Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.
NOTE: And once again this week…given the scope and pace of current events there is no “On the Record” section this week, and only an abbreviated Media section. Check members accounts on X or their websites for yourself if you want to see what they are saying. It remains just too much and too soul-crushing to follow, let alone to try to document, comprehensively, while also following the actual horror-show of genocide unfolding on the ground. Also, due to travel this week some entries in this week’s Round-Up are abbreviated – you’ll have to click through the links to find out all the info.
New from FMEP:
- 11/7/23: New episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast: Biden’s “Full Tilt” Embrace of Israel & Its War on Gaza, ft. FMEP fellow Peter Beinart in conversation with Ben Rhodes
- 11/5/23: Special edition of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour podcast, featuring Ralph in conversation with FMEP president Lara Friedman on the ongoing state of affairs in Israel/Gaza and the emergency unconditional $14 billion spending bill moving through Congress to aid Israel.
Anti-Palestinian New McCarthyism in Action
- (ATTACKING REP. TLAIB FOR DEFENDING PALESTINIAN RIGHTS & LIVES) H. Res. 845: Introduced 11/06/2023 by Rep. McCormick (R-GA) and 12 cosponsors (all Republicans),”Censuring Representative Rashida Tlaib for promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” Notably, Tlaib DID NOT DO EITHER OF THOSE THINGS – but why should that matter? The resolution was brought directly to the floor and “debated” (aka, a heavy dose of bipartisan anti-Palestinian grandstanding, including by some of those who both opposed the resolution on free speech grounds while also misrepresenting and attacking Tlaib’s statements on Israel/Palestine, plus some really powerful statements defending Tlaib; plus Tlaib’s own statement, which should be read by everyone but will be simply dismissed by those who don’t actually care what she says/thinks because they have already decided they know who she REALLY is and that is all that mattes, aka, anti-Palestinian racists/bigots). Following that debate it was passed 11/7/23 by a roll call vote of shame, with 234 in favor (including 22 Democrats), 188 against (including 4 Republicans) and 4 voting “present” (3 Democrats and 1 Republican). Tlaib full floor statement is here, including: “…let me be clear: My criticism has always been of the Israeli government and Netanyahu’s actions. It is important to separate people and governments, Mr. Chair. No government is beyond criticism. The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is antisemitic sets a very dangerous precedent, and it’s being used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our nation.” and “Do you realize what it’s like, Mr. Chair, for the people outside the chamber right now, listening in agony to their own government dehumanizing them? To hear the President of the United States, we helped elect, dispute death tolls, as we see video after video of dead children and parents under rubble?” and “The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinians sound different to you all.” and “We will continue to call for a ceasefire, Mr. Chair, for the immediate delivery of critical humanitarian aid to Gaza, for the release of all hostages and those arbitrarily detained, and for every American to come home. We will continue to work for real lasting peace that upholds human rights and dignity of all people and centers peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. And censures no one. And ensures that no person, no child has to suffer or live in fear of violence. 71% of Michigan Democrats support a ceasefire. So you can try to censure me, but you can’t silence their voices.“
- (CALLING FOR PALESTINIAN RIGHTS = ANTISEMITISM) H. Res. 849 (text): Introduced 11/7/23 by Buck (R-CO), “Reaffirming the State of Israel’s right to exist, condemning antisemitism in all forms, and rejecting false equivalencies between democracies and terrorist organizations.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The “resolved” clauses include resolving that the House: “rejects the false narrative that Israeli forces targeted Al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17, 2023” [doesn’t say anything about all the other hospitals Israel either admits or doesn’t dispute it has targeted];“condemns the phrase ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ as an expression of support for genocide, murder, and ethnic cleansing” and “rejects the idea that phrasing centering on the destruction and violent expulsion of Jews from their ancestral homeland is anything other than ethnic cleansing.” Also see: press release – Buck Introduces Resolution Condemning Hamas
- (ANTI-PALESTINIAN MCCARTHYIST WITCH HUNT IN THE FEDERAL GOVT) HR 6250: Introduced 11/6/23 by Molinaro (R-NY) and 5 bipartisan cosponsors (Democrats on this bill are – no surprise – Gottheimer, D-NJ and Moskowitz, D-FL), “To require the heads of certain Federal agencies to report to Congress ties of agency employees to Hamas or the display of support for Hamas, and for other purpose.” Referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, the Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence (Permanent Select). Also see: press release – Molinaro Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Identify Hamas Supporters within U.S. Government [“The bill was authored in response to reporting that found a Department of Homeland Security official previously served as a spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization and created numerous obscene, antisemitic, and pro-Hamas social media posts. ” Notably, that reporting did not draw any link between any employee of the US government and Hamas or any US-designated terrorist organization – the word “Hamas” doesn’t even appear once in the linked article…but why should that fact get in the way of a crowd-pleaser piece of McCarthyist legislation like this?]
