*Brought to you in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Round-Up was born!
- The End of Oslo Is an Opportunity – The old peace process on Israel-Palestine had long ago run aground. It’s time to rethink. (By Lara Friedman & Khaled Elgindy, published April in Foreign Policy)
- New table – looking at all 50 states, documenting which ones have passed Israel-focused anti-boycott/anti-free laws, and of these, which ones explicitly conflate Israel and settlements.
(TRYING TO FORCE VOTE ON ANTI-FREE SPEECH BILL) H. Res. 314: Introduced 4/10 by Zeldin (R-NY) and Kustoff (R-TN), “Providing for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 336) to make improvements to certain defense and security assistance provisions and to authorize the appropriation of funds to Israel, to reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015, and to halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Rules. So what is this?
- This resolution is an attempt by Zeldin to force House leaders to allow a vote on HR 336, which is the House version of S. 1 – the bill that caused much ado in the Senate back in January. Both bills are a grab-bag of Mideast-related measures, including the Combating BDS Act (CBA), a bill that seeks to offer political cover and encouragement for U.S. states to pass brazenly unconstitutional laws compelling people and businesses to affirmatively give up their right to political free speech with respect to criticizing Israel as a condition for doing business with the state.
- For background on the controversy around S. 1 and the CBA, see here.
- As explained in a press release (and also in this here), the plan is as follows: “Today, Rep. Kustoff and Rep. Zeldin will introduce a rule providing for floor consideration of H.R. 336, the McCaul anti-BDS bill. In May, upon the rule ripening, Whip Scalise will file a discharge petition and corral signatures on the Kustoff/Zeldin rule. Upon receiving 218 signatures, the McCaul bill will receive floor consideration.”
- This resolution is the latest indication that the GOP has (correctly) identified BDS as the gift that keeps on giving. Why so? Because faced with pressure on Israel-Palestine from the GOP, rather than stand up and fiercely defend the legitimacy of the wider spectrum of views on Israel-Palestine, including support for boycotts as a tool of protest, Congressional Democrats and party leaders/spokespeople continue to be unable/unwilling to go beyond reciting the catechism of support for the two-state solution (a recitation of faith that, as a response to what is actually happening on the ground and in terms of both U.S. and Israeli policy at present, is meaningless), and at the very outside, to passively-aggressively defending free speech on Israel while at the same time punching left at those who support boycotts of Israel and/or settlements.
(EXPLOITING YEMEN RESOLUTION TO GRANDSTAND ON BDS) S. J. Res. 7: As noted above, so long as Congressional Democrats’ remain unable/unwilling to defend the legitimacy of progressive views on Israel-Palestine that go beyond formulaic support for negotiations and the two-state solution, including support for boycotts as a tool of protest, BDS will be the gift that keeps on giving for the GOP. This reality was on display last week when House leadership brought S. J. Res. 7 to the floor (this resolution was passed by the Senate on 3/13 – for details see the 3/15/19 edition of the Round-Up). In brief:
- The GOP (whose members were largely going to vote against the measure no matter what happened) tried to add to the measure broad anti-BDS language (offered by McCaul, R-TX).
- It should be recalled, as background, that the last time this same resolution came to the House floor, the GOP used the same tactic, demanding a vote on an amendment condemning anti-Semitism, under the (mistaken) belief that Democrats would oppose the amendment (and thus would give the GOP fuel to say Democrats are soft on anti-Semitism). What happened instead was that Democrats voted unanimously for the amendment, Republicans voted against it, and then Republicans followed up by voting against the whole thing (as in, the GOP ended up voting twice against language condemning anti-Semitism). And, adding insult to irony, the inclusion of the anti-Semitism amendment gave the Senate GOP an excuse to reject the bill. For details of that last round, see the 2/15/19 edition of the Round-Up.
- This time around the situation is a bit different (same political “stunt,” as Rep. Lowey, D-NY, corrected described it; slightly different circumstances). Because unlike around the question of anti-Semitism, there is genuine controversy among Democrats regarding how to talk about/deal with BDS.
