Netanyahu Lets the Fox into the Henhouse

There is a fox in the henhouse. Benjamin Netanyahu let it in.

In the course of the Israeli government coalition negotiations, the Religious Zionism party’s leader Bezalel Smotrich foxed his way to a position that would allow him to implement his plan to become the settlement tsar in Netanyahu’s government and de-facto annex the settlements and the settlers to Israel.

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APN's Year-End Letter

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Recording- How Should President Biden Respond to Israel's New Government?

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Legislative Round-Up- December 2nd, 2022

1. Bills & Resolutions
2. Hearings & Markups
3. Media & Members (general
4. Media & Members (The Next Congress)
5. Members on the Record (Israel & Palestine)
6. Members on the Record (Iran)
7. Members on the Record (other countries)

New from FMEP:

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

(IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS) H. Res. 744: Introduced 10/25 by Deutch (D-FL) and having 87 bipartisan cosponsors, “Condemning the Government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” Passed 12/1/22 (with an amendment) under suspension of the rule. Also see: HFAC press release; Tweets – Meeks (D-NY-5), Cicilline (D-RI-1)

Letters

None.

 

2. Hearings & Markups

December 7, 2022: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a business meeting to (among other things) take action on:

  • S. 4996, Syria Detainee and Displaced Persons Act, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute
  • S. Con. Res. 47, A concurrent resolution commending the bravery, courage, and resolve of the women and men of Iran demonstrating in more than 80 cities and risking their safety to speak out against the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses.
  • S. Res. 730, A resolution remembering the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the Embassy of Israel in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, the 28th anniversary of the bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, and recommitting to efforts to uphold justice for the victims of the attacks

December 6, 2022: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism will hold a hearing entitled, “Confronting Yemen’s Humanitarian and Political Crises Without a Ceasefire“. Scheduled witnesses are: State Department Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, and USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Humanitarian Assistance Sarah Charles.

 

3. Media (general)

Times of Israel 12/2/22: US senator says Biden working to limit Smotrich and Ben Gvir influence in next gov’t

Washingon Free Beacon 12/1/22: Welcome, Bibi: Blinken To Headline Anti-Israel J Street Conference [“The conference kicks off this weekend, with Blinken set to address the confab on Sunday, alongside former Bernie Sanders adviser and longtime Israel critic Matt Duss, Daily Beast writer Wajahat Ali, a cadre of pro-Palestinian activists, and several Democratic members of Congress, including Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) and senator-elect Peter Welch (D., Vt.).”]

Jewish Insider 12/1/22: Senate Democrats discuss U.S.-Israel ties, domestic antisemitism with Jewish leaders

Jewish Insider 12/1/22: Cardin convenes antisemitism working group with administration, lawmakers, outside groups

The New Yorker 12/1/22: A Right-Wing Zionist [the ZOA’s Mort Klein] Digests Trump’s Anti-Semite Dinner Party [“Is there anything else you would like to say about fighting anti-Semitism more broadly? I think one of the reasons that Jew-hatred and Israel-bashing has been legitimized and mainstreamed is that there have been no negative consequences for the dozen or so overt Jew-haters in Congress: Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, A.O.C., Ayanna Pressley, Betty McCollum, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, and others. A year ago, Joe Biden made a speech profusely praising Rashida Tlaib. I mean, imagine if somebody would praise David Duke. We’d all go crazy, as we should. Do you think Rashida Tlaib and David Duke are sort of in the same Yes. They’re both overt Jew-haters. That’s correct.” What was her overt Jew-hatred? ‘We should stop funding Israel. We should boycott Israel. Israel is not an ally. We should have nothing to do with Israel.’ That’s overt Jew-hatred of the David Duke variety? Yeah, it’s overtly Jew-hatred.”]

+972 Magazine 11/30/22: Can the U.S.-Israel relationship survive a far-right government?

Jewish Currents 11/29/22: What the FBI’s Investigation of Shireen Abu Akleh’s Killing Won’t Resolve [“Not content to wait for the State Department to act on its own, members of Congress are now applying pressure.”]

 

4. Media & Members (The Next Congress)

Times of Israel 11/30/22: Pro-Israel Democrat Jeffries elected first-ever Black House minority leader

Responsible Statecraft 11/30/22: When it comes to foreign policy, Hakeem Jeffries will bring more of the same

Middle East Eye 11/30/22: New House Democrat leader’s staunch ties to US-Israel groups

Al Jazeera 11/30/22: Who is the new US Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries?

The Guardian 11/29/22: Hakeem Jeffries’ likely elevation set to please US pro-Israel groups

The Hill 11/25/22: With the elections over, the US-Israel relationship faces new tests   

Jewish News Syndicate 11/24/22: Kevin McCarthy must remove Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from all committees

Report from Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, 11/21/22: Rightwing Zionist Money & Its Influence on US Elections

 

5. Members on the Record (Israel & Palestine)

Palestine

Omar (D-MN-5) 12/01/2022: Retweet of @LailaAlarian – “In May, an Israeli sniper shot our Al Jazeera colleague Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin. @AJFaultLines interviewed eyewitnesses and asked the White House and State Department if the US will investigate her shooting in our film “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh” How the US handled the killing of a Palestinian-American journalist by Israeli forces | Fault Lines

Tlaib (D-MI-13) 12/01/2022: Retweet of @LailaAlarian – “In May, an Israeli sniper shot our Al Jazeera colleague Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin. @AJFaultLines interviewed eyewitnesses and asked the White House and State Department if the US will investigate her shooting in our film “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh” How the US handled the killing of a Palestinian-American journalist by Israeli forces | Fault Lines

Tlaib (D-MI-13) 12/02/2022: Retweet of @theIMEU – “Israeli militias expelled 750,000+ Palestinians from their homes in a systematic, violent campaign to erase the land of its indigenous population. This is known as the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948. The film #Farha beautifully and bravely works to keep that history alive. Link to quoted tweet

McConnell (R-KY) 12/1/22: floor statement on the Judiciary and free speech, including putting into the record a 12/20/22 speech by Laurence H. Silberman, entitled, “Free Speech Is the Most Fundamental American Value” which among other things states: “…although it is certainly reasonable for parents to argue about the curriculum of public schools, it is intolerant to seek to ban library books on critical race theory, at least at the high school level. By the same token, efforts to prevent persons such as Linda Sarsour from speaking on college campuses in support of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) directed against Israel are equally intolerant. As a onetime special envoy in the Middle East I regard BDS and Sarsour’s views as particularly obnoxious, but I deplore the effort of Jewish groups to prevent her from speaking at universities.

