Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived
***Measures Marked Up in HFAC 9/14/22 & voted on 9/15/22***
(EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY TO TARGET UNRWA & PA) HR 2374: Introduced 4/5/21 by Sherman (D-CA), Zeldin (R-NY), Gottheimer (D-NJ), Mast (R-FL), and Trone (D-MD), “To require the Secretary of State to submit annual reports reviewing the educational material used by the Palestinian Authority, and for other purposes,” aka, the “Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act.”
- As expected, HFAC’s consideration (starting at around 3:01:16 in the video) of this bill consisted of grandstanding in support of Israel and grandstanding against UNRWA, the PA, and the very idea that Palestinians have any legitimate grievances against Israel.
- Adding extra fun, Rep. Pfluger (R-TX) offered an amendment adding to the bill language attacking criticism of Israel and specifically the use of the word “apartheid” to characterize Israeli rule over Palestinians — turning the mark-up into an opportunity to also grandstand at the expense of progressive Democrats in general and HFAC member Rep. Omar (D-MN) in particular [Pfluger (R-TX-11) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “.@Ilhan refused to condemn antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. This is no surprise. She repeatedly accuses Israel of being an apartheid state and claims they have “hypnotized the world.” Her hateful rhetoric is telling and has NO place in Congress. Link to video” – also on GETTR].
- And once again, HFAC Democrats, led by Chairman Meeks (D-NY) seized this opportunity with gusto.
- On 9/15/22, the Committee approved the Pfluger amendment to HR 2374 passed by a roll call vote (demanded by Pfluger) of 42-0 [Reps. Omar (D-MN) and Levin (D-MI) were notably both absent for the vote) [voting starting right at the beginning of the video]. HR 2374 was then passed by the Committee by a Voice Vote.
- For details of all of this, see my Twitter thread (tweeted in real time during the mark-up), also copied below.
Further analysis/resources on HR 2374 in HFAC
>My analysis/commentary (live-tweeted) of the mark-up of this measure:
- HFAC is now taking up HR 2374, aka, Every Day Is a Good Day to Target UNRWA & the PA. Let the grandstanding begin!
- Mast (R-FL) complaining that map in Palestinian textbook doesn’t show Israel. Context: Why Israel Secretly Decided to Erase the Green Line [link to Haaretz 9/9/22 article].
- Context: Israel forbids Tel Aviv municipality from posting ‘Green Line’ maps in schools [link to 8/25/22 article in Middle East Eye].
- This bill & the grandstanding in committee reflect comfortable Congressional framing that the underlying cause of the “conflict” is irrational Palestinian hatred of Israel/Jews, as opposed to anything Israel actually does to Palestinians…
- …and insists that Palestinians ‘learn’ their views about Israel in schools, as opposed to from their LIVED EXPERIENCE under Israeli apartheid.
- And not content with a resolution merely bashing PA/UNRWA for failing to teach Palestinian kids to love their oppressor, Rep. Pfluger (R-TX) is now trying to amend the res to attack language in any Palestinian textbook that ‘delegitimizes’ Israel. Can’t make this sh*t up.
- & for extra points, Pfluger uses his amdt to attack fellow HFAC member Rep. Omar who have used the term ‘apartheid’ to criticize Israel, or otherwise ‘delegitimize’ Israel. Pfluger explicitly framing his amdt as TEST for Dems on whether they will (again) throw Omar under the bus.
- And there you have it: Meeks supports the amdt. House Dems AGAIN taking up GOP on effort to throw Omar under the bus for using framing explicitly adopted by Amnesty Intl, HRW, Btselem, etc. This is taking grandstanding on Israel to a special elections-season level!
- Piling on in support of the bill & its idiotic framing, the Pfluger amdt & driving the “We-HEART-Israel-&-hate-Its-Critics” bus back-and-forth over Omar: Tenney (R-NY) Sherman (D-CA — who gave a surreally stupid speech on why Israeli is not an apartheid state) Chabot (R-OH).
- Really, folks should take the time to listen to this mark-up for themselves. It is impossible to capture how disconnected the discussion/framing on the Hill is from the lived reality of Palestinians living under Israeli rule.
- Pfluger amendment passed by a voice vote. But Pfluger is demanding a roll call vote — a transparent tactic to force Dems to take a vote that will be treated as a public repudiation of one of their own…
- …bearing in mind that voting to repudiate Omar & other progressives critics of Israel doesn’t help Dems politically (though they think it does). Rather, it only strengthens the GOP’s talking point that Democrats have an Israel/antisemitism problem. Massive own goal, every time.
- Update this morning: all members present in HFAC this AM – including all Dems — voted AYE on Pfluger amendment attacking the use of the term “apartheid” to describe Israel’s rule over Palestinians.
- Savvy commentary on Twitter from Joel Braunold – “HFAC you do you but passing a Zeldin bill in the teeth of the midterms which the GOP used in the hearing to bash Dem members in the committee without pushback. I mean… it’s a strategy?”
- Sherman (D-CA-30) 9/13/22 – Twitter thread/press release celebrating HFAC taking up HR 2374 the following day: “(1/2) For decades, the US has been the top donor to the Palestinian people – but the current PA curriculum falls short of meeting US values. Children in PA and UNRWA schools deserve an education that nurtures their future, not one that glorifies terrorism and encourages violence. (2/2) I am pleased that my bill to address this issue will be marked up tomorrow in @HouseForeign. This is an important step to implementing a Palestinian curriculum that promotes peace instead of undermining it. Read my full statement Congressman Brad Sherman Statement on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Marking up the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act… | sherman.house.gov”
- Sherman (D-CA-30) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Pleased to report that today my bill, the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act, was passed unanimously by @HouseForeign. I commend my colleagues for voting in favor of this important bill & look forward to building on this support to secure its ultimate passage. Link to quoted tweet”
- Mast (R-FL-18) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “The Foreign Affairs Committee is considering the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act, a bipartisan bill I am cosponsoring. Our tax dollars cannot be used to teach future generations to incite violence against the Israeli people. Link to video”
- Press release 9/15/22 – Mast, Sherman Bill to Combat Anti-Semitic Education in Gaza Approved by House Panel
- Statement from Americans for Peace Now 9/15/22: APN to Congress: Address Bias in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Education [“... Entirely ignored in yesterday’s markup is the current controversy around the Municipality of Tel Aviv’s distribution of maps that include the Green Line to schools throughout the city, a direct challenge to the Ministry of Education’s 55-year ban imposed on such maps. The media buzz around this matter exposed the fact that the maps Israeli school children see do not show the Green Line and portray sovereign Israel as including the occupied territories. Despite the recent media coverage and the half-century-long ban on maps that show the Green Line, there has been no mention in Congress of Israeli maps having the same issue as the Palestinian ones, let alone talk of reporting requirements or the conditioning of US aid.”]
(OBSTRUCT IRAN DIPLOMACY) H. Res. 1266: Introduced 7/26/22 by Foxx (R-NC) and Wilson (R-SC), “Requesting the President to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to any initiative or negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program.” Consideration of the measure starts at around 4:45:00 in the markup video. The measure was strongly opposed by HFAC Chairman Meeks (D-NY). In the roll call vote on 9/15/22, starting at around 27:38 in the video (framed as a vote on the question “should the measure be reported ADVERSELY” – meaning a “yes” vote was a vote against the resolution), the final tally was a party-line vote of 26-22 against the measure..
- Foxx’s 9/14/22 floor statement in support of H. Res. 1266
- Twitter thread from HFAC member Tenney (R-NY-22) 09/15/2022: “This morning in the @HouseForeignGOP, Democrats blocked efforts to pass resolutions of inquiry (also known as an ROI) to require the Biden Administration to turn over documents related to the Afghanistan withdrawal as well as ongoing nuclear talks with Iran. The ROIs should be bipartisan – they are Congress exercising its most basic oversight powers on behalf of all Americans. The rushed retreat from Afghanistan was a disaster that led to the deaths of US men & women. Congress should do everything it can to get to the bottom of it. Instead, House Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee prevented both the Afghanistan and Iran requests from moving forward. It was a shameful abdication of their oversight responsibilities to the American people.”