- In the end – whether due to this controversy, or due to disgust over the political game-playing (or both), Democrats voted overwhelming against the McCaul language (the final vote was 194-228, with only 5 Democrats voting in favor)…in what will be a vote that will fuel GOP claims that Democrats are soft on BDS…
- To get a taste of just how much of a gift this is to the GOP, check out the painful floor exchange between Scalise (R-LA) and Hoyer (D-MD) on 4/4, in which Hoyer painfully tries to defend Democrats not yet moving on S. 1/HR 336, while simultaneously trying to make clear that there is no daylight between Democrats and Republicans on BDS.
- Also see gleeful GOP reactions: Democrats Fail Israel by Voting No on BDS Condemnation (Scalise, R-LA); McCaul Speaks on Democrats Failure to Oppose Global BDS Movement on House Floor (McCaul, R-TX); “It’s unfortunate my Democrat colleagues wouldn’t accept a common-sense amendment condemning the BDS movement. Republicans will continue to support Israel, and oppose those who threaten their sovereignty” (Loudermilk, R-GA); Free Beacon: McCarthy: ‘Sad Day’ When Dems Reject Israel Amendment to Yemen Bill…
- …And Democratic statements defending voting now, while insisting they agree with the GOP on BDS: Malinowski, D-NJ,Hoyer, D-MD, Schneider (D-IL), Frankel (D-FL), Spanberger (D-VA)
- The floor debate on the amendment is here. Also see: Yemen war powers vote turns partisan on Israel language (Jewish Insider, 4/4/19)
(RESTORE US AID TO WBG) S. Res. 171: Introduced 4/11 by Merkley (D-OR) and 5 Democratic cosponsors, “A resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding restoring United States bilateral assistance to the West Bank and Gaza.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Text of the resolution is here.
(HOORAY FOR ISRAELI HUMANITARIAN WORK IN SYRIA!) H. Res. 310/S. Res. 153: Introduced 4/10 in the House by Reps. Mast (R-FL) and Sherman (D-CA), and in the Senate by Sens. Lankford (R-OK) and Casey (D-PA), “Reaffirming the unique collaboration among United States nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including faith-based organizations, and the Israel Defense Forces to deliver humanitarian assistance to Syrians.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Mast’s press release is, entitled, “Mast, Sherman Introduce Resolution Supporting Israel’s Humanitarian Aid Efforts in Syria,” is here. Lankford’s press release is here.
(DON’T TREAD ON ISRAELI-AMERICANS!) S. Res. 143: Introduced 4/4 by Cramer (R-ND), Rubio (R-FL) and Cruz (R-TX), “A resolution recognizing Israeli-American culture and heritage and the contributions of the Israeli-American community to the United States.” Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Press release is here. The focus of the resolution (in terms of its actual “resolved” clauses” is centered on the suggestion that Israeli-Americans need protection from various forms of discrimination in the U.S. “that aim to marginalize or disenfranchise” them – the “whereas” clauses explain this with a statement that seems to suggest, yet again, an intention to quash campus free speech that is critical of Israel: “Whereas Israeli-Americans, including those on college campuses in the United States, have been subject to forms of discrimination and desire to connect with their culture and celebrate their heritage free from bigotry and bias.”
(PROMOTING ISRAEL-GREECE-CYPRUS TRILATERAL PARTNERSHIP, SMACKING DOWN TURKEY) S.1102: Introduced 4/10 by Menendez (D-NJ) and Rubio (R-FL), “A bill to promote security and energy partnerships in the Eastern Mediterranean, and for other purposes,” aka, the “Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019.” Press releases here, laying out what the bill would do: “Lift the prohibition on arms sales to the Republic of Cyprus; Authorize the establishment of a United States-Eastern Mediterranean Energy Center to facilitate energy cooperation between the U.S., Israel, Greece, and Cyprus; Authorize $3,000,000 in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance for Greece; Authorize $2,000,000 for International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance for Greece and $2,000,000 for Cyprus; Impede the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey, as long as Turkey continues with plans to purchase the S-400 air defense system from the Russian Federation, a purchase that would be sanctionable under U.S. law; and Require the Administration to submit to Congress a strategy on enhanced security and energy cooperation with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as reports on malign activities by Russia and other countries in the region.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
(MORE IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 2118: Introduced 4/8 by McCaul (R-TX) and having no cosponsors, “To expand sanctions against Iran with respect to the ballistic missile program of Iran, to impose additional sanctions with respect to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, and for other purposes,” aka, “the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act.” McCaul press release is here. Referred to the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, and Ways and Means.