McCollum (D-MN-4) 11/29/2022: Retweet of @FCNL – “On this #PalestineDay we are asking #Congress to support @RepAndreCarson’s #JusticeForShireenAct #HR9291 & @BettyMcCollum04’s #NoWayToTreatAChildAct #HR2590. By supporting these bills, members can demonstrate they support fundamental human rights and equality for Palestinians. Link to image

GOP Antisemites/Nazis? BUT WE LOVE ISRAEL. & WHATABOUT… critics of Israel?

Greene (R-GA-14) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Of course I denounce Nick Fuentes and his racists anti-semitic ideology. I can’t comprehend why the media is obsessed with him. Do you actually report real news or just use CNN for your political activism? Have you questioned Democrats if they denounce Israel hating Ilhan Omar? Link to quoted tweet

Bacon (R-NE-2) 11/26/2022: Retweet of @mikepompeo – “Anti-Semitism is a cancer. As Secretary, I fought to ban funding for anti-Semitic groups that pushed BDS. We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry.

Torres (D-NY-15) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “There is not a hint of Antisemitism in Donald Trump meeting with Antisemites like Kanye West and Nick Fuentes? What are you smoking? Link to quoted tweet

Casten (D-IL-6) 11/28/2022: Twitter thread – “Opposing white supremacy and antisemitism doesn’t make you a leader. It is damned close to a bare-minimum requirement of US public service. And yet it is too high a bar for @GOP so-called leadership. Link to quoted tweet This in particular is a damning (if all too predictable) non-response from the weakest man in DC, @kevinomccarthy. Brave Sir Kevin will always run downwind, and as long as his caucus is full of white supremacists, he’ll be right there with them. Link to image A final comment: during the Trump era, whenever he said something anti-Semitic you could count on his Congressional enablers to post “I STAND WITH ISRAEL” signs – because Zionism is too often the way anti-Semitism is hidden in DC. Will be on the lookout for new signs this week.

Schatz (D-HI) 11/26/2022: Tweet – “Being dedicated to Jerusalem as the eventual location of the rapture does not make you a friend of the Jewish people. It means you think we are all going to eventually convert to your religion.” Retweeted by Escobar (D-TX-16)

Swalwell (D-CA-15) 11/26/2022: Tweet – “You proudly worked for a guy who just called an Anti-Semite a great guy. You’re not going to be able to pussyfoot your way into the White House, Mike. Call Trump out by name or spare us the trite nonsense. Link to quoted tweet

Denouncing Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem

Espaillat (D-NY-13) 11/26/2022: Twitter thread – “I pray for the victims and all who were injured during the terror attack that recently occurred in Jerusalem and stand in solidarity with the people of Israel. Daughter of New Jersey rabbi injured in Jerusalem blasts that killed…… | nypost.com Rezo por las víctimas y todos los que resultaron heridos durante el ataque terrorista que ocurrió recientemente en Jerusalén y me solidarizo con el pueblo de Israel.

Torres (D-NY-15) 11/25/2022: Twitter thread – “Hamas and the Taliban are terrorist organizations. Period. There is such a thing as objective reality. Link to quoted tweet If you deny the terrorism of Hamas or the Taliban, trying testing your hypothesis and living under the rule of either one. Something tells me the experiment wouldn’t end well.” Retweeted by Torres (D-NY-15)

Cassidy (R-LA) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “If this is a terrorist attack, history shows that killing Israeli civilians hardens Israeli resolve, as it should. It also hardens the resolve of the United States to stand with Israel, as it will. Link to quoted tweet

Clarke (D-NY-9) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “Today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem is horrific and heartbreaking — my prayers are with the victims of this heinous crime. America simply must do more to stand against anti-semitism, both in our own nation and across the world. We must stand with Israel against this terror.

Cruz (R-TX) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “The images and accounts of today’s terrorist attacks in Israel are absolutely horrific. Heidi and I are praying for the families affected and for the recovery of those injured.

Frankel (D-FL-21) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “My prayers are with the those killed and injured in the horrific attacks in Jerusalem overnight. I unequivocally condemn these acts of terror and stand with Israel and reaffirm the US’s ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. Explosion at bus stop near entrance to Jerusalem; 7 injured, 2 critically… | timesofisrael.com

Langevin (D-RI-2) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “I am appalled by the news of another deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem. My heart goes out to the family of Aryeh Shechopek, and I pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured, including two U.S. citizens. One person dead after two explosions rock Jerusalem, Israeli police say | CNN

McCaul (R-TX-10) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “LR @RepMcCaul: “I am horrified by the recent terrorist violence against civilians in Israel, including the Jerusalem bombings that killed a child and injured 20 people, including two Americans. The American people support Israel as it defends itself from terrorism.”