- (ANTI-PALESTINIAN MCCARTHYISM: EXPEL PALESTINIANS ALREADY IN THE US & BAN ENTRY OF NEW ONES) HR 6211: Introduced 11/2/23 (but not actually showing up in the Congressional Record until after the 11/3/23 Round-Up was already posted – ugh) by Zinke (R-MT) and having 14 cosponsors (all Republicans), “To prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary of State, as applicable, from approving any application for or issuing a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa to nationals of Palestine,” aka, the “Safeguarding Americans from Extremism (SAFE)“. Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Also see: press release — Zinke Introduces Bill to Expel Palestinians from the United States
- (ANTI-PALESTINIAN MCCARTHYISM: DEPORT FOREIGNERS ACCUSED OF SUPPORTING HAMAS) HR 6200 (text): Introduced 11/2/23 (showed up late in Congressional Record so didn’t make last week’s Round-Up) by Pfluger (R-TX) and having 4 cosponsors (all Republicans), “To consider, for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act, that officers, officials, representatives, spokespersons, and members of Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and ISIS, and individuals who endorse or espouse terrorist activities conducted by such organizations are engaged in terrorist activity,” aka, “The Terrorist Inadmissibility Codification Act“. Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Also see: press release – Pfluger Legislation Expels Hamas-Supporting Visa Holders from the United States [“Following the October 7th terrorist attacks in Israel, pro-Hamas demonstrations swept across the U.S., including by foreign nationals. Under federal law, individuals who endorse or espouse terrorist activity are inadmissible.”]
- (CRITICISM OF ISRAEL IS ANTISEMITISM AND WE WON’T STAND FOR IT! also, invokes IHRA definition) H. Res. 839 (text): Introduced 11/2/23 (showed up late in Congressional Record so didn’t make last week’s Round-Up) by Kustoff (R-TN) and having 71 bipartisan cosponsors, “Condemning antisemitism at institutions of higher education in the United States and encouraging college and university leaders, administrators, and faculty to speak out against antisemitism.” Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Also see: press release – Kustoff, Wasserman Schultz Introduce Resolution Denouncing Antisemitism on College Campuses
- (CENSURING RASHIDA FOR DARING TO CARE ABOUT PALESTINIAN LIVES) H. Res. 841: Introduced 11/2/23 (showed up late in Congressional Record so didn’t make last week’s Round-Up) by Miller (R-OH), “Censuring Representative Rashida Tlaib and condemning antisemitism.” Referred to the Committees on Ethics, the Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs. Also see: press release – Congressman Miller Introduces Resolution to Censure Representative Rashida Tlaib for her Antisemitic Remarks
Iran & Anti-Iran McCarthyism in Action
- (REVOKE IRAN SANCTIONS WAIVERS) HR 6323: Introduced 11/9/23 by Kim (R-CA), “To modify the availability of certain waiver authorities with respect to sanctions imposed with respect to the financial sector of Iran, and for other purposes.“ Referred to the Committees on Financial Services and Foreign Affairs.