- McCaul (R-TX-10) 09/16/2022: Retweet of @RepTenney – “This morning in the @HouseForeignGOP, Democrats blocked efforts to pass resolutions of inquiry (also known as an ROI) to require the Biden Administration to turn over documents related to the Afghanistan withdrawal as well as ongoing nuclear talks with Iran.”
- JNS 9/14/22 : Bipartisan frustration with the Iran nuke talks is growing, says US [Republican] lawmaker Following closed briefing in HFAC (see Section 3, below) “Rep. Claudia Tenney, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tells JNS that Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley’s answers on key questions remain vague as nuclear deal negotiations drag on”. Tenney also told JNS, on the record, that with respect to this week;s mark-up of H. Res. 1266, “‘It seems that [a yes vote on the resolution] is going to end up being bipartisan, but we’ll see. I don’t know what happens with the negotiations right up to the moment when we have the markup, but it looks like that’s a possibility.’” In fact, not a single Democrat voted in support of that resolution.
- Jewish Insider 9/16/22: Democrats unite to block GOP measure seeking Iran deal draft
***Other bills/resolutions this week***
(DEPARTMENT OF STATE AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2022) S. 4653: Introduced 7/28/22 by Menendez (D-NJ), the “Department of State Authorization Act of 2022.” The bill was amended (via a pre-cooked bipartisan managers’ amendment in the nature of a substitute) and passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 9/14/22 by Unanimous Consent. See press release – Menendez, Risch Celebrate Committee Approval of Department of State Authorization Act. The managers’ amendment included two Israel/Palestine-focused provisions:
- Sec. 720, “Department of State diplomacy in response to the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Israel.” This provisions makes it US policy to pursue the dissolution of the COI on Israel and to push for membership on the UNHRC of countries that “do not pursue antisemitic or anti-Israel agendas.” The section also requires a report to Congress describing actions taken by the State Department to achieve these goals.
- Sec. 723, “Report of shooting of Palestinian-American journalist in Jenin.” This section – an amendment offered in committee by Van Hollen (D-MD), requires that “Not later than 14 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a complete copy, in classified or unclassified format, as appropriate, of the report overseen by the United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority regarding the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin on May 11, 2022.” Also see: Van Hollen press release 9/14/22 – Foreign Relations Committee Passes Van Hollen Amendment Requiring State Department to Provide Report on Shooting Death of American Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh; Van Hollen (D-MD) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “In July a group of us wrote to @SecBlinken seeking answers on the shooting death of American journalist Shireen Abu Ahleh & a copy of the US Security Coordinator report. No response yet. Glad today SFRC adopted my amendment demanding we receive the report. Need accountability. Link to image”; US Senators inch closer to receiving critical State Department report on Shireen Abu Akleh killing (The New Arab 9/15/22)
In addition, the committee considered a Cruz amendment – consisting of the text of a bill he previously introduce to obstruct the Biden Administration’s Iran diplomacy (S. 3857), “To terminate certain waivers of sanctions with respect to Iran issued in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and for other purpose.” That amendment apparently did not pass (its fate is not documented anywhere on the SFRC website).
(3 CHEERS FOR NORMALIZATION OF ARAB TIES WITH ISRAEL) H. Res. 1359: Introduced 9/15/22 by Schneider (D-IL) and 3 bipartisan cosponsors, “Commemorating the second anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords Declaration.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The resolution celebrates the normalization and the great benefits it brings to Israel and its new Arab partners, and makes it US policy to “prioritize the expansion and strengthening of the Abraham Accords by encouraging other countries to normalize relations with Israel and working to ensure that existing agreements reap tangible security and economic benefits for the citizens of those countries.” The resolution does give lip service to concern for Palestinians, asserting (counterfactually) that the Accords “advanced the cause of achieving lasting peace in the Middle East, including through a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ensures mutual recognition and guarantees that Israelis and Palestinians live side-by-side with freedom, security, and prosperity” and that the Accords “provide an opportunity to make tangible improvements in the lives of Palestinians, including increased multilateral investment in the Palestinian economy among signatory countries of the Abraham Accords.”
- Lankford (R-OK) announced on the Senate floor 9/15/22 that he was introducing a similar/identical resolution in the Senate (press release/text is on Lankford’s website but the resolution does not show up, as of this writing, in the Congressional Record).
- Ernst (R-IA) 09/16/2022: press release – Ernst Celebrates Two Years of Historic Abraham Peace Accords [supporting resolution announced with Lankford, with pdf to text]
(NO VISAS FOR IRANIAN OFFICIALS) S. 4856 (pdf) & HR 8869: Introduced in the Senate 9/14/22 by Cruz (R-TX) and 5 Republican cosponsors [“A bill to require the denial of admission to the United States for individuals subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13876, and for other purposes”] and in the House 9/15/22 by Tenney (R-NY) and no cosponsors [“To require the denial of admission to the United States for individuals subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13876, and for other purposes”]. Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on the Judiciary, respectively. Note: EO 13876 is President Trump’s 6/24/19 EO entitled, “Imposing Sanctions With Respect to Iran.”
- Cruz press release – Sen. Cruz Introduces the SEVER Act to Ban Iranian President Raisi from Entering the United States & Tweet;
- Rubio (R-FL) press release & Tweet
- Congress Battles Biden Admin in Bid To Ban Iranian President From US Soil (Washington Free Beacon); Ted Cruz Introduces Bill To Ban Iranian President From Entering U.S. As U.N. Event Approaches (The Daily Wire)
(OBSTRUCT IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL BY MAKING SANCTIONS PERMANENT) HR 8868: Introduced 9/15/22 by Steel (R-CA) and 18 co-sponsors (10 Republicans, 8 Democrats), “To repeal the sunset provision of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, and for other purposes.” The bill would make the sanctions imposed by the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 permanent. Referred to the Committees on: Foreign Affairs; Financial Services; the Judiciary; Ways and Means; and Oversight and Reform.
- Press release – Steel, Lee Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Solidify Sanctions Against Iran
- Fox News 9/15/22: House Dems, GOP working together to make Iran sanctions permanent
- Steel (R-CA-48) 09/16/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Thank you @RepSteel @RepSusieLee for leading this important bipartisan effort to solidify critical sanctions on the Iranian regime and increase the economic pressure.”
- Steel (R-CA-48) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “As Vladimir Putin & the Iranian Ayatollah are teaming up against the free world, @RepSusieLee and I are introducing a bill to send a signal that the US will not tolerate existential threats against us, our allies, or freedom & democracy around the world.”
- Hassan (D-NH) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Iran must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. Proud to join a bipartisan group of my colleagues to introduce legislation to ensure that we continue U.S. sanctions on Iran and prevent Iran from pursuing weapons that could harm our national security. Link to quoted tweet”
(ANTI-SLAPP LEGISLATION) HR 8864: Introduced 9/15/22 by Raskin (D-MD) and Cohen (D-TN), “To amend title 28, United States Code, to establish a procedure to dismiss, punish, and deter strategic lawsuits against public participation, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. NOTE: This legislation is included in the Round-Up due to the regular use of SLAPP suits as a weapon against Palestinian rights activism and free speech critical of Israel.
(SANCTIONS ON ALGERIA) Rubio letter to Blinken: On 9/14/22, Sen. Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to SecState Blinking calling for sanctions on Algeria. The letter states: “Russia is Algeria’s largest military supplier. Algeria is also among the top four purchasers of Russian arms worldwide, culminating with a $7 billion arms deal in 2021. Influx of money from any source to Russia will only further enable Russia’s war machine in Ukraine. Yet, sanctions available to you have not yet been utilized. Accordingly, I encourage you to take the threat Russia continues to pose to global stability seriously and to appropriately designate parties whose significant purchase of Russian materiel enable Russia’s destabilizing actions.” Also see: Rubio press release; Rubio tweet
(CONCERN RE: EGYPT HUMAN RIGHTS) Meeks et al letter to Blinken: On 9/13/22 HFAC Chairman Meeks (D-NY) led a 4-page letter, co-signed by 6 HFAC members (all Democrats) to SecState Blinken, “urging the Administration to stand by important statutory human rights criteria and not release a portion of U.S. assistance if Egypt fails to fully meet requirements outlined in the annual Appropriations bill” (as summarized in Meeks’ press release). The letter notes, among other things, “…we remain concerned by continued reports – both by the State Department as well as credible international and Egyptian organizations – about the ongoing, pervasive, and systemic violations of human rights in Egypt that risk destabilizing the country” and “…as the Department weighs whether to grant Egypt the $300 million in FY21 FMF or to withhold such funds from obligation, we call on you not to certify that Egypt has taken “sustained and effective steps” to implement the criteria as required by law” and “Unfortunately, while the Egyptian government released some political prisoners and launched certain initiatives aimed at improving the human rights situation inside the country, it has failed to take sustained and effective steps required by statute and has still not completed all of the administration’s conditions placed on the $130 million withheld last September” and “As the Biden administration continues to seek to prioritize human rights in our foreign policy following the Trump administration’s woeful abdication of our democratic principles, we call on you to uphold these values – and adhere to the spirit and intent of the law – in our bilateral relationship with Egypt.”
