Legislative Round-Up- June 7, 2024

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.

1. Bills, Resolutions
2. Letters
3. Hearings
4. Israel/Palestine in 2024 Elex/Politics
5. Selected Media & Press releases/Statements

New from FMEP:

  • Newly-released resource: The Gaza Catastrophe: 2024 Congressional Briefing Series, presented by FMEP & MEI, sessions co-moderated by FMEP’s Lara Friedman & MEI’s Khaled Elgindy (recorded over 4 weeks during April 2024). The congressional briefing series is an educational program conducted annually by the Middle East Institute’s Palestinian Affairs Program and the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) to brief members of Congress and their staff on the most pressing issues facing Israel and Palestine today.

Also see: Israel and Hamas Conflict In Brief: Overview, U.S. Policy, and Options for Congress (Updated June 3, 2024) — Congressional Research Service

1. Bills & Resolutions

Targeting the ICC

(SANCTION ICC IF IT DARES TO HOLD ISRAEL ACCOUNTABLE TO SAME LAWS/STANDARDS AS THE REST OF THE WORLD) HR 8282 [bill text]/ S. 4484 [bill text]: Introduced in the House 5/7/24 by Roy (R-TX) and 20 cosponsors (all Republicans), and in the Senate 6/5/24 by Cotton (R-AR) and 9 cosponsors (all Republicans), “To impose sanctions with respect to the International Criminal Court engaged in any effort to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected person of the United States and its allies,” aka the “Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act.” HR 8282 was brought to the House floor 6/4/24 without any committee hearings (other than in Rules, for details see Section 3, below), and passed by a roll call vote of 247-155 — with ALL Republicans voting “Yes”, except for 2 voting “present” (Davidson, R-OH and Massie, R-KY),  joined by list-of-shame consisting of 42 Democrats). More details:

Targeting the Palestinians

Targeting Support for Palestinians

  • (PUNISH MALDIVES!) HR XXXX: On 6/6/24, Axios reported: “U.S. lawmakers are crafting legislation aimed at stopping the Maldives from banning Israeli passport holders from entering the country, Axios has learned. Why it matters: The tiny, Muslim-majority archipelago and luxury tourist destination this week became the first country since the Oct. 7 attack to announce plans to institute such a passport ban in response to the war in Gaza. Driving the news: Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) is developing legislation that would condition U.S. aid to the Maldives on allowing Israeli passport holders into the country, a source familiar with the matter told Axios. Gottheimer, one of Israel’s most steadfast defenders in Congress, is working with colleagues in both parties on the bill, which will be called the Protecting Allied Travel Here (PATH) Act, the source said.

Never Enough US-Israel Cooperation & Support for Normalization!

Targeting Iran

FY 25 State & Foreign Operations Approps

(FY25 SFOPS) HR XXXX: On 6/3/24 the House Appropriations Committee released the Chairman’s Mark of the FY25 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (aka, the base text) – press release; bill text. That text was marked up in the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations on 6/4/24 (see details in Section 3, below). The release of this text engendered a fierce battle of statements pitting committee Republicans against committee Democrats, including over Israel/Middle East-related elements of the bill. Notably, this bill includes not just the pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian text that are perennially part of this legislation, but adds in additional (and explicitly cruel) anti-Palestinian and pro-Israel measures that, in the context of Israel’s war on Gaza, are morally obscene. The bill will be marked up in the full Appropriations Committee on 6/12/24.

Full details of the bill will be included in a future edition of the Round-Up (when it is passed out of the Appropriations Committee). New pro-Israeli impunity/anti-Palestinian highlights in the base bill (these are in addition to the regular $3.3 billion in FMF for Israel, and the many, many perennial anti-Palestinian measures) include:

