weapons, and the Biden administration must do everything in their power to prevent this possibility. Iran launches satellite-carrying rocket into space… | washingtonexaminer.com”
Wicker (R-MS) 07/03/2022: Tweet – “The Iran deal was always a mistake. Now is not the time for @POTUS to double down. Iran Nuclear Talks Likely to Resume After Biden’s Mideast Trip… | bloomberg.com”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 07/02/2022: Retweet of @IAC_NE – “An URGENT and united message from the Iranian-American communities across the US including @IACNorCal to our representative Congressman @RepDonBacon. Please help us raise our voices so that it is heard across the Atlantic. Belgium! #DontFreeTerrorists Link to quoted tweet”
Weber (R-TX-14) 07/02/2022: Tweet – “I am shocked to find out that the Belgian gov has cut a deal with the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism & plans to send Iranian terrorists back to Iran to plot more terroristic acts. I urge my colleagues to join me to sound the alarm on this “so called” arrangement. Link to video”
Roy (R-TX-21) 07/01/2022: Twitter thread – “My Oped: This #IndependenceDay weekend, “LIV Golf” & its Saudi-funded sellouts choose to undermine the @PGATour, which has enriched almost all of them & raised $2.3 billion in charities across America. They can do it – but they’re wrong to do it… (1/7) Professional American golfers wrong to abandon PGA for LIV Golf… | thehill.com …”
Roy (R-TX-21) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “Negotiate what, @McIlroyRory? How much Saudi $ can go to golf vs. funding terrorism? How much money a foreign nation can throw at an industry to kill it? Getting Greg Norman an invite to the new “almost Champions” dinner at Augusta? Rory McIlroy says it’s time for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to talk | Golf News and Tour Information | GolfDigest.com”
Joyce (R-OH-14) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “Americans are paying over $5 a gallon and our domestic energy producers have been sidelined for the likes of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Meanwhile, @POTUS exported 5 MILLION barrels of oil from our strategic reserves to countries like China. Unbelievable. Oil from U.S. reserves sent overseas as gasoline prices stay high… | reuters.com”
Wilson (D-FL-24) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “When we commit US military resources to a conflict, we must do our best to protect the innocent and lessen the catastrophic costs of war. That’s why I support ending our involvement in Yemen. We cannot stand by and help those committing horrific atrocities. Link to quoted tweet”
McGovern (D-MA-2) 07/03/2022: Tweet – “Although @raif_badawi was released in March, he still faces a 10-year travel ban after his unjust imprisonment for exercising his fundamental rights. My new oped w/ @USCIRF Commissioner Frank Wolf urging @POTUS to raise his case with the Saudi Government: Saudi Arabia, lift Raif Badawi’s travel ban | Opinion”
Roy (R-TX-21) 07/01/2022: Twitter thread – “I should note that @TerrySStrada really helped to lead this 9/11 family backlash with her letter a few weeks back. See: ICYMI: 9/11 Families’ Letter Highlighting Saudi “Sportswashing” & American Golfers’ “Betrayal” Roils Inaugural LIV Golf Weekend – 9/11 Families United… | 911familiesunited.org. The @LIVGolfInv really is a slap in the face to these families. 8th of 7 original in thread… Link to quoted tweet Link to reply @Coopdz21 @TerrySStrada @LIVGolfInv Addressed. Link to reply @Coopdz21 @TerrySStrada @LIVGolfInv I’m all for sticking to China, including de-coupling for all of America including sports industrial complex. But dint pretend bankrolling a billion dollars in Saudi money helps that and isn’t bad in its own right…”
Adams (D-NC-12) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “16 million Yemenis – including 2 million children – are living on the brink of starvation. I’m proud to join a resolution to end our country’s unauthorized involvement in the war in Yemen. We cannot allow the U.S. to be complicit in suffering and starvation.”
DelBene (D-WA-1) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “I signed onto the Yemen War Powers Resolution because it is time to end unauthorized military involvement in Yemen. This war has become a large-scale humanitarian crisis, costing thousands of lives & threatening millions more w/ famine.”
Murphy (D-CT) 07/07/2022: Tweet – “The amazing people I meet… Salaam (left) owns a gas station in Naugatuck. His brother Samir (right) just arrived from Yemen after working as a guard at the U.S. embassy. Grateful Yemeni-Americans, they send every $ they can back to their family in war torn Sana’a. #WalkCT Link to image”
Pallone (D-NJ-6) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “Spoke with @StateDept officials about the misguided potential sale of upgraded F-16s to Turkey. I reiterated that this sale must not go through because of Erdogan’s abysmal human rights record, anti-democratic actions, and aggressive behavior in the region.”
Sarbanes (D-MD-3) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “I joined my colleagues in opposing the potential sale of next generation F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a dangerous and destabilizing force in the region. Link to quoted tweet”
Titus (D-NV-1) 07/06/2022: Tweet – “Spoke with @StateDept today regarding @POTUS support for selling F-16s to Turkey. Erdogan has said and done nothing to show this is the right move for long term stability in the region. I will continue to push for policies that protect our allies in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Chabot (R-OH-1) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “As a strong supporter of the @NATO Alliance and Co-Chair of the Turkey Caucus, I am pleased to see that Turkey, Finland and Sweden agreed to a path forward that will address Turkey’s legitimate security concerns and pave the way for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.”
Cornyn (R-TX) 07/02/2022: Tweet – “Turkey is poised to lead humanitarian response: How to Break Russia’s Black Sea Blockade: The World Must Act to Address the Global Food Crisis How to Break Russia’s Black Sea Blockade: The World Must Act to Address the Global Food Crisis | foreignaffairs.com”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 07/02/2022: Tweet – “Pleased Sweden, Finland, and Turkey came to an agreement & paved the way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. The NATO summit was a resounding success that strengthened the defense of our allies, reaffirmed Transatlantic unity, & charted a strategic path forward for NATO. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “Turkey’s latest crackdown on free press and freedom of expression is appalling and antithetical to democratic values. @VOANews and @dwnews must be allowed to publish without fear of censorship or retaliation. Turkey blocks access to Deutsche Welle and Voice of America – ABC News”
Pallone (D-NJ-6) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “I strongly oppose the Admin’s decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. We shouldn’t be encouraging Erdogan’s human rights abuses and his disloyalty to the NATO alliance. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to block this dangerous proposal and hold Turkey accountable.”
Meeks (D-NY-5) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: Deeply concerned by President Saied’s proposed new Tunisian constitution. This dramatic expansion of presidential powers over the judiciary and parliament represent an existential threat to the country’s democratic institutions. Tunisia’s draft constitution – what’s new, and why now?… | aljazeera.com”
Menendez (D-NJ) 07/01/2022: Tweet – “The drafting process for Tunisia’s new constitution raises serious concerns. Without transparency & inclusivity, the process’s credibility is at risk. Broad & equitable participation is necessary for Tunisia’s democratic future. Link to quoted tweet”