(NO $$ FOR MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAN) S. 1039: Introduced 4/4 by Udall (D-NM) and having 11 cosponsors (one GOP – Paul, R-KY), “A bill to limit the use of funds for kinetic military operations in or against Iran,” aka, the “Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2019.” Bill text is here. Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Press releases are here and here.
(CLAMPING DOWN ON IRAN ACTIVITIES IN THE PERSIAN GULF) HR 2280: Introduced 4/10 by Ruiz (D-CA) and no cosponsors, “To authorize assistance and training to increase maritime security and domain awareness of foreign countries bordering the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, or the Mediterranean Sea in order to deter and counter illicit smuggling and related maritime activity by Iran, including illicit Iranian weapons shipments.” Referred to the Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs.
(ACCOUNTABILITY FOR KHASHOGGI) HR 2037: Introduced 4/2 by Malinkowski (D-NJ) and having 3 Democratic cosponsors, “To encourage accountability for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.” Referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Intelligence (Permanent Select), and the Judiciary. Malinowski’s press release is here.
(ADD MENA TO COMMISION FOR PRESERVATION OF US HERITAGE ABROAD) HR 2194: Introduced 4/9 by Zeldin (R-NY), Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and McCaul (R-TX), “To amend chapter 3123 of title 54, United States Code, to protect United States Heritage Abroad.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Press release is here, noting that the bill will “expand the current mandate of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad to include the Middle East and North Africa and provide unimpeded access to the protected cemeteries, monuments and buildings within its purview.” It notes that “...threats to these types of sites extend into the Middle East and North Africa, as we witness Christians and Jews being denied access to holy sites, such as the burial site of Rabbi Ephraim Alnaqua, one of the most prominent rabbis in Jewish history in Algeria, and a Christian graveyard in Kermanshah, Iran.”
(KSA HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD) S. Res.169: Introduced 4/11 by Merkley (D-OR) and 8 cosponsors (7D, 1I), “A resolution requesting a statement under section 502B(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 with respect to violations of human rights by the Government of Saudi Arabia.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Merkley’s press release is here; text of the resolution (in the Congressional Record) is here.
(END US ROLE IN YEMEN WAR) H. J. Res.56: Introduced 4/10 by Amash (R-MI) and no cosponsors, “Directing the President to terminate the use of the United States Armed Forces with respect to the military intervention led by Saudi Arabia in the Republic of Yemen.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
(NO NUKE COOPERATION W/O CONGRESS KNOWING) S. 1127: Introduced 4/10 by Markey (D-MA), Rubio (R-FL), Kaine (D-VA) and Young (R-IN), to “amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to require the Secretary of Energy to report to Congress regarding applications for authorizations to engage or participate in the development or production of special nuclear material outside the United States, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Text is here. The press release for the measure notes, “The Senators are introducing the legislation after it was revealed that the Trump administration recently granted six secret authorizations that allow companies to begin providing nuclear technology, including the transfer of knowledge and expertise, to Saudi Arabia.”
(TURKEY – LET OUR PEOPLE GO) S. 1075: Introduced 4/9 by Wicker (R-MS) and 5 bipartisan cosponsors, “A bill to advocate for the release of United States citizens and locally employed diplomatic staff unlawfully detained in Turkey, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Press release is here.