  • a provision INCREASING funding for “refugee resettlement” in Israel (a residual, token appropriation left over from the 90s when Israel was dealing with a mass influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union) from $5 million (where it has held steady for years) to $6.5 million — representing a 13% increase in funding in this category, notwithstanding the Republicans imposing a 12% budget cut across the board. (p. 34)
  • A provision removing legal limits on the amounts of weapons available to Israel out of US war stockpiles (p. 152)
  • a provision giving the Executive 15 days to release any US military supplies currently withheld from Israel or face a punitive 50% cut in funding to the office of the Secretary of State, and giving the Executive 30 days to obligate any remaining unobligated funding for Israel (pp 156-157);
  • a new/additional condition on the re-opening of any Palestinian diplomatic mission in the US, requiring the the Palestinians are not directly or indirectly seeking or supporting efforts to seek any kind of recourse against Israel at the International Court of Justice (pp 183-184)
  • a provision cutting off all funding to the State Department’s Office of Palestinian Affairs (p. 185)
  • a provision dividing the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which under the Oslo Accords must be treated as a single geographic unit) into 2 separate geographic units for US budget purposes (p. 186)
  • a provision permanently banning US funding to UNRWA, banning US funding to encourage others to fund UNRWA, and requiring a plan to replace UNRWA (pp 240-242)
  • A provision barring funding to the International Court of Justice (p. 246)
  • A provision barring funding to the International Criminal Court (p. 246-247)
  • a provision prohibiting any funding to be used for the admittance or resettlement of Palestinians from Gaza in the United States. (p. 292)

Also see:

FY25 Defense Appropriations

  • HR XXXX: On 6/5/24, the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee met to consider – and voted to advance – the FY25 Defense Appropriations bill [Chairman’s Mark; GOP summary]. Full details of the bill will be included in a future edition of the Round-Up (when it is passed out of the Appropriations Committee). For now, note: House subcommittee pushes for funding boosts for U.S.-Israeli cooperative programs (Jewish Insider 6/5/24) – excerpt: “The House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee proposed funding increases for cooperative U.S.-Israel anti-tunneling and anti-drone and missile programs in its 2025 funding bill released on Tuesday. The defense bill also seeks to force frozen Israeli weapons transfers to proceed. Committee Republicans are pushing for $80 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunneling programs, nearly doubling the 2024 allocation, and $55 million for counter-drone and missile programs, including directed energy and laser projects. That would likely include Israel’s Iron Beam system. The Defense Subcommittee voted to advance the bill to the full Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. The counter-tunneling program was funded at $47.5 million for the 2024 fiscal year, while the counter-drone program received $40 million. The administration did not make specific line-item requests for either program in its budget proposal.”

Other stuff

  • (PROTECT CREDIT RATINGS OF HOSTAGES) S. 4455 [bill text]: Introduced 6/4/24 by Coons (D-DE) and Tillis (R-NC), “A bill to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit consumer reporting agencies from furnishing consumer reports containing adverse items of information about a consumer that resulted from that consumer being unlawfully or wrongfully detained abroad or held hostage abroad,” aka the “‘Fair Credit for American Hostages Act.” Referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Also see: press release – Senators Coons, Tillis introduce bill to protect credit scores of American hostages and wrongful detainees

2. Letters

Witch-Hunt Targeting Academia

Targeting the ICC & Rule of Law

We <HEART> Bibi!

  • (do-over!) 6/6/24: McConnell, Johnson Announce Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Joint Address to Congress. Note that the press release is issued solely in the names of McConnell (R-KY) and Johnson (R-LA), but includes a link to the text of 5/31/24 letter, also signed by Schumer (D-NY) and Jeffries (D-NY). Schumer released his own statement 6/6/24, including: “I have clear and profound disagreements with the Prime Minister, which I have voiced both privately and publicly and will continue to do so. But because America’s relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends one person or prime minister I joined the request for him to speak.”
  • 5/31/24: Congressional Leaders Invite Israeli PM Netanyahu to Address Joint Meeting of Congress [letter text]. Excerpt: “To build on our enduring relationship and to highlight America’s solidarity with Israel, we invite you to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combatting terror, and establishing a just and lasting peace in the region.