- Meeks tweet 9/14/22 – “Chair @RepGregoryMeeks leads @HouseForeign Members in letter urging the Biden Administration to hold US aid to Egypt pending human rights compliance” (re-tweeted by Lieu (D-CA-33).
- Malinowski (D-NJ-7) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “For years, Egypt has treated U.S. military assistance as an entitlement. Tom is joining @HouseForeign in urging the U.S. to withhold funds from Egypt until clear progress on human rights is made. Link to quoted tweet”
- U.S. to Move Forward on Military Aid to Egypt Despite Lawmakers’ Concerns (New York Times 9/15/22)
- Jacobs (D-CA-53) 09/14/2022: Twitter thread – “Upholding human rights abroad is not only morally right but essential to our national security. Let me explain: Countries that abuse human rights trigger resentment, violent extremism, and conflict. So if we provide $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt, with its numerous human rights violations, to support counterterrorism efforts, we’re actually fueling the problem we want to solve. That’s why I joined Chair @RepGregoryMeeks in urging the Biden Administration to withhold $300 million in military aid until Egypt improves its egregious human rights record”
- US releases some military aid to Egypt amid human rights concerns Al-Monitor 9/15/22)
(ATTACKING THE MIDDLE EAST STUDIES ASSOCIATION) Banks et al letter to MESA: On 9/13/22, Reps, Banks (R-IN), Tenney (R-NY) and Lamborn (R-CO) sent a letter to Eve Troutt Powell, President of the Middle Eastern Studies Association of North America (MESA). The letter in effect accusing MESA of supporting antisemitism, both through its defense of academic freedom in the case of an academic at the University of Denver (for his statement that Israel may have been behind the attempted assassination of Salman Rushdie, as part of its effort to scuttle an Iran nuclear deal) and through its endorsement of BDS. Framing this unusual intervention, the signers write: “As members of the Republican Study Committee, we are committed to providing oversight of the anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism which have become rampant in higher education” — a statement that, in a letter from members of Congress to an academic organization, sounds remarkably like the kind of thing one would expect in an openly non-democratic, authoritarian country. The members, who have no legal or jurisdictional authority to ask MESA about or for anything, nonetheless “request” answers from MESA (due by 9/30/22) to two questions phrased so leadingly as to make clear that (a) there is no way for MESA to answer without first challenging virtually ever word in the questions themselves, and (b) this entire exercise is about grandstanding and attacking, not seeking answers [the questions: [“How is Hashemi’s spreading a baseless, anti-Semitic conspiracy about the Salman Rushdie attack as being ‘much more likely’ than other possibilities a ‘legitimate speculation?’” and “As an organization purportedly dedicated to ‘public understanding’ of the Middle East, what evidence can MESA or Hashemi provide in any way to corroborate his claim?”]
- GOP Probes Academic Group After It Defends Professor Who Blamed Rushdie Attack on Israel (Washington Free Beacon 9/15/22)
- Tenney (R-NY-22) 09/16/2022: Tweet – “Spreading clearly anti-Semitic conspiracies about Israel and defending it as “legitimate speculation” as @MESA_1966 recently did is wrong & perpetuates hate. I’m honored to join with @RepJimBanks to call out this blatant anti-Semitism.”
This week’s HFAC mark-up (detailed above) was the final full HFAC hearing for Rep. Deutch (D-FL), chair of HFAC’s Middle East Subcommittee, who as of October 1 will become the president of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — an organization that works and lobbies on the many of the issues over which HFAC has legislative authority (raising serious questions about the conflict of interest posed by Deutch remaining on the Committee for months after he announced he had accepted his next job).
Many members of the committee took the opportunity of the mark-up to praise Deutch and tell him they would miss him, but none so fulsomely as Chairman Meeks (D-NY), whose comments (and the response from Deutch) underscored the degree of access/impact the the AJC will have starting October 1 with the key House committee with jurisdiction over the issues its cares about and lobbies on (saying the quiet part very loud) . Here is that remarkable exchange, which starts around 29:00 in the mark-up:
Meeks: “…I will miss him personally for all of the counsel, consulting with him, and talking to him, and getting his thoughts and advice on the Middle East and the region and abroad. He’s been more than just a member..on this committee, he’s been a friend. And so he is going to be drastically missed but I still have his cell phone number…[speaking directly to Deutch] still expect to get phone calls from me, even though you won’t be here, you can’t – you now there’s a saying, ‘you can run but you can’t hide’ and so I will find you and still consult with you…”
Deutch: “Thanks Mr. Chairman – the phone service works both ways. So be careful what you ask for.” [laughing and accompanied by laughter in the room]
With respect to who will succeed Deutch as subcommittee chair, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reported 9/16/22:
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) appears to be throwing his hat in the ring. Given the developments around the Iran deal negotiations and the Abraham Accords, Schneider told me it’s a “crucial moment” for the Middle East, where his “experience, lifelong engagement in this region” and work to pass bipartisan legislation related to it would be an asset to Congress. “I think I’m as qualified as anyone,” he said.
I caught up with Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) in an elevator just off the House floor yesterday, where he told me, “There’s a number of members of the committee who’ve asked me to consider it, and I am considering,” declining to elaborate further.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is also interested, a source familiar with his thinking told me on Wednesday.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), who previously made an unsuccessful bid to become chairman of the full Foreign Affairs Committee, told me he’s “considering” it as well. Sherman added that it’s “far too early to even consider” who might be the subcommittee’s top Democrat next year, before control of the House is decided. He noted, however, that he has “very much enjoyed” and is “proud of” his current chairmanship of a Financial Services subcommittee. He’d have to give that seat up if he became the full-term Middle East chairman next year.
Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), currently the subcommittee vice chair, ruled herself out for the remainder of this term and said she hasn’t given any thought to the next session yet, telling me she’s currently focused on securing reelection. She quipped that it feels like “everyone” else on the subcommittee is interested in the chairmanship. No responses yet from the rest of them.
September 21, 2022: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism will hold a hearing entitled, Examining the U.S. Interest in Regional Security Cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa: Opportunities, Obstacles, and Objectives. Notably, that hearing will be held with Rep. Deutch (D-FL) still acting as chairman of the subcommittee, notwithstanding the fact that less than two week later – on October 1 – he will start his new job as the CEO of the American Jewish Committee — an explicitly pro-Israel organization that works directly on — indeed, lobbies Congress [also here] on — the issues this hearing will examine (countdown to accusations that it is somehow antisemitic to notice, let alone point out, this blatant conflict of interests…)
September 14, 2022: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a markup of various pieces of legislation, including H. Res.1266 (“Requesting the President to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to any initiative or negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program”) and HR 2374 (“Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act”). For details see Section 1, above.
September 14, 2022: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a closed briefing on Iran nuclear negotiations.
Media & Members – Elections
Cruz (R-TX) 09/12/2022: Retweet of @RJC – “.@RJC is excited to welcome Texas Senator @tedcruz to the RJC Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas this November! Senator Cruz is a fighter, and champion of issues that matter to the pro-Israel community. #RJCinVegas To learn more, please visit: RJC Vegas 2022 – Republican Jewish Coalition Link to image”
Lee (D-NV-3) 09/09/2022: Retweet of @DemMaj4Israel – “DMFI PAC is thrilled to announce our second wave of General Election Endorsements this cycle! These 29 candidates for House and Senate include several in critical battleground districts and states that are key to Democrats’ efforts to maintain control of Congress. (1/5) Link to image”
Washington Free Beacon 9/13/22: Fetterman Says He’s a Friend of Israel. His Art Gallery Raises Questions [over exhibits in 2008 & 2012].