Meng (D-NY-6) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “I denounce in the strongest terms this morning’s two deadly terror attacks in Jerusalem that has so far claimed the life of one teenager and injured many more. My sincerest condolences go out to all the families impacted. Explosion in Jerusalem injures 7, Israeli emergency services say | CNN

Titus (D-NV-1) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “I strongly condemn the bombings in Jerusalem. Wishing a speedy recovery for those injured and offering condolences to the families and friends of those lost. Link to quoted tweet

J St. Conference

Cruz (R-TX) 12/01/2022: Tweet – “Of course Secretary Blinken is going to J Street, an anti-Israel activist group that also criticized the Abraham Accords, loathes Netanyahu, and regularly calls for investigations against Israel. It’s both disgraceful and predictable. Blinken To Headline Anti-Israel J Street Conference… | freebeacon.com

Cruz (R-TX) 12/01/2022: Retweet of @Kredo0 – “.@SenTedCruz tells me: “The Biden administration is filled with partisans who hate Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu.” Blinken To Headline Anti-Israel J Street Conference… | freebeacon.com   Link to image   Link to quoted tweet

Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/01/2022: Tweet – “Why is Anthony Blinken headlining a conference for the anti-Israel J Street group? America’s top diplomat is attending an event that disparages one of our STRONGEST allies. It’s absolutely disgraceful. Biden’s foreign policy has been a nightmare for the WHOLE WORLD!!

Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/01/2022: Retweet of @Kredo0 – “JUST IN: Blinken Decision to Headline J Street Confab Set to Deepen Diplomatic Crisis with Israel– A “blatant and obvious attempt to stick Bibi in the eye,” State Dept source tells me Blinken To Headline Anti-Israel J Street Conference… | freebeacon.com

Israel – general

Cruz (R-TX) 11/30/2022: Floor statement bashing Biden admin, including: “…it took Biden a full week to call and congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu, who had just won election to be the next Prime Minister of our dear friend and ally Israel.”

Cruz (R-TX) 11/27/2022: Tweet – “ICYMI: Sen. Cruz Responds to Biden Administration Weaponizing DOJ Against Israel: “Everyone Involved With this Debacle Should be Fired or Impeached”   Sen. Cruz Responds to Biden Administration Weaponizing DOJ Against Israel: “Everyone Involved With this Debacle Should be Fired or Impeached” | U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas

 

6. Members on the Record (Iran)

[excluding tweets solely related to US win in World Cup]

Cassidy (R-LA) 12/01/2022: Retweet of @SenateGOP – “December is National Human Rights Month. From the victims of the Chinese Communist Party to the political prisoners of the Iranian regime, we stand for the freedoms of all human beings. Link to image

Costa (D-CA-16) 12/02/2022: Retweet of @EPWashingtonDC – “And we are off: 85th EU-US transatlantic legislators dialogue meeting has started with a warm welcome from @RepJimCosta. Ukraine, Iran, trade and energy security are among the topics on the agenda #TLD85 Link to image

Ernst (R-IA) 12/01/2022: Tweet – “The Iranian regime’s attempts to kidnap and murder Americans and dissidents have been prolific and persistent. The Biden administration’s continued silence has only encouraged more attacks on our shores. We need to pass my #PUNISH Act now. Link to quoted tweet

Fallon (R-TX-4) 12/01/2022: Tweet – “It’s simple — the nuclear deal Rob Malley & the Biden Admin negotiated and still offers Iran will only increase Iranian aggression, supercharge their terror funding, and will not prevent the regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Menendez (D-NJ) 12/01/2022: Tweet – “Proud to see the grace & sportsmanship of @USMNT after a hard-fought game with Iran. An important reminder that our differences are with a repressive regime that brutalizes its own people, not the Iranian people themselves. #IRNUSA Link to quoted tweet

Smith (R-MO-8) 12/01/2022: Tweet – “President Biden’s radical position on US energy is bought and paid for by the wealthy environmentalists that run the Democrat party. He would rather send US jobs to a South American dictatorship that is allied with Iran than support American oil production.” Retweeted by Long (R-MO-7)

Allred (D-TX-32) 11/30/2022: Tweet – “Democracy is always worth fighting for. From Iran to China to Ukraine, hope for freedom is alive… | dallasnews.com

Buchanan (R-FL-16) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Time to beat Iran on the world stage. Let’s go USA! #USAvIRN

Cicilline (D-RI-1) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “This investigation is not only warranted but also a necessary first step in holding the Iranian regime accountable for its brutal human rights abuses and persecution of its own people. We cannot allow the violence against peaceful protestors to continue unabated. Link to quoted tweet

Cramer (R-ND) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “.@POTUS is making deals with adversaries like Venezuela and Iran rather than turning to American producers and workers in the Bakken. These deals acknowledge we need oil, but this Administration would rather ask dictators and dirty producers for it. U.S. gives Chevron go ahead to pump oil in Venezuela again… | axios.com

Cruz (R-TX) 11/30/2022: Tweet – “When you speak out for freedom, that terrifies the tyrants in China, Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. But what does Joe Biden do? He appeases and shows weakness to all of them! Link to video

Graham (R-SC) 11/29/2022: Twitter thread – “Like all Americans, I am pulling for #TeamUSA in today’s World Cup match against Iran.   However, I do admire the Iranian players. They took a brave stand at great personal risk against a brutal regime when they refused to acknowledge the regime’s national anthem. In their world, this is a major statement, putting their families in harm’s way.   My hope is that the ultimate winner over time will be the Iranian people, who one day will be freed from the oppressive regime run by the Ayatollah and his henchmen.   Freedom for Iran.

Graham (R-SC) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Congratulations to #TeamUSA for a big win over Iran in the World Cup. To the Iranian players: You fought hard, and I wish freedom, prosperity, and better days ahead to you and the Iranian people.