Concern about Israel’s Actions in the West Bank

Targeting Iran (and Russia-Iran)

3. Hearings & Markups

NOTE – not a hearing but… MONDAY: Rep. AOC To Host Livestream on “Antisemitism and the Fight for Democracy”, ft. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Stacy Burdett, Jewish Community Advocate Against Antisemitism and Bigotry; and Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

6/3/23: The House Rules Committee held a business meeting to consider a Rule to bring HR 8282 to the House floor for a vote. As a reminder, HR 8282,To impose sanctions with respect to the International Criminal Court engaged in any effort to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected person of the United States and its allies,” was introduced 5/7/24 by Roy (R-TX) and has 63 Republican cosponsors; there were no hearings on this bill in the committee of jurisdiction. Also see:

  • The bill/Rule was passed by the Rules Committee 6/3/24 by a party-line vote.
  • Rules Committee hearing video (starting at 1:52:53 in the video). Once again, this is highly recommended viewing, with the Rules Committee representing the ONLY venue on the Hill where there is any substantive discussion of what is happening in Gaza — with Republicans faithfully reciting talking points that are indistinguishable from the government of Israel, AIPAC, etc, and with Democrats speaking with various degrees of frankness/accuracy with respect to what Israel is doing in Gaza and what is at stake with respect to US policies/actions.
  • Crow (D-CA) testified against HR 8282 in the Rules Committee – see: Congressman Crow Opposes House Republicans’ Dangerous Bill to Sanction the ICC (incl statement in Rules Committee – video)
  • list of amendments submitted in Rules Committee.
  • See Section 1 (ab0ve) for details on passage of the bill by the House on 6/4/24.

[RESCHEDULED] 6/4/24: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability held a hearing entitled, “Money is Policy: Assessing Shortcomings in the State Department’s Foreign Assistance Grants Process.” Witnesses (a partly new slate for the rescheduled hearing) were: Robert Destro, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (a Trump political appointee) (statement); James Richardson, State Department Director of the Office of Foreign Assistance (statement); and Tom Malinowski, Former Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (statement). Also see: hearing video.

6/4/24: The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Bill held a mark-up of the FY25 SFOPS Appropriations Bill (bill text). Also see:

Week of 6/10/24: The House Rules Committee will meet to approve a Rule according to which the FY25 NDAA – HR 8070 – will be brought to the floor, including the long list of amendments that will be voted on as part of the annual amendments-palooza that accompanies this bill (including a disproportionate number related to Israel/Palestine/Middle East grandstanding & point-scoring). Also see: list of amendments offered as of 6/7/24 (1219 so far).

6/12/24: The House Appropriations Committee will hold a mark-up of the FY25 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.

6/12/24: The House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections appears to be planning to hold a hearing related to alleged antisemitism and antisemitic threats. The hearing does not appear on the Committee website at this time, but all three documents submitted in relation to the hearing relate to antisemitism and alleged antisemitic threats (in Texas, Alabama, and Florida) – mostly actual antisemitism (i.e., hatred/threats targeting Jews because they are Jewish), but the Texas document (and ADL report) includes the conflation of Israel-related protest with antisemitism.

6/13/24: The House Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing entitled, Hearing on the Crisis on Campus: Antisemitism, Radical Faculty, and the Failure of University Leadership. No details have yet been published regarding who will be put on the stand as witnesses for the prosecution and defendants to be abused.

4. Israel/Palestine in 2024 Politics/Elex

General analysis/News

New York

New Jersey


  • Jewish Insider 6/5/24: In social media war against AIPAC, Rep. Mark Pocan advances antisemitic tropes [“Pocan’s jabs have frequently echoed or embraced a slew of antisemitic canards, including dual loyalty, control of government and even blood libel, experts say” — those experts being prominent individuals and representatives of legacy Jewish groups who engage in/endorse/promote the conflation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism]

North Dakota



  • STL Light 6/5/24: Clergy state support for Wesley Bell [“His words have not only been comforting but were also a stark departure from the ongoing caustic, offensive, and — yes, in our view — antisemitic rhetoric from the current representative in Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Cori Bush, with her long track record of anti-Israel votes, has continually fanned the flames with the most outrageous smears of Israel, accusing the Jewish state of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘genocide’ as it has fought to defeat the terrorists.“]


5. Selected Media & Press releases/Statements

Israel Govt Influence Campaign Targets US Lawmakers [nothing to see here….]