(EU & NATO MUST BLACKLIST IRAN AIRLINES) H. Res. 862: Introduced 11/9/23 by Self (R-TX),
“Urging members of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty
Organization to refuse airport access to Iranian airlines sanctioned by the United States, to encourage
these members to apply sanctions against such airlines, and for other purposes.“
Referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Transportation and
- (TARGET CHINA’S EVASION OF IRAN SANCTIONS) S. 3235 (text): Introduced 11/07/2023 by Risch (R-ID) and Rubio (R-FL), “A bill to require a strategy to counter the role of the People’s Republic of China in evasion of sanctions imposed by the United States with respect to Iran, and for other purposes,” aka the “End Iranian Terror (End IT) Act.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Also see: press release – Risch, Rubio Introduce Legislation to Counter China’s Evasion of Iran-Related Sanctions
- (TARGETING ROB MALLEY) S. 3240: Introduced 11/7/23 by Hagerty (R-TN) and 4 cosponsors (all Republicans), “A bill to require senior Department of State officials to maintain security clearances and to require the Secretary of State to notify Congress when the security clearances of such officials are suspended or revoked.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Also see: press release – Hagerty, Scott, Colleagues Introduce Legislation Requiring State Department to Notify Congress When Senior Officials Lose their Security Clearance [“Legislation comes after State Department withheld information about suspending Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley’s security clearance and stonewalled when Congress called for transparency”]
- (ANTI-IRAN MCCARTHYISM IN ACTION) HR 6245: Introduced 11/6/23 by Hill (R-AR) and Vargas (D-CA),”To require the Secretary of the Treasury to report on financial institutions’ involvement with officials of the Iranian Government, and for other purposes,” aka, the “Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act.” Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. Also see: press release – Rep. Vargas Leads Bipartisan Bill to Hold Iranian Leaders Accountable
- (MORE IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 3774: Introduced 5/31/23 by Lawler (R-NY) and Moskowitz (D-FL), “To impose additional sanctions with respect to the importation or facilitation of the importation of petroleum products from Iran, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary. Passed by the House 11/3/23 by a vote of 342-69.
- (ENFORCE IRAN SANCTIONS!) HR 6201: Introduced 11/2/23 (showed up late in Congressional Record so didn’t make last week’s Round-Up) by Pfluger (R-TX) and Panetta (D-CA), “To establish and authorize funding for an Iranian Sanctions Enforcement Fund to enforce United States sanctions with respect to Iran and its proxies and pay off the United States public debt and to codify the Export Enforcement Coordination Center,” aka, the “Iranian Sanctions Enforcement Act.” Referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, and the Judiciary. Also see: press release – Pfluger, Panetta Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Ramp Up Iranian Oil Sanctions Enforcement
Aid for Israel
- (EMERGENCY $$ FOR US ALLIES UNDER ATTACK) HR 6217 (text): Introduced 11/3/23 by Jackson (R-TX), “To provide for emergency acquisition authority in the event of armed attack against a United States ally or partner by a foreign adversary of the United States.” Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services. Also see: press release – Rep. Jackson Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Military Readiness
- ($$ FOR US SECURITY COORDINATOR FOR ISRAEL/PA) S. 3238 (text): Introduced 11/07/2023 by Ossoff (D-GA) and Graham (R-SC), “A bill to make a supplemental appropriation to the Secretary of State to carry out the mission and activities of the United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority” aka the “USSC Emergency Supplemental Act.” The bill provides a whopping $10 million in funds for the USSC. Referred to the Committee on Appropriations. Also see: press release – Sens. Ossoff, Graham Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Provide Emergency Support for the U.S. Security Coordinator in Jerusalem
- (MORE $$ FOR ISRAEL) S. 3210: Introduced 11/2/23 (showed up late in Congressional Record so didn’t make last week’s Round-Up) by Marshall (R-KS) and four cosponsors (all Republicans), “A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to the attacks in Israel for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Appropriations.
Defending Palestinian Rights &
(CENSURING REP. MAST FOR RACISM & DEHUMANIZATION OF
PALESTINIANS) H. Res. 846: Introduced 11/6/23 by Jacobs (D-CA)
“Censuring Representative Brian Mast.” Jacobs has
reportedly withdrawn the censure resolution for the time being. The
resolution lists the repeated “inflammatory statements regarding innocent Palestinian
civilians in Gaza who are in harm’s way through no fault of their own as a result of horrific terrorist
attacks conducted by Hamas on October 7, 2023” that Mast has made since October 7, and notes that
his “refusal to distinguish innocent Palestinians from Hamas terrorists is false,
misleading, dehumanizing, dangerous, and unbecoming of a Member of Congress.” It cites as
examples Mast’s call to “slow down” any aid for Palestinian civilians in Gaza; his assertion that
“terrorism is ‘absolutely supported by the Palestinian people from elementary school all the way up
into the elderly'”; his comparing Palestinian civilians, including children, to “Nazi“
collaborators; his assertion that “there are very few innocent Palestinian civilians”; and his
conflating “innocent Palestinian civilians with Hamas terrorists by tweeting a video of a Hamas
leader and asserting that ‘a two-state solution means making a state out of these murderous terrorists
who are openly calling for the atrocities of October 7 to be committed over and over
again’...” The resolution notes: “Representative Brian Mast’s repeated conflation of
innocent Palestinian civilians with Hamas terrorists sends a message to the world that violence against
all Palestinians is legitimate and risks the incitement of brutal attacks across the Middle East region
including settler violence in the West Bank and Hezbollah aggression in Northern Israel” and
“Representative Brian Mast’s comments regarding innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza are
dehumanizing, inflammatory, unacceptable and can be reasonably construed as inviting the targeted murder
of innocent Palestinians, fanning the flames of violence in the Middle East and violating the
international rules of war.“
(CONDEMING HAMAS, DEMANDING HOSTAGES BE RELEASED) S. Res. 408: Introduced 10/17/23 by Rosen (D-NV) and having 43
cosponsors (bipartisan), “A resolution condemning Hamas for its
premeditated, coordinated, and brutal terrorist attacks on Israel and demanding that Hamas immediately
release all hostages and return them to safety, and for other purposes.” Amended and passed
11/9/23 by Unanimous Consent.