JTA 9/7/22: In Vermont, Becca Balint is running for Congress with the hope (and wariness) of a second-generation Holocaust survivor [“She emphatically does not support BDS.”]
Jewish Insider 9/16/22: Heather Johnston joins ‘Limited Liability Podcast’ — The U.S. Israel Education Association founder and executive director got candid about the importance of bringing members of Congress through the region [podcast & written interview]
Al Jazeera 9/15/22: Shireen Abu Akleh: Key US senator demands answers on killing
Jewish Insider 9/15/22: Abraham Accords Caucus marks anniversary of agreements with Israel trip announcement
Jewish News Syndicate 9/15/22: Democratic lawmakers call to expand the Abraham Accords
The Hill/FDD-JINSA 9/12/22: Biden may be plotting to keep Congress out of the Iran nuclear deal
Win Without War 9/9/22: Don’t be sold on MENA missile defense [“A U.S.-coordinated missile defense system or ‘architecture’ in the Middle East is a boondoggle in the making for the administration and Congress.”]
Members on the Record
Leahy (I-VT) 9/15/22: Statement On Shireen Abu Akleh (the kind of statement that merits having the full text included, so the full text is copied below – it can also be found in the Congressional Record]
On May 19th, I echoed Secretary of State Blinken’s call for an “independent, credible investigation” of the violent death of widely respected Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. At that time, several Members of Congress called for the FBI to be involved, as did I. That would be customary and appropriate after a tragedy like this involving a prominent American killed overseas under questionable circumstances.
Secretary Blinken later said, and I agree, that “[w]hen that investigation happens, we will follow the facts, wherever they lead. It’s as straightforward as that.”
Unfortunately, there has been no independent, credible investigation. Two weeks ago, without providing any details, the Israeli government, after first blaming the Palestinians for Ms. Abu Akleh’s death, stated that she was likely shot, by mistake, by an unnamed Israeli soldier. The State Department has concluded that gunfire from Israeli Defense Force (IDF) positions was likely responsible, but that there was “no evidence to indicate her killing was intentional.” The Department acknowledges that conclusion was not the result of an investigation, but rather a review of information provided by the IDF and the Palestinian Authority (PA). We are told that “the Administration continues to believe that cooperation among Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC) is the best path to support a thorough, transparent, and impartial investigation.”
No one can credibly think that the PA, which does not have access to the IDF soldier who likely fired the bullet that killed Ms. Abu Akleh or to other IDF personnel who may have information about it, or Israel which has a history of investigations of shootings by IDF soldiers that rarely result in accountability, can be completely relied on to determine and make public all the facts of what happened in this case. The USSC, echoing the conclusion of the IDF, apparently did not interview any of the IDF soldiers or any other witnesses. To say that fatally shooting an unarmed person, and in this case one with PRESS written in bold letters on her clothing, was not intentional, without providing any evidence to support that conclusion, calls into question the State Department’s commitment to an independent, credible investigation and to “follow the facts”.
More than three months later, key questions remain unanswered:
Other than reviewing the investigations conducted by the IDF and the PA, did the USSC review any of the evidence collected from other investigations, including those conducted by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the Associated Press, or the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights? If so, which of those other investigations did the USSC review and what conclusions, if any, did the USSC reach with respect to those investigations?
What specific evidence led to the USSC’s conclusion “that there is no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances?”
What were the “tragic circumstances” the USSC was referring to?
If the soldier who fired the fatal shot did not intend to kill Ms. Abu Akleh, what did he intend?
If, as the Israeli authorities appear to be saying, the soldier missed who he was aiming at and hit Ms. Abu Akleh by mistake, who was he aiming at? What evidence is there, if any, that anyone in the immediate vicinity of where Ms. Abu Akleh was shot was firing at the IDF soldier who killed her?
What steps will the State Department take to ensure the independent, credible investigation the Secretary, and many others, have called for?
What steps has the State Department taken to determine whether the Leahy Law applies in this case?
On July 5th, the Department spokesperson said “we would want to see accountability in any case of a wrongful death. That would especially – and is especially the case in the wrongful death of an American citizen, as was Shireen Abu Akleh.” What steps does the Department plan to take to ensure such accountability?
I have also urged Israeli authorities to discipline those who were responsible for, and participated in, the chaos that erupted during Ms. Abu Akleh’s funeral procession, when Israeli police needlessly beat mourners with batons, including the pallbearers, causing them to momentarily drop one end of the casket. Has anything been done?
There is an increasing foreboding that, as in so many other cases and like the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, there will never be the independent, credible investigation and accountability that Ms. Abu Akleh’s family, the Secretary of State, I, and others have called for. That would further jeopardize the safety of journalists everywhere who courageously risk their lives to inform the public. An independent, credible investigation – meaning not by the IDF and not by the PA – but with their full cooperation, must be conducted and the findings made public. Whether her killing was intentional, reckless, or a tragic mistake, there must be accountability. And if it was intentional, and if no one is held accountable, then the Leahy Law must be applied.
Leahy (D-VT) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “The tragic killing of Shireen Abu Akleh needs to be independently and thoroughly investigated, as Secretary Blinken, I, and many others have called for. Only then will we know what happened and why, and what should be done about it. Statement On Shireen Abu Akleh | U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont”
Doggett (D-TX-35) 09/13/2022: Tweet – “No Iron Dome can protect journalists who risk their life in pursuit of the truth. The U.S. should insist on an independent investigation into the death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Opinion | In U.S. journalist’s death, Israel leaves questions unanswered”
Israel – Iran
Blackburn (R-TN) 9/13/22: floor statement – Israel and Taiwan [“In Israel, they are gravely concerned about the Biden administration’s desire to enter into a new nuclear deal with Tehran. They worry that this will move Iran closer to a nuclear warhead. They are concerned about what would happen with the billions of dollars that would flow into Iran’s coffers. What would happen with sanctions relief? How will they use this money?”]
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “Joined @Jerusalem_Post’s conference this week to talk: – Maintaining bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel relationship. – Fighting back against the rise in antisemitism. – Deep concerns about reported provisions in a potential agreement w/ Iran. Rep. Gottheimer: We cannot trust or do business with Iranian leadership… | jpost.com”
Green (R-TN-7) 09/13/2022: Tweet – “No deal. Israeli defense minister says Iran manufacturing missiles in Syria, reveals map of facilities… | foxnews.com”
Fallon (R-TX-4) 09/12/2022: Tweet – “Iran has continued to take aggressive actions in the midst of negotiations. Why should they be rewarded with sanctions relief? NO DEAL! Israeli defense minister says Iran manufacturing missiles in Syria, reveals map of facilities… | foxnews.com”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 09/12/2022: Retweet of @IsraeliPM – “PM Lapid: “I welcomed the statement by Germany, France and the UK on the JCPOA. It is time to move past the failed negotiations with Iran. They cannot and will not achieve the goal we all share – to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Link to image”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 09/12/2022: press release – Press Releases Gottheimer Hosts Telephone Town Hall with North Jersey Jewish American Community, Discusses Combating Antisemitism, Looming Iran Deal, U.S.-Israel Relationship, and Affordability for Jersey Families
Fallon (R-TX-4) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned that Biden’s Iran deal could give Iran $100 BILLION a year. This deal would absolutely destabilize the Middle East. NO DEAL!”
Schneider (D-IL-10) 09/15/2022: Twitter thread – “Yesterday, I had the pleasure to host a roundtable discussion celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords with my colleagues in the Abraham Accords Caucus, American Jewish Committee, and ISRAEL-is, a NGO that connects young leaders from Abraham Accords countries. Link to image I appreciated hearing firsthand how the Accords have positively impacted the panelists’ lives and countries in the past two years and discussing ways to strengthen and expand the Accords in the future.”