Concern for Palestinians

Bibi Address to Congress

Free speech/Academia/Right to Protest

  • House Committee on Education & the Workforce 6/6/24: ICYMI: Foxx Gives Update on Committee’s Antisemitism Investigation [at AEI]
  • House Committee on Education & the Workforce 6/6/24: @EdWorkforceCmte to Depose ALAA President Ohta [“For months, President Ohta and the ALAA have attempted to evade accountability and use obstructionist tactics to thwart the Committee’s ongoing investigation into potential violations of ALAA member rights. This petulant behavior and deliberate obstruction are unacceptable.  As the Committee has uncovered, too many union members are unaware of the rights afforded to them under the law. Unions deliberately fail to inform their members of their rights in a callous attempt to exert power and control. The Committee seeks to understand whether ALAA infringed on several statutory rights of its members through actions related to the adoption of the ‘Resolution Calling for a Ceasefire in Gaza, an End to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, and Support for Workers’ Political Speech.’ Today’s deposition is another step in the Committee’s efforts to combat antisemitism and examine whether current law needs to be updated so that individual union members are protected against a tyranny of the majority.”]
  • Jewish Insider 6/4/24: Rep. Virginia Foxx holds low expectations that colleges will change course following antisemitism hearings 
  • Tlaib (D-MI) 5/31/24: Tlaib Statement on Targeting of WSU Students

Biden’s ceasefire plan

Lobbying Congress

  • Jewish Insider 6/7/24: AJC CEO Ted Deutch emphasizes need for ‘clear and consistent message’ from Washington in support of Israel [“Deutch said that rebuilding support for Israel on Capitol Hill begins with an emphasis on the Oct. 7 attack, ‘pushing back in the strongest way against those who have tried to rewrite the history of Oct. 7’ and have supported terrorist groups through rhetoric and protests. He said that advocates for Israel must also highlight the threat that Iran poses to Israel, the U.S. and the rest of the world. Deutch emphasized in an interview with Jewish Insider that his former colleagues in Congress need to make sure that they’re ‘focused on what’s actually happening, and that we’re not distracted by misinformation and false narratives’ and false equivalences between Hamas and Israel. ‘There needs to be moral clarity here, and pushing back against the lies of those who are calling for the destruction of Israel is of paramount importance as we defend Israel and, in turn, defend western civilization,’ Deutch said. He demurred when asked if he counts any lawmakers among those he said have supported terrorist groups, but said that every member of Congress ‘should be able to stand up and condemn the terrorists’ who killed Americans and are backed by an Iranian regime dedicated to destroying America. ‘That’s what we should expect of all our elected officials.’ The AJC meeting is set to include a lobbying component on the Hill, during which Deutch said activists will push for antisemitism legislation as well as communicate to lawmakers Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, the threat from Iran and the possibilities for regional normalization…“]
  • Times of Israel 6/6/24: A report from the Jerusalem Post conference [“As a former head of Hillel, Fingerhut was keenly aware of the extreme Jew-hatred on campus. We must use a multipronged approach to address it, he said, highlighting the need to include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism as a tool to combat Jew-hatred. Legislation accepting IHRA’s definition passed in the House of Representatives, and we have to advocate for its passage in the Senate, he said. He explained that JFNA and other groups pushed successfully to pass legislation forcing the sale of TikTok to an American company from Chinese Communist control within 12 months, because the social media platform spews anti-Zionist and anti-West propaganda. Fingerhut also announced plans for another massive demonstration in support of Israel in mid-November in Washington.” Reminder: it was not long ago that the ADL & others insisted it was antisemitic to connect anti-TikTok legislation in Congress with pro-Israel lobbying… Seems Fingerhut didn’t get the memo.]
  • Jewish News Syndicate 6/5/24: Yesha Council head lobbies against Palestinian state in DC – Lawmakers on Capitol Hill express support for the stance. [“…Ganz met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in an effort counter the push by the White House to establish a Palestinian state in the wake of the Hamas-led massacre of Oct. 7. ‘There is no room for a two-state solution. [President Joe] Biden cannot appoint conditions for Israel, whether with regard to the Palestinian state or to stopping the war with Hamas. We in the United States stand by your side unconditionally,’ Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told Ganz. Ganz also met with other senior senators and representatives during his trip, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).“]