- (TARGETING HAMAS FINANCING) HR 6322: Introduced 11/9/23 by Steil (R-WI) and Pettersen (D-CO), “To evaluate and disrupt financing to Hamas, and to amend title 31, United States Code, to prohibit the exchange stabilization fund from being used to deal in Special Drawing Rights from state sponsors of terrorism, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committees on Financial Services and Foreign Affairs.
- (US MUST PREPARE TO PROSECUTE HAMAS) HR 6196: Introduced 11/2/23 by Molinaro (R-NY) and 8 bipartisan cosponsors (Democrats on the bill are Gottheimer, D-NJ, and Swallwell, D-CA), “To require a comprehensive report on the Federal Government’s efforts to collect, analyze, and preserve evidence of atrocities committed during Hamas’s attack on Israel, public dissemination campaigns to ensure those responsible for the attacks are identified and prosecuted, and efforts to leverage international cooperation and best practices regarding current Israeli-Hamas war.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also see: Press release 11/2/23 – “This week, Rep. Molinaro introduced a bipartisan resolution to require a comprehensive report on the preservation of evidence pertaining to the atrocities committed during Hamas’s attack on Israel. This initiative will facilitate the identification and prosecution of those responsible for the attacks and promote international cooperation in support of Israel.“
- (REMEMBERING AMERICAN SOLDIERS WHO WERE KILLED IN BEIRUT) S. Res. 447: Introduced 11/2/23 by Tillis (R-NC) and Budd (R-NC), “A resolution expressing support for the designation of October 23, 2023, as ‘Beirut Veterans Remembrance Day’ to remember the tragic terrorist bombing of the Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983.” Brought to the Senate floor 11/02/2023 and agreed to by Voice Vote.
We care about Palestinians (but not enough to put any muscle behind any of the concerns we raise)
- (SO FOR REALS, WHAT’S THE PLAN?? Van Hollen et al letter to Biden: On 11/8/23 Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) led a letter, cosigned by 24 Democratic colleagues and 1 Independent (Sanders, I-VT), to President Biden, noting their support for his support for Israel since October 7, supporting additional military aid to Israel (specifically more Iron Dome), etc, but noting: “we want to underscore how critical it is that Israel: (1) learn from the mistakes the United States made in our fight against terrorism by focusing on realistic and achievable military goals; and (2) abide by the laws of war, including the protection of civilians. Doing so also offers Israel the very best chance of success against Hamas in the days and weeks ahead. These steps are also necessary to create the conditions for a lasting peace, including two states for two peoples.” The letter goes on: “to better understand the efficacy of U.S. funding that supports Israel’s operations inside Gaza, we respectfully ask your team to provide us with information relative to these two clear U.S. priorities: supporting an Israeli strategy that will effectively degrade and defeat the threat from Hamas and taking all possible measures to protect civilians in Gaza.” Also see: press release – Van Hollen, Murphy, Schatz, and Reed Lead Majority of Democratic Caucus in Push for More Information around Strategy to Defeat Hamas, Protect Civilians in Gaza; Majority of Senate Dems raise questions about Israel’s Gaza operations, offensive military aid (Jewish Insider 11/9/23)
- (DON’T DEPORT PALESTINIANS, AT LEAST NOT FOR NOW) Durbin et al letter to Biden: On 11/8/23 Sen. Durbin (D-IL) led a letter, cosigned by 106 House and Senate Democrats, to President Biden calling on his Administration to designate the Palestinian territories for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and/or authorize Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Palestinians present in the United States. The letter states: “As you know, TPS and DED offer temporary relief from removal and work authorization for eligible foreign nationals who are unable to return safely to their home countries or part of a country. In light of ongoing armed conflict, Palestinians already in the United States should not be forced to return to the Palestinian territories, consistent with President Biden’s stated commitment to protecting Palestinian civilians.” Also see: press release – Durbin, Jayapal, Schakowsky, Colleagues Urge Biden Administration to Designate Palestinian Territories for Temporary Protected Status or Authorize Deferred Enforcement Departure for Palestinians in U.S.