Graves (R-LA-6) 11/29/2022: Twitter thread – “President Biden’s bone-headed energy policies continue to be wildly popular in Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia – where these countries profit. (1/3) GOP lawmakers blast Biden for turning to Venezuelan dictator for oil while curbing domestic production… | foxbusiness.com Unfortunately, it’s Americans that can’t pay the bills for fuel and utilities because our own president refuses to produce American energy and build the pipelines needed to bring prices down. (2/3) This latest move to produce more oil and gas in Venezuela only reinforces that this White House prioritizes foreign countries over America. (3/3)

Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) 11/29/2022: Twitter thread – “A goal for democracy, human rights and freedom was heard around the world. The USA men’s soccer team beat Iran in the World Cup! The team is truly our champion and represents our values of a democratic society along with good sportsmanship, skill and determination. Link to image America is truly USMNT proud! Congratulations to all of the members on the United States Men’s Soccer team. Go USA!

Johnson (R-OH-6) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Good luck to Team USA this afternoon. Beat Iran! And when the game is over, the USA will continue standing in solidarity with the women of Iran fighting for their freedoms.

Long (R-MO-7) 11/29/2022: Retweet of @bennyjohnson – “Iranian Reporter Calls America ‘Racist’ – Black US Soccer Team Captain NUKES Him In 60 Seconds Link to video

Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “The people of China, fed up with communism, are protesting the authoritarian Xi regime. The leader of the free world must stand with them in their quest for freedom & liberty. We’ve had a silent @WhiteHouse before as those oppressed & abused in Iran & Cuba risked their lives.

Mast (R-FL-18) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Tehran’s trying hard to get Team USA kicked out of the #WorldCup. After we beat them, it won’t be a problem anymore. But they’ll still have to deal with the thousands protesting their brutal regime. A better use of time would be making govt reforms to respect basic human rights.

McCaul (R-TX-10) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “TUNE IN: LR @RepMcCaul is about to join @SandraSmithFox on @FoxNews to discuss the protests in China and Iran – and the implication on U.S. national security. Link to image

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “As #Iran demands the US be kicked out of the #FIFAWorldCup, it also threatens its athletes & their families with torture & worse. We stand with women & men risking everything to protest the regime’s #HumanRightsViolations. The world is watching in support of #IranProtests. Link to quoted tweet

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “On Intl #WHRDDay, we recognize the bravery & resilience of women human rights defenders from Iran to Myanmar to the DRC who risk their lives for freedom. Deeply committed to continue to amplify their voices & make every effort to support them as they realize their visions. Link to quoted tweet

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/30/2022: Tweet – “Tehran’s move to blame outside powers for #IranProtests is a transparent attempt to undermine Iranians’ legitimate objections to rights abuses & to provide cover for bloody crackdowns. The world should neither be fooled nor deterred from calling out this dangerous misinformation. Link to quoted tweet

Merkley (D-OR) 11/29/2022: Twitter thread – “Great goal, @USMNT! Let’s keep it going all the way to the round of 16! Link to quoted tweet @USMNT I want to commend the Iranian team for their courage in standing up to a regime that has shown time and again it does not respect basic human rights and equitable treatment of women.

Pfluger (R-TX-11) 11/30/2022: Twitter thread – “Europe’s current dependence on Russia and other adversaries for energy should be a wake-up call. Our allies should be heating their homes and running their businesses with American-produced energy. Read MORE about my bill, the LNG for Allies Act: Pfluger: Bipartisan bill aims to expedite LNG export licensing… | mrt.com Thank you to my fellow Texan @RepCuellar for joining me in introducing this bipartisan, commonsense legislation that will allow our partners and allies to rely on energy from Texas and the United States—not Russia, Iran, or China.

Risch (R-ID) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “What a win for #TeamUSA at the #WorldCup. This is a moment to celebrate but not forget that the regime denies this very platform to its users — despite the Ayatollah’s constant propaganda @Twitter machine.

Scott (R-FL) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Maybe @JoeBiden can host @USMNT at the White House to learn a thing or two about standing up to Iran. Link to quoted tweet

Sherman (D-CA-30) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “A great victory for the #USMNT! Looking forward to more victories for our team in the #FIFAWorldCup knockout stage — and for a victory for Democracy advocates in #Iran. We stand with the women and men of Iran. Link to quoted tweet

Biggs (R-AZ-5) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “The Biden Administration cannot be getting our oil and gas from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. These are our adversaries—not friends. Let’s drill at home.

Booker (D-NJ) 11/28/2022: Twitter thread – “I have been closely following the weeks of protests in Iran, and am inspired by the bravery of the protestors, especially the women and young people standing for liberty. I stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people in the face of brutal repression. The actions to suppress these voices for change not just in Iran, but around the world demands our attention and our solidarity with these protestors. Iran targets Iranian journalists abroad as it faces uprising at home… | washingtonpost.com The demonstration by the Iranian National Soccer team at the World Cup shows that this movement is not fading and that it will take more focus, more voices to bring an end to these brutal crackdowns. Iranian World Cup squad declines to sing national anthem, backing protests… | reuters.com

Burchett (R-TN-2) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “We should take her advice. Niece of supreme leader asks world to cut ties with Iran… | yahoo.com

Cassidy (R-LA) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “Iranians are peacefully rebelling against an oppressive authoritarian regimen which kills those who dare ask for freedom. The U.S. stands with the Iranian people! Opinion | The West is finally waking up to the real problem in Iran

Crenshaw (R-TX-2) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Today Team USA plays against Iran. Let’s root for Iran to lose this one, then go back home and win the real fight for their freedom from tyranny. Sound good?

Doggett (D-TX-35) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Powerful op-ed in @statesman in support of powerful protestors. “Women’s rights and children’s rights are human rights. The abuse of women and children is the abuse of humanity…the responsibility to rescue them falls to the powerful. That means us.” Iran’s horrific situation feels a world away. It’s not. We must take a stand for women…. | statesman.com

Fallon (R-TX-4) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “This Administration’s Russian-brokered negotiations with Iran have had a predictably disastrous consequence for the free world — an emboldened Iran.