Schweikert (R-AZ-6) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Two years ago, the signing of the Abraham Accords established an incredible and unprecedented normalization of relations between Israel and its some of its Arab neighbors. I will continue to stand with Israel and our allies in the region. ”
Scott (R-SC) 09/15/2022: Twitter thread – “Today, we celebrate two years since the signing of the #AbrahamAccords, an agreement that expands peace and unites Israel and our Arab partners over shared goals. 1/2 As Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten stability in the region, the U.S. must expand the work of the accords! 2/2”
Van Drew (R-NJ-2) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Today marks the two year anniversary of President Trump signing the Abraham Accords, establishing peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. I will continue to stand with Israel and our other allies in the Middle East”
Wicker (R-MS) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Today marks 2 years since the #AbrahamAccords were signed. It is a historic agreement that strengthened our ally Israel and helped to preserve peace among major powers in the Middle East. I look forward to building on this effort in the years ahead. Link to image”
Wilson (R-SC-2) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “On this second anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, I want to express how grateful I am for this historic peace agreement between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain. This agreement is more important now then ever before.”
Pfluger (R-TX-11) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Today marks two years of the #AbrahamAccords – the Trump Admin’s groundbreaking agreement between Israel and critical Middle Eastern partners. I’m proud of America’s vital role in strengthening these agreements. We always support our ally Israel as they pursue peace and security.”
Rosen (D-NV) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “It’s been 2 years since the Abraham Accords were signed– ushering in peace between Israel & the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, & Morocco. As co-founder of the bipartisan Senate Abraham Accords Caucus, I’ll make sure we continue working to enhance & expand these agreements to new countries.”
Rubio (R-FL) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Senator Rubio released a statement commemorating the two-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords. Read Rubio on Two-Year Anniversary of Abraham Accords… | rubio.senate.gov”
Letlow (R-LA-5) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Today marks the two year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, the agreement brokered by the United States that has brought a new era of cooperation between Israel and its neighbors. We look forward to seeing the peace the Abraham Accords will continue to foster.”
Mast (R-FL-18) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “2 years ago today, under Trump’s leadership, the Abraham Accords were signed, marking the start of a new era of cooperation in the region. We should be building on that historic deal, but instead, Biden is trying to go back to the disastrous Iran deal that threatens Israel.”
Menendez (D-NJ) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “The #AbrahamAccords have forged peaceful partnerships & furthered political, economic, & cultural exchange & understanding between Israel & its Arab neighbors. On the second anniversary of this historic agreement, I pledge to continue my work to build on this strong foundation. Link to quoted tweet”
O’Halleran (D-AZ-1) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @StateDept_NEA – “Today we celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Abraham Accords & normalization agreements. As @SecBlinken said @ the Negev Summit, these agreements make once-impossible things possible.”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @RepMcCaul – “Two years ago, I watched leaders from Israel, UAE, and Bahrain make history with the signing of the Abraham Accords. These landmark agreements have changed the region for the better, increasing cooperation between our Arab and Israeli partners across a range of issues. Link to image”
Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) 09/16/2022: Tweet – “Two years after the Trump Admin’s breakthrough Abraham Accords, the Biden Admin has failed to expand on that historic achievement. Rather than seeking to appease the terrorist state of Iran, the Biden Admin should focus on deepening more partnerships with our key ally #Israel.”
Donalds (R-FL-19) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Two years ago today, President Trump ushered in one of the most historic peace agreements in world history, the Abraham Accords, signed by the U.S., Israel, UAE, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Sudan. Republicans will always stand for Israel and Middle East Peace! Link to image”
Ernst (R-IA) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “The Abraham Accords is the most significant peace agreement of the 21st century. On the 2nd anniversary, we’re honoring this monumental effort that brought our Arab partners & Israel together to forge a lasting agreement that made the U.S. & world a safer & more prosperous place.”
Frankel (D-FL-21) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “I was proud to join representatives from Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, & Morocco to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Abraham Accords. I’m encouraged by the growing success of these diplomatic relationships & opportunities to further strengthen Israel’s relations in the region. Link to image”
Grothman (R-WI-6) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Two years ago, the United States made historic strides toward fostering peace in the Middle East through the #AbrahamAccords, and the world is safer as a result. Link to quoted tweet”
Hagerty (R-TN) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “As we mark the two year anniversary of the historic Abraham Accords’ signing, we see a bright horizon thanks to the Trump Admin’s vision & the courage of Israel & Arab nations to pursue new paths for peace, security & economic prosperity in the Middle East. Link to image”
LaTurner (R-KS-2) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Two years ago, the Abraham Accords were signed at the White House. These agreements were a historic step toward peace in the Middle East and helped strengthen Israel’s security, bolster economic advancement in the region, and enhance America’s national defense interests. Link to image”
Lankford (R-OK) 9/15/22: Speech on the Senate floor – “Abraham Accords”
McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 9/15/22: Press release – House Abraham Accords Caucus Celebrates 2-Year Anniversary of Historic Accords Signing
Rubio (R-FL) 9/15/22: Press release – Rubio on Two-Year Anniversary of Abraham Accords
Boozman (R-AR) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Normalizing relations between Arab nations and Israel was a historic, significant step toward a peaceful and stable Middle East. Today, two years since the #AbrahamAccords were signed, we continue to hope and work for even more progress to build on this strong foundation. Link to image”
Crapo (R-ID) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Two years ago, the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement took a significant step in bringing our world closer together. The U.S. must continue to be a conduit for additional countries normalizing relationships with Israel as we broaden further opportunities for peace in the Middle East Link to image”
Cruz (R-TX) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Two years ago today, I was on the White House lawn when President Trump oversaw the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, & Bahrain. It was breathtaking to witness. Strengthening ties between our allies is a critical tool for advancing US national security.”
Daines (R-MT) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Two years ago today, I was at the White House for the signing of the historic #AbrahamAccords to celebrate our lasting commitment to our ally Israel. I will always stand with Israel. Link to quoted tweet”
Ernst (R-IA) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “Glad to see @CENTCOM Gen. Kurilla working with IDF on issues like integrated air and missile defense. My bipartisan, bicameral #DEFENDAct would seek to elevate cooperation like this across the region to counter #Iran. Link to quoted tweet”
Ernst (R-IA) 09/14/2022: Retweet of @BrookeLRollins – “TY @SenJoniErnst for joining us to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Abraham Accords! She is spot on:“the Abraham Accords were the most significant peace agreement of the 21st century, & history will always remember the pioneers of this peace deal.” God bless you, Sen. Ernst! Link to image”
Frankel (D-FL-21) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @AJCGlobal – “Proud to accompany an @ISRAELis123 delegation from Israel, Morocco, Bahrain, and the UAE to Capitol Hill to mark two years of the Abraham Accords. Thank you @RepSchneider, @RepAnnWagner, @RepDavidTrone, and @CathyMcMorris for convening this important conversation. Link to image” Also re-tweeted by Manning (D-NC-6)
Lankford (R-OK) 09/15/2022: Twitter thread – “Two years ago, I witnessed a historic moment among leaders from Israel, Bahrain, & the United Arab Emirates as President Trump held a White House signing of the once-thought-impossible Abraham Accords. Since then, we’ve added two other nations, Morocco and Sudan, to the Accords. As we build on that momentum together, we should remember that through reconciliation and common goals, even unlikely allies can find a way to come together. We continue to stand w/Israel & should continue to lead in bringing nations together to further US interests & the interests of our allies. I am grateful to be joined by @SenJackyRosen, @SenJoniErnst & @CoryBooker to commemorate this historic moment for the US, Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE. #AbrahamAccords”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 09/15/2022: Twitter thread – “Two years ago, I watched leaders from Israel, UAE, and Bahrain make history with the signing of the Abraham Accords. These landmark agreements have changed the region for the better, increasing cooperation between our Arab and Israeli partners across a range of issues. Link to image We must reaffirm our commitment to these historic agreements, and make building and expanding upon them a priority.”
McClain (R-MI-10) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “The Abraham Accords are not only a historic accomplishment, but they have been a major force in furthering peace in the Middle East. I’m proud to have joined the 2nd anniversary celebration of the Accords with @ISRAELis123 and the Abraham Accords Caucus. Link to image”
Portman (R-OH) 09/14/2022: Twitter thread – “As we celebrate the two-year anniversary signing of the Abraham Accords, it is important to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to this landmark agreement, which is fostering increased security and prosperity throughout the Middle East and reaffirms support for our ally Israel. My Israel Relations Normalization Act was signed into law in March and seeks to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords. I hope that on next year’s anniversary, we can celebrate the addition of more countries to these historic agreements.”