- (ASK ISRAEL, PRETTY PLEASE, TO STOP WEST BANK SETTLER VIOLENCE) Ossoff et al letter to Biden: On 11/8/23, Sen. Ossoff (D-GA) led a letter, cosigned by 6 fellow Senate Democrats, to President Biden, urging him “to enhance its diplomatic efforts to prevent further violence and respectfully request a briefing from your administration on current policy to address incidents of extremist settler violence and the forcible displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank.” The letter warns: “If additional action to prevent these violent attacks is not taken, we worry that civilians and U.S national security interests will suffer grave harm. The situation is likely to exacerbate anger and grievance among the people of the West Bank and across the Arab world, inhibit efforts to cooperate with Arab states against shared threats, and undermine moderate Palestinian leaders who can offer an alternative to Hamas and make peace with Israel. Ultimately, these conditions could provoke widespread violence and a broader conflict.” Also see: press release – Sen. Ossoff, Colleagues Press Biden Administration on West Bank Settler Violence letter
- (VERY GENTLY RAISE GAZA HUMANITARIAN ISSUES WITH ISRAEL) Heinrich et al letter to Blinken: On 11/3/23 Sen. Heinrich (D-NM) led a letter, cosigned by 57 fellow House and Senate members (all Democrats) to SecState Blinken, urging him in his contacts with Israel to “emphasize” a set of “priorities in order to protect innocent lives, regional stability, and American national security interests in the region.” These priorities – each framed in terms that make clear there is no call let alone any expectation that the Biden Administration put any muscle behind them (the verbs – emphasis added by me – say it all] – are: “Reiterate the Urgent Need for a Humanitarian Pause and Ensure Sufficient Flow of Humanitarian Aid“; “Make Clear that Israel Must Conduct Military Operations Within the Scope of International Law and Minimize Civilian Harm” [a priority set out in terms that gloss over the fact that Israel is manifestly violating international law and appears to be deliberately maximizing, rather than minimizing, civilian harm] ; “Press the Israeli Government to Prevent Further Settler Violence in the West Bank”; and “Lay the Groundwork for Intensive Diplomacy Efforts to Achieve Sustainable Peace.” Also see: press release – Pingree Signs onto Bicameral Letter to Secretary Blinken on Diplomatic Priorities and Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza letter
- (SUPPLEMENTAL HUMANITARIAN AID FOR GAZA (while also supporting bombing it to rubble) Kim et al letter to Schumer & McConnell, Johnson & Jeffries: On 11/2/23, Sen. Kim (D-NJ) led a letter, cosigned by 91 House and Senate members, to House and Senate leaders urging them to support President Biden’s request for (meager) funding for humanitarian aid for Gaza in the Israel supplemental (funding stripped out by House Republicans). Also see: Reps. Bera, Kim, Jacobs Lead Call for Supplemental Funding of Humanitarian Aid in Gaza
Hamas = Terrorists; Palestinians = Hamas = Terrorists; Support for Palestinians = Support for terrorists =antisemitism
- 11/10/23: Cotton Demands Answers on “Journalists” Embedded with Hamas (letter to AG Garland; letters to news organizations) [“I write regarding reports that
so-called “journalists” employed by the Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, and Reuters accompanied
Hamas terrorists into Israel during the October 7 terror attack. These individuals almost certainly
knew about the attack in advance, and even participated by accompanying Hamas terrorists during the
attack and filming the heinous acts. In at least one case, one of the individuals affiliated with these
media outlets even took a selfie while being kissed on the cheek by a Hamas leader who helped
mastermind the attack. Providing material support or assistance, including funding, to a terrorist
organization such as Hamas is a federal crime. The Department of Justice must immediately open a
national security investigation into these four media outlets to determine whether they or their
leadership committed federal crimes by supporting Hamas terrorists.”]