Gallagher (R-WI-8) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “Rep. Gallagher on an Iranian reporter’s criticism of the United States at the World Cup: “Quite a lot of chutzpah for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to be criticizing us.” Watch more below. Link to video

Gonzales (R-TX-23) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “As demonstrations continue in Iran, the U.S. must stand in support of human rights and the people of Iran by holding this evil regime accountable. I stand in solidarity with these brave protesters.

Hinson (R-IA-1) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “I support the brave protestors in Iran who are standing strong against the regime’s oppression and fighting for their fundamental rights. The U.S. stands in solidarity with these freedom fighters.

Larsen (D-WA-2) 11/28/2022: Retweet of @stuholden – “Tyler Adams mispronounced Iran and was called out by an Iranian journalist – who followed up with a question on discrimination in the United States. His response: An all time classy answer- Captain & Leader. #USMNT Link to video

Larsen (D-WA-2) 11/28/2022: Retweet of @GrantWahl – “I can’t tell you how impressive Tyler Adams was facing questions from Iranian media at today’s press conference. Link to video

McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “President Biden continues to turn to anywhere but home for more energy. OPEC, Russia, Iran, China, and now Venezuela, are emboldened because he is shutting down American energy and ceding our global leadership to these corrupt regimes. Opinion | Biden’s Dirty Oil Deal With Venezuela

Waltz (R-FL-6) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Not your average soccer match today… Link to quoted tweet

Wicker (R-MS) 11/29/2022: Tweet – “Fearless Iranians continue to lift their voices in opposition to the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini, and the suppression of thousands of women like her. We must recognize the cruelty of the Iranian regime for what it is and support our freedom-loving friends.

Cornyn (R-TX) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “via @NYTimes Iranian Weapons Built With Western Semiconductors Despite Sanctions… | nytimes.com

Gonzales (R-TX-23) 11/27/2022: Tweet – “Free Iran Link to image

Gooden (R-TX-5) 11/28/2022: Tweet – “The Chinese people are standing up to Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy. Iranians are protesting the regime’s women’s rights abuses. Ukrainians are destroying Putin’s army. Freedom is winning across the globe.

Cornyn (R-TX) 11/27/2022: Tweet – ““The Regime’s Legitimacy Is Eroding”: Iran Protests Continue Despite Brutal Repression “The Regime’s Legitimacy Is Eroding”: Iran Protests Continue Despite Brutal Repression… | spiegel.de via @derspiegel

McCaul (R-TX-10) 11/27/2022: Retweet of @saletan – ““Iranian drones are going into Crimea, and the Ukrainians can’t hit those Iranian drones unless they have the longer-range artillery,” says @RepMcCaul. @MarthaRaddatz: “Does it further incite Russia” if we send that artillery to Ukraine? McCaul: “Crimea’s not part of Russia.”

Merkley (D-OR) 11/25/2022: Tweet – “I support @UN_HRC’s special session to address the alarming state of human rights in Iran. The Iranian regime’s human rights violations against protestors are unacceptable—good to see the U.N. take this step to establish facts and condemn the regime’s violence. Link to quoted tweet

Castro (D-TX-20) 11/24/2022: Retweet of @KianSharifi – “Iranian media report that outspoken footballer Voria Ghafouri was arrested earlier today for “insulting and undermining the national football team” & “propaganda against the establishment”. Ghafouri, an ethnic Kurd, has supported the protests & condemned the crackdown on Kurds. Link to image

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/24/2022: Tweet – “Spilling the blood of protesters should never be normalized. The intl community cannot be silent, & must unequivocally condemn the Iranian regime’s violent repression of #IranProtests, the latest in a long record of human rights abuses, during the @UN_HRC special session. Link to quoted tweet

Quigley (D-IL-5) 11/25/2022: Tweet – “During UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we must take a hard look at the realities women around the world face—especially in places like Iran. We must press for change and bring an end to the abuses taking place.

Trahan (D-MA-3) 11/25/2022: Tweet – “Today is the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Yet, a violent Iranian dictatorship continues to oppress women & strip them of their rights. We stand with the Iranian people, particularly the women and young girls, standing up & demanding better.

Fallon (R-TX-4) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “The Biden Administration’s approach to Iran has been flawed from the onset. Rob Malley is not trusted by Iranians or Americans and the Ayatollah’s regime does not fear him. He must go. Read my latest op-ed discussing the issue further! Iranian reset should start with Biden firing Special Envoy Malley… | foxnews.com

Waltz (R-FL-6) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “Venezuela/Iran: 1 Biden: 0 This will line Iran’s pockets as well as Venezuela’s. The IRGC is neck deep there. Link to quoted tweet

 

7. Members on the Record (other countries)

Region

Takano (D-CA-41) 12/02/2022: Retweet of @RepColinAllred – “Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, and Lebanon – it was an honor to join a delegation led by @RepMarkTakano to travel across the Middle East this past week to meet with foreign officials, military leaders and to spend Thanksgiving with our service members. Link to image

Saudi Arabia

Sherman (D-CA-30) 11/29/2022: Twitter thread – “#SaudiArabia is not a neutral player in #Russia’s war in #Ukraine️. #KSA invested $500M in Russian oil before the war and is exporting its own oil for profit. OPEC’s reduction in oil keeps gas prices high. (1/2) Ostracized by the West, Russia Finds a Partner in Saudi Arabia… | nytimes.com The rest of the world is condemning #PutinsWar, but #KSA is getting rich allowing #Russia to avoid international sanctions. (2/2)

Qatar

Swalwell (D-CA-15) 11/26/2022: Tweet – “As a congressman to one of the largest Muslim-American constituencies in the country, it’s with immense pride that we watch the first Arab-hosted #WorldCup. The play on the pitch has been phenomenal — but it’s been matched by Qatar’s showcasing of the region’s religion & culture.