Risch (R-ID) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “Over the last 2yrs, the #AbrahamAccords have profoundly changed the trajectory of the #MiddleEast. The Biden Admin should step up its efforts to build off this success & ensure these agreements continue to reap tangible security & economic benefits. Risch on Anniversary of Abraham Accords | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations”
Young (R-IN) 09/15/2022: Twitter thread – “Today marks the second anniversary of the signing of the historic Abraham Accords. The Accords were a bold step forward towards greater peace, stability, and security in the Middle East. Link to image As Iran continues to threaten Israel and the region, it’s important for other countries to also normalize relations with Israel. I’m glad my legislation encouraging other countries to do so was signed into law earlier this year. Risch, Portman, Booker, Cardin, Young Praise Inclusion of Israel Relations Normalization Act in Final FY2022 Bipartisan Funding Bill | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations”
Risch (R-ID) 09/14/2022: Press release – Risch on Anniversary of Abraham Accords
Lankford (R-OK) 09/12/2022: Retweet of @dcexaminer – “LIVE NOW: @JaredKushner is the keynote speaker as @A1Policy celebrates the second anniversary of the historic Abraham Accords. WATCH: Jared Kushner commemorates 2nd anniversary of historic Abraham…… | fb.watch”
Rubio (R-FL) 09/16/2022: Tweet – “The refusal of Chile’s President to meet with and accept the credentials of the Israeli Ambassador to Chile is an unprecedented and shameful diplomatic insult against our most important ally in the Middle East. Link to quoted tweet” Also in Spanish
Salazar (R-FL-27) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Has Boric refused to recognize the ambassador of Cuba or any other country? Why does he only single out one among so many? Antisemitism is alive and well among the radical left. Link to quoted tweet” Also in Spanish
Wicker (R-MS) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “I visited with @ILAerospaceIAI chairman Amir Peretz recently. We talked about the close partnership between Israel and the U.S. and how his company is creating jobs in Mississippi. Link to image”
Rogers (R-AL-3) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “.@coachbrucepearl is a leader on and off the court. On top of being an incredible coach for @AuburnMBB, he is also a steadfast advocate for Israel. I’m glad he was able to stop by my office today. #AL03 Link to image”
Risch (R-ID) 09/12/2022: Twitter thread – “Congratulations to @Jerusalem_Post on an incredible 90 years of circulation. Since 1932, JPost has been a critical source for active & healthy journalism in the #MiddleEast & for the int’l community. Be sure to tune into their celebrations today: The Jerusalem Post New York Conference 2022 – congress… | congress.jpost.com When it comes to #MiddleEast policy, U.S. interests have not changed. We want to prevent terrorist threats, preserve stable int’l markets, stand shoulder to shoulder w/ our ally #Israel, & encourage gov’ts to address the needs of their citizens.”
Risch (R-ID) 09/12/2022: press release – Risch: UN Reforms are Long-Overdue [“In the UNHRC, Israel is the only country in the world with its own permanent agenda item. It also has the most UN general assembly resolutions condemning it. Three UN organizations are specifically biased against Israel: the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, the Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in the Territories, and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has employed members of Hamas.”]
Bacon (R-NE-2) 09/10/2022: Retweet of @michaeldickson – “Israel is the only country outside of the US to have a #September11th memorial honoring every victim by name, built out of Ground Zero wreckage. Link to image”
Menendez (D-NJ) 09/10/2022: Retweet of @USAmbIsrael – “Up first: a special Shabbat Shalom from my friends @SenatorMenendez and Senator @LindseyGrahamSC who led a bipartisan congressional delegation this week to Israel. Link to video”
Risch (R-ID) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “As @volker_turk takes over as the new head of @UNHumanRights, I hope he is prepared to lead reforms of the deeply flawed UN Human Rights Council. He should start by eliminating the anti-#Israel agenda item & kicking off #humanrights abusers such as #China, #Cuba, & #Venezuela.”
Tlaib (D-MI-13) 09/14/2022: Twitter thread – “I urge @POTUS to stand with immigrants & use TPS for all countries that need it. They are our mothers, daughters, & neighbors. Ending deportations to Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua & El Salvador is key to establishing a more fair & humane immigration system #TPSForCentralAmerica Outside of Central America there are numerous countries that meet the requirements for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) including Lebanon & Ethiopia. That’s why I’m proud to lead HR 6095, the Lebanon TPS Act. To create a fairer, more compassionate immigration system.”
Meeks (D-NY-5) 09/09/2022: Twitter thread – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: Concerned by further attempts to remove Judge Bitar from the Beirut port blast prosecution. The families of those killed deserve nothing less than a thorough, impartial investigation & full accountability for those responsible. Families slam plans for 2nd judge to probe Beirut port blast… | apnews.com I reiterate my call, along with 24 Members of Congress, including @RepTedDeutch, for an independent investigation into the blast and those responsible. Link to quoted tweet”
Cammack (R-FL-3) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “The UN’s 77th General Assembly is ongoing, and leaders from around the world will visit the U.S. to engage in debate. Biden must take swift action to deny Iranian President Raisi entry to the U.S. No known terrorist should be allowed here. Link to image” Re-tweeted by Kim (R-CA-39)
Cruz (R-TX) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @LibertyIranian – “STATEMENT: IAL Calls on all Senate Republicans to join @SenTedCruz’s SEVER act to Ban President Raisi from attending the #UNGA! President Raisi’s visit to the United States presents a clear and present threat to U.S. National Security and to the American people. #No2Raisi Link to image”
Long (R-MO-7) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @Breaking911 – “BREAKING: Following meeting with Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled to meet with the Iranian President – AFP”
Waltz (R-FL-6) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Don’t fall for the Iran Regime’s attempt to humanize themselves on the cusp of a new deal with the Biden Administration. They’re a ruthless terrorist state. Link to quoted tweet”
Garamendi (D-CA-3) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “Yesterday Lindsey Graham introduced an abortion ban and bragged that it was more restrictive than abortion laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Republican Party is proud of their cruelty.”
Kim (R-CA-39) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi should not be afforded the opportunity to step onto U.S. soil as his regime backs terrorism & endangers both their own people & Americans. Rep. Young Kim Leads 52 Members in Urging President Biden to Deny Iranian President Raisi Entry Visa to U.S…. | youngkim.house.gov”
Levin (D-MI-9) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “Here’s one thing hawks don’t want you to know: before Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, diplomacy successfully put a lock and key on Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. must continue to work to ease tensions and #ReSealTheDeal. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “I strongly support the actions taken today by the Treasury Dept. against IRGC-affiliated actors responsible for cyberattacks against US companies, including one located in New Jersey. I welcome the coordinated effort to address this threat & stop the weaponizing of cyberspace. Link to quoted tweet”
Risch (R-ID) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “As Biden tries to resurrect a dead nuclear deal, #Iran has provided drones to #Putin for use in #Ukraine, conducted cyberattacks against #Albania, attacked our troops, plotted against former U.S. officials, & more. #Iran is engaging in bad faith. It’s time to end negotiations. Link to quoted tweet”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Rather than pass a resolution with real teeth holding Iran accountable for its lack of cooperation with the IAEA, the Biden Administration instead chose to issue a toothless statement. This kind of appeasement only emboldens Iran. Two-thirds of IAEA board backs Western statement pressuring Iran… | reuters.com”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Bipartisan frustration over the Biden Administration’s ongoing appeasement of Iran is growing! I spoke with @JNS_org about the dangers of the new deal being negotiated. We need to stop catering to Iran and return to pressure. Bipartisan frustration with the Iran negotiations growing, says House Foreign Affairs Committee member… | jns.org”
Torres (D-NY-15) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “I had a productive meeting with the Mayor of Tirana, Albania. We addressed critical issues that are facing the capital city in light of last years Iranian cyberattack. We must stand with our partner Albania and support them against cyber threats. Link to image”
Deutch (D-FL-22) 09/13/2022: Tweet – “The US rightly imposed additional sanctions on Iran for both cyberattacks & the production and transportation of drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine. We must continue to address all aspects of Iran’s malign behavior, incl. its relationship w Russia. Link to quoted tweet” [NOTE: Deutch will be exiting as of Oct 1 (17 days from this tweet), where he will start a job leading an organization that works/lobbies on the very same issue he is tweeting on, today, as a sitting member of Congress. Conflict of interest? Anyone? Bueller?]