- 11/9/23: Rosen, Lankford Urge United Nations to Designate Hamas a Terrorist
Organization, Impose Sanctions (letter text) [“We therefore request you bring forward a UN resolution
to recognize and sanction Hamas as a terrorist
organization.”] Also see: Senators call for United Nations’ action against Hamas (Jewish Insider)
- 11/9/23: Gallagher (R-WI) Leads Bipartisan Call for Biden Administration Officials to Enforce Existing Sanctions on Terrorist Groups Using Human Shields (press release + letter (to Biden & Yellen); Also see: Biden Admin Isn’t Sanctioning Hamas for Use of Human Shields, Drawing Bipartisan Ire (Free Beacon 11/9/23)
- 11/8/23: Cotton (R-AR), Colleagues to Cardona: Take Immediate Action to Protect Jewish Students (letter text); [“Anti-Semitism on college campuses has sharply escalated after Hamas’s murderous attack on Israel on October 7. Jewish students in the United States are facing extreme anti-Semitic violence and harassment, while school instructors look the other way or even praise Hamas’s terrorist attack. This is true on both college campuses and in K-12 schools. In at least one high school, students reportedly marched through the halls while chanting a call for the destruction of Israel…Schools that, by their inaction, enable threats and harassment against Jewish students are subject to losing their access to federal funds. The Department of Education must take immediate action to protect Jewish students. Please provide a briefing as soon as practicable regarding your plans to protect Jewish students and hold accountable those who attempt to foment anti-Semitic violence in our schools.”]
- 11/8/23: Gottheimer (D-NJ), Bacon (R-NE), ADL, Announce New Action to Combat Terrorists & Disinformation on Social Media, China Owned-TikTok [“China, Russia, Iran, Hamas Spreading Disinformation on Israel. Joined on Press Call by Chair of the Select Committee on the CCP Rep. Mike Gallagher. Bipartisan Call for DOJ to Force TikTok to Register as a Foreign Agent. Social Media is Breeding Ground for Terrorist Sympathizers.” (letter text)
- 11/7/23: Hagerty (R-TN) Leads Colleagues in Condemning VOA’s Refusal to Call Hamas Terrorists (letter text)
- 11/7/23: Hawley (R-MO) Renews Effort to Ban TikTok Following Rise in Pro-Hamas Content (letter text)
- 11/7/23: Cotton (R-AR) Demands DOJ Take Immediate Action Against Pro-Hamas Mobs (letter to Mayorkas) [“I write to urge immediate action against radical, pro-Hamas mobs who are committing crimes to impede the delivery of U.S. security aid to Israel. Yesterday, hundreds of pro-Hamas extremists shut down the Port of Tacoma to obstruct what they believed to be a military ship transporting military aid to Israel. A few days earlier, many of these same saboteurs reportedly blocked the entrance to a port in Oakland, tampered with a military ship’s mooring lines, and attempted to scale the ship with a rope ladder. Any attempt to impede and interfere with U.S. military movements, like attempting to trespass on or damage military property, breaks several federal laws. Each person involved in these schemes should be arrested promptly and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”]
- 11/6/23: Yakym (R-IN) Presses Over 100 College & University DEI Departments on Their Response to Anti-Semitic Incidents on Campus (example: Harvard letter); list of all universities contacted.
US AS PARTNER WITH ISRAEL IN WAR ON GAZA & POSSIBLE WAR WITH IRAN & HIZBALLAH
- 11/9/23: Pfluger et al letter to Defense Secretary Austin urging the Biden Administration to expedite delivery to Israel of KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tankers and begin training the Israeli Air Force on their use; and “To meet current operational requirements of the ongoing war and potential multu-front conflicts involving Iran and Hizballah, the Administation should forward deploy KC-46As to the CENTCOM area of operation to enable U.S. and Israeli pilots to utilize their refueling capabalities in support of ongoing military operations“
- 11/7/23: Kean (R-NJ) and Moskowitz (D-FL) Send Letter to U.K. Foreign Secretary to Ban [Iranian] Flights that Threaten Ukrainian Security (letter text)
- 11/7/23: Congressman Van Drew (R-NJ) Leads Colleagues in Letter to Sec. Mayorkas & Sec. Blinken Urging Expedited Entry for Jewish Individuals Seeking Temporary Stay in the United States (letter text) [offering examples of Jews threatened in: Tunisia, Germany, Spain, London, Russia, Australia, etc, and noting: “Given these tragic events and many more, we strongly urge you to create a humanitarian parole category specifically for people of the Jewish faith and of Jewish descent to streamline the paperwork process and facilitate referrals to allow for fast, humane, and efficient relocation to the United States. We also urge you to increase efforts to support those applying for humanitarian parole and those applying for Priority 1 or 2 pathways. It is essential to provide charter flights to land safely in affected areas to provide a means of escape for Jewish refugees.”] NOTE: This letter suggests that Jewish people are so unsafe wherever they may be in the world (including in democratic countries that are allies of the US) that they need special help from the U.S. to flee and find refuge; remarkably, it also suggests – at least by inference – that the only safe place for Jewish people to flee is the United States – a message that runs in direct contradition to the core arguments marshaled in support of Israel’s existence and by those who for years have been arguing that the Israel is the only place in the world where Jewish people are truly safe.