Jordan

Allred (D-TX-32) 11/24/2022: Retweet of @VetAffairsDems – “Chairman @RepMarkTakano, @RepColinAllred, @RepSlotkin, and @RepKatiePorter visited @ASG_Jordan to meet with servicemembers stationed at the Joint Training Center and learn more about the operations and activities that support the region’s security. Link to image” Also retweeted by Takano (D-CA-41)

Allred (D-TX-32) 11/24/2022: Tweet – “It’s such an honor to join this delegation over the Thanksgiving holiday to visit our service members. We visited @ASG_Jordan to meet with folks serving at the Joint Training Center and learned more about their important work to strengthen the region’s security. Link to image

Takano (D-CA-41) 11/24/2022: Retweet of @VetAffairsDems – “While in Jordan, Chairman @RepMarkTakano, @RepSlotkin, and @RepKatiePorter met with King Abdullah to talk about strengthening the ongoing partnership between the United States and Jordan. Link to quoted tweet

Syria

Risch (R-ID) 12/01/2022: Tweet – “Of @UN contracts in #Syria, 47% go to highly risky entities with ties to #Assad or gross violators of #humanrights. The UN & Biden Admin must do better & ensure our support to the Syrian people doesn’t fuel continued Assad regime atrocities. #Caesar New Study Says UN Aid to Syria Benefits Rights Abusers… | voanews.com

Lebanon

Sullivan (R-AK) 12/01/2022: Retweet of @SenTomCotton – “General Jones is right. No American victim of terrorism should be forgotten. While our debt to the Marine victims of the 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing can never be fully repaid, my bill with @SenDanSullivan will deliver some measure of justice. Beirut bombing victims and their families deserve support and justice. Congress must do the right thing… | foxnews.com

Turkey

Kinzinger (R-IL-16) 11/24/2022: Retweet of @DavidLawler10 – “New: SDF commander Gen. Mazloum speaks with Axios after 4 days of Turkish strikes. -Turkey is preparing a ground offensive, but stronger US pressure could stop it, he argues. -Says Biden has a “moral duty” to do more after Kurdish efforts against ISIS. U.S. has “moral duty” to prevent Turkish incursion in Syria, Kurdish commander says… | axios.com

Pallone (D-NJ-6) 11/24/2022: Tweet – “We cannot allow Erdogan to avoid accountability for his continued aggression in Syria. His intentional actions led to civilian casualties and endangered the lives of U.S. personnel. Calling for deescalation is not enough. It’s past time we reevaluate our relationship with Turkey. Link to quoted tweet

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/23/2022: Tweet – “Turkey’s airstrikes in Iraq & Syria, including against US partner forces in the SDF, have already killed civilians & destroyed critical civilian infrastructure while threatening to undermine the fight against ISIS. These are not the actions of an ally. Turkey Bombs Kurdish Foes in Iraq and Syria, Likely Killing Dozens… | nytimes.com

Kuwait

Slotkin (D-MI-8) 11/28/2022: Twitter thread – “After serving Thanksgiving lunch to U.S. forces in Kuwait, our congressional delegation headed to Iraq — somewhere I’ve worked on and off since 2004, and the place of origin for thousands of Michiganders. 1/ Link to image 2/ We visited with the small number of U.S. forces focused on both Iraq & Syria, but our visit was largely to meet with the new Iraqi Government and with Iraqis of all stripes who are part of the mix of Shia, Sunni and Kurdish leaders needed for this place to succeed. Link to image 3/ After a day in Baghdad, we headed to Erbil to meet with officials from the ethnic and religious minorities that have had to bear the brunt of ISIS and the instability before and after. Link to image 4/ Leaders from the greater Iraqi Christian community, particularly the Chaldeans, travelled from from their villages and parishes to meet with us and describe what amounts to nearly half their population leaving Iraq over the last few years. 5/ We also met with Yazidi leaders, the group who ISIS specifically persecuted, raped and, for many, forced into literal slavery. All of these conversations were sobering, and so important to understand the experiences of our fellow Michiganders at home. 6/ I’ll have more to share about our delegation in the coming days, but for now, I’m happy to be making my way home.

Slotkin (D-MI-8) 11/25/2022: Retweet of @VetAffairsDems – “Happy Thanksgiving!   This year, Chairman @RepMarkTakano, @RepColinAllred, @RepSlotkin, and @RepKatiePorter served Thanksgiving meals to servicemembers stationed at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait – a small gesture of gratitude on behalf of the United States. Link to image” Also retweeted by Allred (D-TX-32), Porter (D-CA-45)

Allred (D-TX-32) 11/24/2022: Twitter thread – “I was honored to spend Thanksgiving in Camp Arifjan in Kuwait with our service members, and to hear directly about their current service and how as a member of @VetAffairsDems, I can ensure they have everything they need in civilian life once their service has ended. Link to image Our service members stationed abroad sacrifice so much, including being away from their families and friends on holidays. I know I join all my fellow North Texans in saying how thankful I am to these folks for all they’ve done for our nation. Have a happy & restful Thanksgiving! Link to image

Slotkin (D-MI-8) 11/24/2022: Twitter thread – “Today, I got to have Thanksgiving lunch with Michiganders serving in Kuwait. Our active duty military & guardsman from Michigan are working every day — including today — to give us the opportunity to be with our families & enjoy the holiday. 1/2 Link to image Afterwards, in what has become an annual tradition, members of the Veterans Affairs Committee served the meal to our troops. As you celebrate today with your loved ones, raise a glass to those who are missing their families and working for us, far from home. 2/2

Menendez (D-NJ) 11/24/2022: Tweet – “Proud to meet with our partners from the government of Kuwait. Home to one of the largest deployments of US servicemembers in the world, our partnership is enduring & multi-faceted. Look forward to our continued work together. Link to image   Link to quoted tweet

Morocco

Kinzinger (R-IL-16) 11/27/2022: Retweet of @visegrad24 – “International press reports that Belgian fans are rioting in Brussels after Belgium lost 2-0 to Morocco at the World Cup in Qatar an hour ago. Videos seem to suggest that it is rather Moroccan fans who are rioting. Link to video

Gearing up for a Third Intifada, or Has it Started Already? (Hard Questions Tough Answers- December 5th, 2022)

Q. The First Intifada transpired from late 1987 to 1993-94. The Second, 2000-2005. Is there some law of nature, or of the conflict, that dictates a Third Intifada now?