Deutch (D-FL-22) 09/13/2022: Twitter thread – “Since the IAEA Board of Governors passed its censure resolution criticizing Iran’s nuclear behavior in June, Iran has continued to rapidly advance its dangerous nuclear program, inhibit the IAEA’s monitoring capabilities, and violate its safeguards obligations. The IAEA recently said that Iran has enough uranium that, if it were enriched further, could be used to build a nuclear weapon & that there has been no progress in resolving the IAEA’s outstanding questions on nuclear material found at old but undeclared nuclear sites in Iran. Moreover, the IAEA said in a recent report that it could not guarantee that Iran’s nuclear program was entirely peaceful. It’s obvious Iran’s nuclear program is a clear threat to global security & stability and undermines the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.”
Kim (R-CA-39) 09/13/2022: Tweet – “Terrorist backers should not be rewarded for their behavior. As the UN 77th General Assembly begins today in New York, I continue to urge the Biden administration to say #NoVisa4Raisi! Lawmakers urge Biden to deny Iranian president entry into US for UN meeting over ‘gross violations’ of rights… | foxnews.com”
Rubio (R-FL) 09/13/2022: Tweet – “The Biden Admin. approved visas for Iranian President Raisi & his delegation to attend #UNGA77 despite their threats and plans to kill high-ranking U.S. officials. They will fit right in with the many other tyrants & murderers who attend @UN meetings. Rubio, Cotton, Colleagues Demand Biden Deny Visa to Iran’s President… | rubio.senate.gov”
Scott (R-FL) 09/13/2022: Tweet – “Absolutely unacceptable. @JoeBiden is clearing the way for evil regimes to attend #UNGA77 and undermining national security in the process. Cotton, Colleagues Demand Biden Deny Iranian President Raisi Visa to New York | U.S. Senator Cotton of Arkansas”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 09/13/2022: Tweet – “Enough with pointless statements – it’s time for action! The Biden Administration’s failure to respond forcefully in Vienna to Iran’s nuclear brinksmanship and stonewalling is shameful. It erodes the nuclear non-proliferation regime & projects weakness. Western powers seek unity against Iran at IAEA but no resolution -sources… | reuters.com”
Sessions (R-TX-17) 09/12/2022: Tweet – “Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium has grown enough to easily produce enough fuel for an atomic bomb, according to the UN. To think that the Biden Administration is still trying to negotiate another Iran nuclear deal is unbelievable! Iran Expands Nuclear Program as Talks to Revive 2015 Deal Falter… | wsj.com”
Kim (R-CA-39) 09/12/2022: Retweet of @NikkiHaley – “The world’s leading state sponsor of terror attempted to assassinate American officials on American soil. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi must never be permitted into this country. Link to quoted tweet”
Clarke (D-NY-9) 09/11/2022: Retweet of @cmclymer – “In the aftermath of 9/11, Iranians held a candlelight vigil in Mohseni Square in Tehran in remembrance of the victims. 60,000 soccer fans held a moment of silence before the start of a match. The beautiful response of Iranian citizens to that horror is consistently forgotten. Link to image”
Ernst (R-IA) 09/10/2022: Tweet – “I strongly condemn Iran’s cyberattack against our NATO ally Albania. The Biden admin’s reluctance to put stiffer sanctions on Iran has done nothing to deter the regime from continuing to attack our partners and allies. Albania reports 2nd cyberattack by Iran, on border systems… | abcnews.go.com”
Kim (R-CA-39) 09/10/2022: Retweet of @RepTonyGonzales – “Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has a record of terrorism & violating human rights. Due to these cruel & dangerous acts, I have joined @RepYoungKim in writing a letter to Biden urging that he deny Raisi the privilege of stepping onto American soil. Lawmakers urge Biden to deny Iranian president entry into US for UN meeting over ‘gross violations’ of rights… | fxn.ws”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 09/09/2022: Retweet of @4FreedominIran – “.@RepDonBacon, From Nebraska, Addresses the #FreeIran2022 #Iran Congressman Don Bacon, From Nebraska, Addresses the Free Iran 2022 – Iran Freedom”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 09/09/2022: Retweet of @shahnazfarzaneh – “@dcexaminer @RepDonBacon Absolutely right, we need to hold Iran regime accountable for terrorism,for crimes against humanity,for meddling in the #MiddleEast for executions of Muslims, Christians, Bahaei’s & other faiths.For starving Iranians to death. Stop dealing with the beast @WhiteHouse @JoeBiden”
Banks (R-IN-3) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “$7 billion for Iranian terrorists while Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Shameful! Iranian Terrorists Will Get Billions of Dollars Before Congress Can Review New Nuclear Deal… | freebeacon.com”
Clarke (D-NY-9) 09/09/2022: Retweet of @SecBlinken – “We are designating Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and its Minister for engaging in cyber-enabled activities against the U.S. and our allies. We won’t tolerate cyberattacks targeting the U.S. or our allies’ interests, infrastructure, or services.”
Gonzales (R-TX-23) 09/10/2022: Tweet – “Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has a record of terrorism & violating human rights. Due to these cruel & dangerous acts, I have joined @RepYoungKim in writing a letter to Biden urging that he deny Raisi the privilege of stepping onto American soil. Lawmakers urge Biden to deny Iranian president entry into US for UN meeting over ‘gross violations’ of rights… | fxn.ws”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 09/09/2022: Twitter thread – “I led a bipartisan letter of 50 Members of Congress (34 Democrats & 16 Republicans) to @POTUS expressing deep concerns about reported provisions in a potential agreement with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Dozens of House Democrats set to express concerns on Iran deal to Biden… | jewishinsider.com We must not reduce terrorism-related sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or allow Russia to have a role in Iran’s nuclear capabilities. We need to address the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, stand strong against terrorists, and protect American values and allies.”
Kim (R-CA-39) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “We cannot turn a blind eye to perpetrators of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights & cruel regimes that endanger both their people & Americans. That’s why I’m urging for #NoVisa4Raisi to the Biden administration. Learn more Lawmakers urge Biden to deny Iranian president entry into US for UN meeting over ‘gross violations’ of rights… | foxnews.com”
Kim (R-CA-39) 09/10/2022: Retweet of @boblatta – “Before becoming President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi was most known for helping to organize the mass execution of 30,000 of his own people in 1988. We should not be allowing this mass murderer to step foot on American soil until he answers for his crimes against humanity.”