- 11/7/23: Waltz (R-FL) Requests Re-Designation of the Yemeni Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
- 11/7/23: Bilirakis (R-FL) Pushes Back on Biden Administration’s Continued Erosion of 2nd Amendment Rights (letter) [USING ISRAEL AS HOOK TO CALL FOR EASIER AVAILABILITY OF GUNS IN THE US]
November 15, 2023: The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “From Ivory Towers to Dark Corners: Investigating the Nexus Between Antisemitism, Tax-Exempt Universities, and Terror Financing” NOTE: Once again, the title of the hearing demonstrates that this is another show-hearing — as in, all conclusions have already been drawn, and the purpose of the event will be to put voices that back those conclusions into the spotlight & for members to grandstand. This same message is driven home by the hearing announcement, which describes the even as “a hearing on the rise of antisemitic protests and violence against Jewish students on college campuses; the lackluster response from many Universities; and concerns about the potential role of U.S. charities providing material support for terrorism abroad, including Hamas.” No witnesses have been announced as of this writing, but it is not difficult to guess what the witness list will look like.
November 15, 2o23: The House Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing entitled, “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland.” Scheduled witnesses are: Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, FBI Director Wray, and National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid. In the press release announcing the hearing, Chairman Green (R-TN) states: “The complex threats facing our nation are growing, especially as enemies of freedom perceive weakness in the current administration. Our ally Israel faces continued attacks from proxies of the Iranian regime, a regime that also proudly chants ‘Death to America’ and brazenly threatens our citizens, interests, and allies in the region…An open border, an emboldened Iran and Russia, and a Chinese Communist Party on a quest for global dominance represent a growing threat to America’s interests abroad and our security at home. The testimony of these officials next week is crucial to examine how the Biden administration is falling short, and where Congress needs to step in so the administration can adequately protect our country.”
November 14, 2023: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a CLOSED/CLASSIFIED (TS/SCI) meeeting entitled, “The Current Security Situation in the Middle East.” As of this writing the sole scheduled briefer is John Bass, Under Secretary of State for Management.
November 14, 2023: The Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development will hold a hearing entitled, “Confronting the Scourge of Antisemitism on Campus”. No further details are available at the time of this writing.
November 14, 2023: The House Rules Committee will meet to consider HR 5961, the “No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act” ((in order to decide on the rule under which HR 5961 will be brought to the House floor for debate and a vote.
November 14, 2023: There will be a CLOSED Joint Hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, & Intelligence, and the Subcommittee on the National Intelligence Enterprise (Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) on Countering Terrorism in a Shifting Geopolitical Landscape.
November 8, 2023: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled, “Friend and Ally: U.S. Support for Israel After Hamas’ Barbaric Attack.” Witnesses were Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf (testimony); and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dana Stroul (testimony). Also see: hearing video; Chairman McCaul (R-TX) opening remarks; Administration officials accuse Hamas of genocide, doubt willingness to release hostages voluntarily (Jewish Insider)
November 8, 2023: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled, “Free Speech on College Campuses.” Witnesses were: Jasmyn Jordan (current student, University of Iowa; chairwoman, Iowa Young Americans for Freedom – testimony); Amanda Silberstein (current student, Cornell University; board member, Chabad Cornell – testimony); Kenneth Marcus (Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law; Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center for Liberty & Law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School – testimony, pushing, unsurprisingly, for adoption/enforcement of the IHRA definition of antisemitism as a tool to suppress criticism of Israel/Zionism & Palestinian rights activism); Connor Ogrydziak (recent graduate, University of Buffalo; former chairman, University of Buffalo Young Americans for Freedom – testimony); Pamela Nadell (Professor and Director, Jewish Studies Program, American University – testimony); and Stacy Burdett (Independent Expert on Antisemitism – testimony). NOTE: with respect to the debate around antisemitism on campus, the latter two testimonies are well worth reading. Also see: hearing video; additional video testimonies are hosted on the event page for the hearing.