A. No law of nature, but lots of worrisome signs and developments. These begin with the weakening of Palestinian Authority rule in the West Bank as PA leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) ages, and conclude with the fascist, racist nature of Israel’s emerging new government, particularly where West Bank settlement and Jewish ‘values’ are concerned.

In between, there are lots of less compelling signs that, taken together, also become compelling. Gaza-based Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are concentrating their energies, with Iranian backing, on cultivating violence against Israelis on the West Bank while maintaining relative quiet in the Strip. They have ostensibly overriding economic and social reasons for quiet in Gaza: the income and stability generated by the employment of nearly 20,000 Gazan day-laborers in Israel. Remarkably, senior Hamas official Mahmoud a-Zahar stated in October, “I am against conducting periodic wars in Gaza [against Israel], but there must be periodic wars in the West Bank.”

Even without encouragement and bankrolling from Hamas and PIJ, or possibly with their behind-the-scenes backing, we are witnessing spontaneous efforts among young Palestinians on the West Bank to create new, ostensibly ‘unaffiliated’ paramilitary and terrorist units: first the ‘Lions’ Den’ in Nablus, and more recently the “Jenin Brigade’.

Not surprisingly, the level of violence has risen sharply; the IDF has killed more Palestinians on the West Bank in the past year than since 2016; 12 over the past week alone. The year 2022 has thus far witnessed a tripling of live fire incidents on the West Bank compared to 2021, with the vast majority involving attacks on the Israeli military, not civilians.

Sixty-five percent of IDF combat units have seen service in the West Bank since the current ‘Breaking the Waves’ campaign began in March of this year in response to a wave of lethal attacks inside Israel. Small wonder the IDF is planning to call up more cohorts of reserves in the months ahead, for deployment on the West Bank.

Apropos those young West Bank Palestinian men who are signing up to mysterious new ‘independent’ para-military units, note that most are too young to recall the Second Intifada, hence are not directly deterred by memories of the punishment the IDF inflicted on Palestinians back then in response to suicide bombings. Indeed, the young Palestinians are almost certainly energized and encouraged by the popular displays of support for the Palestinian cause and the enmity toward Israel that Israeli soccer fans have encountered on the streets of Doha over the past two weeks. Gulf governments may be prepared to work with Israel, but the soccer World Cup has been a reminder that the Arab ‘street’ remains loudly pro-Palestinian.

Q. How central are issues of morale and ideology to a new intifada?

A. On the Israeli side, not a few IDF troops in the West Bank are apparently inspired by prospective finance minister Bezalel Smotrich and prospective ‘national security’ minister Itamar Ben Gvir to adopt a more militant attitude toward Palestinians. And the ‘hill youth’ who populate the settlement outposts that are about to be legalized are also more likely now to adopt militia-like behavior. Their challenge? With official or semi-official backing, to expel Palestinians and take their land.

On the Palestinian side, the anger this inspires is bolstered by a generally militant attitude among youth who are increasingly despairing of the goal of a two-state solution. Here it is useful to recall Palestinian attitudes during the First Intifada, which caught the IDF completely by surprise after 20 years of ostensibly peaceful occupation.

At the time, I was drafted to adopt a non-Israeli journalist persona and interview newly-jailed Palestinian demonstrators, rock-throwers and their leaders. My mission? Find out how they describe their goals and demands to an ostensibly non-partisan outside observer. My finding? To a man, they all demanded a two-state solution. Nothing more.

Back then, Hamas was just emerging and PIJ was nonexistent. Both oppose a two-state solution and advocate Israel’s disappearance. Today, after 55 years of occupation and two intifadas, I have no doubt that a similar exercise would produce far more extreme demands from Palestinian youth.

Q. How are Abu Mazen’s age and weakening grip making matters worse?

Palestinian Authority security forces, which normally cooperate with the IDF and the Shin Bet in maintaining order in the West Bank, are losing both motivation and confidence in Abu Mazen’s capacity to back them up. They have to a large extent lost control over the northern West Bank where Jenin and Nablus are located, in favor of Hamas, PIJ and ostensibly independent armed Palestinian militias. This helps explain why the IDF needs so many reserve reinforcements.

Then too, thanks to the Abraham Accords the PA is no longer readily able to call upon Arab leaders to back up its demands vis-à-vis Israel. The Palestinian powers-that-be in Ramallah duly noted the message sent by the warm reception for Ben Gvir at the UAE ambassador’s annual independence day reception. That was a message to Washington, too: in view of your perceived withdrawal from the region, we may just have to live with the Israelis as they are: warts (of occupation and messianism) and all; we need them as insurance against Iran.

Q. Lets move to the anticipated effect of the incoming Israeli government on Palestinian readiness to escalate to a full-fledged intifada. What are the trigger issues?

A. Two widely anticipated actions likely to be undertaken at an early stage by the fascist-racist wing of the new Netanyahu government should be understood as serious provocations in Palestinian eyes: legalizing some 70 already violent outposts, and escalating the Jewish presence, presumably for prayer, on the Temple Mount.

Incoming minister of finance (with responsibility for settlements) Smotrich is planning to legalize the outposts, all in Area C (60 percent) of the West Bank. This will energize the settler movement to create additional outposts, and will energize the outpost settlers to project even greater violence against their Arab neighbors. That is one almost certain provocation.