Kim (R-CA-39) 09/10/2022: Tweet – “Cruel regimes that support terrorism, violate international human rights & endanger their own people & Americans should not be rewarded. The United States must ensure #NoVisa4Raisi & his Iranian delegation for the UN 77th General Assembly this month. Rep. Young Kim Leads 52 Members in Urging President Biden to Deny Iranian President Raisi Entry Visa to U.S…. | youngkim.house.gov”
Kinzinger (R-IL-16) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “Lol. Hey bro you guys are just absolutely losing. Like it surprises even those of us who knew Russia was a paper tiger. But THIS much of a paper tiger??? Link to quoted tweet”
Latta (R-OH-5) 09/09/2022: Twitter thread – “Before becoming President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi was most known for helping to organize the mass execution of 30,000 of his own people in 1988. We should not be allowing this mass murderer to step foot on American soil until he answers for his crimes against humanity. That is why I am proud to join @RepYoungKim & 50 bipartisan colleagues urging @POTUS to deny Raisi & his delegation entry to the U.S. Lawmakers urge Biden to deny Iranian president entry into US for UN meeting over ‘gross violations’ of rights… | foxnews.com”
Moore (R-UT-1) 09/09/2022: Retweet of @kelly_laco – “EXCLUSIVE: 52 bipartisan lawmakers led by @RepYoungKim are urging Biden to deny necessary “entry visas” for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to attend the upcoming UN General Assembly due to his record of supporting terrorism and violating human rights. Lawmakers urge Biden to deny Iranian president entry into US for UN meeting over ‘gross violations’ of rights… | foxnews.com”
Risch (R-ID) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “#Russia’s made over $160B in energy sales since its war on #Ukraine began. Rather than trying to manipulate global oil prices, pressure #Canada to waive #NS1 sanctions, or pursue a deal w/ #Iran that helps Russia, the US & EU should target Russian exports + boost our production. Link to quoted tweet”
Stauber (R-MN-8) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “The Iranian regime continues to sponsor terrorism & has plotted assassinations of U.S. officials. That’s why I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues urging President Biden to deny Iranian President Raisi’s entry visa to the U.S. Lawmakers urge Biden to deny Iranian president entry into US for UN meeting over ‘gross violations’ of rights… | foxnews.com”
Timmons (R-SC-4) 09/09/2022: Retweet of @RepYoungKim – “As long as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi supports terrorism, attempts to kill U.S. citizens & Iranian political dissidents in the U.S., & violates human rights, he should not be able to step on American soil. I led over 50 bipartisan colleagues to ensure #NoVisaforRaisi. Link to image”
Omar (D-MN-5) 09/16/2022: Retweet of @mehdirhasan – ““I think this is a real big missed opportunity to stand up for human rights.” Senator @ChrisMurphyCT criticizes the Biden administration’s decision to release 100s of millions of dollars in human-rights-conditioned U.S. aid to Sisi and Egypt. Watch: Link to video”
Beyer (D-VA-8) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “Egypt is failing to live up to the human rights standards that Congress imposed on U.S. military aid, and the Biden Administration should halt that aid unless/until Sisi makes serious reforms. No half measures – we must stand by our commitment to freedom and democracy. Link to quoted tweet”
Leahy (D-VT) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Peaceful dissent in #Egypt is routinely punished with long prison sentences, torture, and life-threatening conditions. Rather than equivocate, the White House should have used the tools Congress provided to send a strong message in support of human rights and the rule of law.”
Murphy (D-CT) 09/14/2022: Tweet – “This is a disappointing decision. There is no way Egypt has made enough progress on political detainees to justify the release of the $75 million. Less than 1% of their 60,000 political prisoners have been released. Link to quoted tweet”
Murphy (D-CT) 09/13/2022: Retweet of @CPJMENA – ““Journalists are regularly still charged with ‘joining a terrorist group’ or ‘spreading false news’ for any critical reporting.” @ChrisMurphyCT’s remarks on press freedom and human rights in Egypt: Sen. Murphy: We Need to Walk the Walk on Global Human Rights… | youtube.com”
Murphy (D-CT) 09/13/2022: Retweet of @thefreedomi – “Dr. Ahmed Abdelsattar – a veterinarian, activist, and the father of @Yale PhD student Muhammad Amasha – was forcibly disappeared and subjected to brutal torture and sexual assault in #Egypt. Watch @ChrisMurphyCT raise his case on the Senate floor: Link to video”
Murphy (D-CT) 09/12/2022: Tweet – “I’m heading to the Senate floor right now to explain why the Biden Administration should withhold aid to Egypt due to significant human right abuses. America needs to both talk the talk, and walk the walk, on global human rights. Congress, Biden Duke It Out Over Egypt Aid… | foreignpolicy.com” — full text of Murphy’s floor statement here
Murphy (D-CT) 09/12/2022: Retweet of @ElizHagedorn – “Murphy urges the Biden admin to withhold the full $300M that Congress has conditioned on #Egypt making human right improvements. “The United States needs not just talk the talk when it comes to human rights abroad, we need to be able walk the walk,” @ChrisMurphyCT says.”
Bentz (R-OR-2) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @RepPatFallon – “Democrats continue to demonize America’s energy producers. But why?? Energy produced here in the U.S. is cleaner than anywhere else in the world — it’s not even close! Do you think China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia care about environmental standards? I promise you they don’t.”
Durbin (D-IL) 09/15/2022: Twitter thread – “This weekend, a golf glove will try and cover a blood-stained hand as the LIV golf tournament comes to Chicago in the Saudi government’s continued, desperate attempt to clean up its image. LIV Golf Tour & Its Visit to Illinois | Illinois Public Media Money shouldn’t be allowed to cover up the murder and dismemberment of a journalist or the imprisonment and harassment of activists like Raif Badawi, Waleed Abu Ak-Khair, and Salma al-Shehab.”
Fallon (R-TX-4) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “Democrats continue to demonize America’s energy producers. But why?? Energy produced here in the U.S. is cleaner than anywhere else in the world — it’s not even close! Do you think China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia care about environmental standards? I promise you they don’t.”
Long (R-MO-7) 09/12/2022: Retweet of @JackPosobiec – “Did You Know: The 28 Pages show that two 9/11 hijackers tied to Saudi intelligence rented a room from an FBI informant in California before the 2001 attacks The Director of the FBI kept this covered up for years His name? Robert Mueller”
Long (R-MO-7) 09/11/2022: Retweet of @JackPosobiec – “Why was the Bush family so tied to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?”
Burgess (R-TX-26) 09/12/2022: Tweet – “10 years ago Americans in Benghazi were attacked and 4 lost their lives including Ambassador Stevens. May we #neverforget the bravery and courage of those who fought to defend our consulate during those gruesome 13 hours.”
Mast (R-FL-18) 09/12/2022: Tweet – “On September 11, 2012, 4 Americans were killed in the line of duty in Benghazi. Earlier this year, to recognize the 10-year anniversary of their deaths, the House passed my bill to award them the Congressional Gold Medal. We won’t forget their sacrifice. Honoring Those Who Sacrificed… | mast.house.gov”
Cruz (R-TX) 09/11/2022: Tweet – “10 years ago Islamic terrorists killed 4 Americans in Libya. The attack was a direct result of the failed policies of the Obama-Biden admin. They falsely blamed a video to cover up the weakness, appeasement, and incompetence that led to the attack. #Benghazi #NeverForget” Re-tweeted by Weber (R-TX-14)
Garcia (R-CA-25) 09/11/2022: Twitter thread – “21 years ago, our nation was forever changed. That morning we witnessed an attack on our own soil that killed 2,977 people and changed the course of countless lives. Today we remember the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001 along with the Americans we lost in Benghazi… Link to image on this day in 2012, and we honor the heroes that sacrificed so much. May we #NeverForget.”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @RepChrisPappas – “We cannot reward Erdogan’s government with more fighter jets while it continues to use F-16s in its campaign of aggression against Greece, a reliable, democratic ally. That’s why I’m leading efforts to block the sale of F-16s to Turkey. #NoJetsForTurkey Turkish F-16 jets conduct flyovers over Greek islets | eKathimerini.com”
Pappas (D-NH-1) 09/15/2022: Tweet – “We cannot reward Erdogan’s government with more fighter jets while it continues to use F-16s in its campaign of aggression against Greece, a reliable, democratic ally. That’s why I’m leading efforts to block the sale of F-16s to Turkey. #NoJetsForTurkey Turkish F-16 jets conduct flyovers over Greek islets | eKathimerini.com”
Lee (R-UT) 09/09/2022: Tweet – “The Biden administration’s failure to determine the extent to which U.S. military support has led to civilian harm in Yemen is unacceptable. I’m working with @SenSanders and @ewarren to get answers. Lawmakers Press Biden to Track U.S. Aid Tied to Civilian Harm in Yemen… | nytimes.com”
Price (D-NC-4) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @house_democracy – “HDP was pleased to host Members of Parliament (MP) from #Morocco & #India today. MPs exchanged thoughts on global threats to democracy, the engagement of women in political life, and shared challenges to governance. Thanks to @IRIglobal and @NDI for organizing their visit. Link to image”
Torres (D-CA-35) 09/15/2022: Retweet of @house_democracy – “HDP was pleased to host Members of Parliament (MP) from #Morocco & #India today. MPs exchanged thoughts on global threats to democracy, the engagement of women in political life, and shared challenges to governance. Thanks to @IRIglobal and @NDI for organizing their visit. Link to image”
Waltz (R-FL-6) 09/16/2022: Tweet – “American gas could really help…if only the Biden Administration would let them. Emir Says Qatar Cannot Make Up Gas Shortages for Europe This Winter – The Foreign Desk | by Lisa Daftari”