November 8, 2023: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing entitled, “United Nations’ Bigotry Towards Israel: UNRWA Anti-semitism Poisons Palestinian Youth” [a title that advertised in advance that the hearing was going to be nothing but a hit-job on UNRWA]. Originally this hearing was to have included a panel featuring a single witness, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan (who prior to the hearing was on the record with the position that UNRWA – by its very existence- “perpetuates” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has attacked the Biden Administration for funding UNRWA, arguing among other things that “We believe that this U.N. agency for so-called ‘refugees’ should not exist in its current format“). That panel was apparently scrapped. Witnesses at the hearing were: anti-UNRWA campaigner Hillel Neuer of UN Watch (testimony); longtime UNRWA antagonist Jonathan Schanzer, FDD (testimony); and Jonathan Lincoln, Interim Director of the Center for Jewish Civilization (testimony). Also see: hearing video
November 8, 2023: The House Financial Services Committee was supposed to be holding a hearing entitled, “A Review of Our Sanctions Regime and Efforts to Combat Terrorist Financing.” That hearing has been postponed (no new date announced yet).
November 7, 2023: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a markup of various measures including, all of which were passed by the Committee (some with amendments – see markup summary for details):
- HR 4681, To provide for the imposition of sanctions with respect to illicit captagon trafficking (11/07/2023 Ordered to be Reported in the Nature of a Substitute (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 44 – 0);
- HR 5961, To freeze certain Iranian funds involved in the 2023 hostage deal between the United States and Iran, and for other purpose, aka, the ‘‘No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act” (11/07/2023 Ordered to be Reported in the Nature of a Substitute (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 29 – 15) Also see: House committee advances measure to freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds (Jewish Insider 11/8/23); this bill would cancel all humanitarian exemptions to Iran sanctions and force Biden to cancel/go back on his prisoner exchange deal with Iran. Hill sources suggest this bill may be brought to the floor for a vote next week.
- HR 6119, To require the Secretary of State to notify Congress when the security clearances of certain senior members of the Department of State are suspended or revoked, and for other purposes(11/07/2023 Ordered to be Reported by the Yeas and Nays: 24 – 20); and
- H. Res. 793, Calling on Hamas to immediately release hostages taken during October 2023 attack on Israel (11/07/2023 Ordered to be Reported by Voice Vote).
- The Nation 11/10/23: The Smearing of Rashida Tlaib and the Palestinian Calls for Freedom [counterpoint to this insane take: Rashida Tlaib’s Inflammatory Language, The Atlantic 11/8/23)
- Jewish Insider 11/10/23: Summer Lee’s Polling Problem
- Jewish Insider 11/10/23: Bernie Sanders declined to call hearing on campus antisemitism, GOP senator claims
- Huffington Post 11/9/23: ‘The Phone Doesn’t Stop’: Overwhelming Demands For A Cease-Fire Catch Democrats Off Guard
- Jerusalem Post 11/9/23: [Middle East Forum attack on American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)] US still welcomes Hamas lobby on Capitol Hill
- Jewish News Syndicate 11/9/23: Congress targets TikTok to counter social-media propaganda against Israel
- Axios 11/9/23: Jewish Democrats rally around Biden over Israel
- Washington Examiner 11/7/23: Palestinian terrorists ‘exploit loopholes’ for taxpayer dollars, watchdog [Zachor Legal] tells Congress
- Jewish Insider 11/8/23: George Latimer expected to launch challenge to Bowman in coming weeks
- American Center for Law and Justice press release 11/7/23: ACLJ Representing Gaza Hostage Families on Capitol Hill
- Slate 11/6/23: Why This Swing-State Democrat Is Going After Netanyahu’s Most Powerful Ally in D.C. – In an interview, Rep. Mark Pocan called the lobbying group AIPAC a “cancerous presence on our democracy and politics.”
- Jewish Insider 11/5/23: United Democracy Project super PAC targets Lee, Bowman, Massie over anti-Israel votes