As for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, a move trumpeted by Ben Gvir, Palestinians are already gearing up to oppose it violently. Note that the Temple Mount is understood, esplanade and all, by the Palestinians as constituting in its entirety a mosque--al-Aqsa Mosque--and that Jewish prayer in this, the third holiest site of Islam, even in open areas, is understood as a virtual casus belli. Here is Akrama Sabri, chief preacher of the al-Aqsa Mosque and former mufti of Jerusalem, declaring that the Palestinian people will not allow Israel “to violate the sanctity of the mosque”. Recall that it was Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount esplanade alone in September 2000 that triggered the Second Intifada.

Then too, opposition to Netanyahu’s new government on the part of that half of the Israeli public which did not vote for it, could be a factor contributing to escalation of a new intifada. Incoming prime minister Netanyahu is well aware that his extreme right-wing coalition partners plan to change not only the West Bank, but Israeli civil society as well: the education system, LGBTQ rights, Jewish pluralism, the right of return for Diaspora Jews, etc. Indeed, it is these demands by Ben Gvir, Smotrich and their allies that generate the most anger among secular, traditional and moderate Orthodox Israelis.

Accordingly, Netanyahu is reassuring Israel and the world that in these areas he will restrain his coalition partners. So where will he give Ben Gvir and Smotrich a freer hand? In East Jerusalem and the West Bank, where Israelis opposing Netanyahu rarely tread. If violence there escalates to an intifada, many Israelis won’t feel the difference: only reservists being called up, along with the contractors building the West Bank security fence ever higher and stronger in the hope of keeping growing Palestinian violence out of the Israeli heartland.

Q. Bottom line?

A. A new intifada will not be about a two-state solution. No one in either the West Bank or Israel expects the incoming government to in any way get involved in a new political process directed at ‘solving’ the conflict. No one in Washington expects a new peace process. Nor will any Palestinian officially declare an intifada. It will just evolve. It has probably already begun.

The First Intifada relied primarily on demonstrations and rock-throwing. The Second, on vicious suicide bombings among civilians deep inside Israel. What weapons will a Third Intifada employ? So far, Palestinian militants are mainly shooting at settlers and IDF soldiers, almost entirely within the confines of the West Bank. Food for thought.

Washington still possesses a lot of heavy levers of influence that it can potentially use against an Israel seemingly bent on causing a serious deterioration in its relations with the Palestinians. US Ambassador Tom Nides was cautious and circumspect in a recent interview with Israel TV Channel 12. Clearly it is too early to predict American reactions to Israeli fascist ministers and their decisions when the ministers have not yet even taken office.

Then too, the US reaction will be determined to no small extent by both the next round of elections in America and the reaction to an intifada by the Arab world.

Will Netanyahu’s Pyromaniac Allies Burn the West Bank?

Israel’s incoming government seems likely to escalate the already alarming violent instability in the West Bank.

Senior Israeli security officials are reportedly warning the politicians – both outgoing but mostly incoming – of further decline in the security situation in the West Bank, urging restraint and self-discipline.

Well, good luck to anyone trying to restrain and discipline Itamar Ben-Gvir, Bezalel Smotrich and their fellow travelers, as well as thousands of Israeli soldiers policing the West Bank, who see the November 1st election results as a license to brutalize Palestinians and Israeli anti-occupation activists.

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

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Legislative Round-Up- November 23, 2022

1. Bills & Resolutions
2. Media (general)
3. Media & Members (The Next Congress)
4. Members on the Record (Israel & Palestine)
5. Members on the Record (Iran)
6. Members on the Record (Saudi Arabia)
7. Members on the Record (other countries)

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

None.

Letters

(END IRAN DIPLOMACY) Scott letter to Biden: On 11/22/22, Sen. Scott (R-FL) sent a letter to President Biden urging him to “immediately announce that the negotiations will not move forward at any time during your administration.” The letter frames this demand in terms of standing with Iranian protesters, but its core argument is: “We must acknowledge the evil and murderous Iranian regime wants to produce nuclear weapons. The United States must protect ourselves, and all our allies and partners, including Israel, by working to ensure that threat never actualizes.”

Also see:

  • Scott press release
  • Scott Twitter thread, “The brave words and actions of the Iranian people are an inspiration to all freedom-loving people. (1/2) It’s time for @JoeBiden to stand with them in word and deed and announce that his administration will never resume nuclear deal negotiations with the evil Iranian regime. (2/2)”

(UN OVERSIGHT ON YEMEN) Omar-Castro et al letter to Blinken: On 11/18/22, Reps. Omar (D-MD) and Castro (D-TX) led a letter, co-signed by 11 Democratic House colleagues, to SecState Blinken, urging the Biden Administration to “use its influence at the United Nations Human Rights Council to work towards the establishment of an independent, international investigative mechanism on Yemen at the earliest opportunity…

Also see:

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APN Strongly Condemns Jerusalem Terror Attacks

Americans for Peace Now strongly condemns the two bombings in Jerusalem today.

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APN Joins First Amendment Supreme Court Amicus Brief

Americans for Peace Now (APN), together with three other American progressive pro-Israel pro-peace organizations, submitted an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a constitutional challenge to a law penalizing boycotts of Israel.

Submitted jointly by APN, J Street, T’ruah, and Partners for Progressive Israel and prepared by the Georgetown Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, the brief demonstrates how throughout history, Americans -- and particularly American Jews -- have engaged in boycotts as an expression of their ideological commitments. The brief argues that eliminating constitutional protection for boycott participation threatens Americans’ First Amendment rights.

None of the groups that submitted the brief support boycotting Israel, but they do support Americans’ constitutional right to boycott. APN does support boycotting products made in Israeli West Bank settlements, outside the lines of sovereign Israel.

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