(TRACKING ANTI-SEMITISM) Balderson letter to DOJ: On 4/1 Rep. Balderson (R-OH) led a letter, signed by 16 fellow GOP House members, U.S. Attorney General William Barr asking the Department of Justice assistance in identifying the scope of the rise in anti-Semitism in the U.S. and asking DOJ to track a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes across the country. The letter includes a list of examples of anti-Semitic “abhorrent acts or threats” in recent months: “Students on college campuses across the country have been targeted for their Jewish beliefs and ethnic background. In August 2016, hundreds of demonstrators chanted “Jews will not replace us” at an extremist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In October 2018, 11 people were murdered and seven more were injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the US House of Representatives, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar [MN-05] has spurred further concern with her anti-Israel commentary and use of anti-Semitic tropes…” Press release is here.
(COPTS IN EGYPT) Hill letter to Trump: On 4/9, Rep. Hill (R-AR) sent a letter to President Trump urging him, in his upcoming meeting with Egyptian president al-Sisi, to raise concerns about the plight of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority. Press release is here.
(CONCERNS ABOUT AL-SISI) Senators letter to Pompeo: On 4/8, Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Risch (R-ID), along with 15 bipartisan Senate colleagues sent a letter to SecState Pompeo encouraging him to raise key issues and concerns with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at their scheduled bilateral meeting later this week, specifically concerns over the ongoing detention of American citizens by the Egyptian government, Egypt’s deepening relationship with the Kremlin including the reported purchase of Russian fighter jets, and the concerning erosion of political and worsening human rights in recent years. Press release is here.
(APRIL CORLEY CASE/EGYPT) Lowey letter to el-Sisi: On 4/5, Rep. Lowey (D-NY) sent a letter to Egyptian President el-Sisi urging Egypt to reach a “fair, just, and swift” resolution to the case involving April Corley, an American who was gravely injured in Egypt in 2015 after her tour group was attacked by Egyptian armed forces. Press release is here.
(ACCOUNTABILITY FOR KHASHOGGI) Trone-Connolly letter to Trump: On 4/5, the week marking the 6-month anniversary of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Reps, Trone (D-MD) and Connolly (D-VA) led a letter to President Trump, co-signed by 40 House members, calling on the president to report to Congress immediately the determination of responsibility in the death of Jamal Khashoggi over six months ago. The letter notes that this report, required by law under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, was requested on October 10 by then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Ranking Member Robert Menendez. On February 8, 2019, the date the report was due, the administration declined to deliver the legally-mandated investigation.
(QUESTIONING KSA NUKE DEAL) Menendez/Rubio letter to Secretary Perry: On 4/2, Senators Rubio (R-FL) and Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Perry expressing concern/asking for clarifications about the Administration’s approval of multiple licenses for U.S. companies to sell nuclear energy technology and support to Saudi Arabia, despite the absence of a framework pact for bilateral nuclear cooperation (known as a “123 Agreement”) with Saudi Arabia. Press release is here.
(CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN YEMEN) Lieu letter to Pompeo & to Shanahan: On 4/9, Rep. Lieu (D-CA) sent letters to SecState Pompeo and acting SecDef Shanahan seeking information (answers to a list of specific questions) regarding the degree to which the U.S. is assisting Saudi-led military actions in Yemen. Press release is here.
(TRUMP – PLEASE SIGN YEMEN RES) Khanna et al letter to Trump: On 4/4, Rep. Khanna (D-CA) led a bipartisan, bicameral letter — co-signed by Lee (R-UT), Pocan (D-WI), Paul (R-KY), Sanders (I-VT), Gaetz (R-FL), Jaypal (D-WA), Massie (R-KY), and Lee (D-CA) — urging him “to sign into law Senate Joint Resolution 7, which invokes the War Powers Act of 1973 to end unauthorized U.S. military participation in the Saudi-led coalition’s armed conflict against Yemen’s Houthi forces, initiated in 2015 by the Obama Administration.” Press release is here.
(US TROOPS OUT OF SYRIA) Paul-Khanna letter to Trump: On 4/3, Sen. Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Khanna (D-CA) led a letter to President Trump supporting the President’s declared intent remove U.S. troops from Syria, and urging him to do so within the next six months. The letter was co-signed by a remarkably diverse group of senators and House members: Lee (R-UT), Lieu (D-CA), Amash (R-MI), Biggs (R-AZ), Duncan (R-SC), Gosar (R-AZ), Massie (R-KY), Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Omar (DFL-MN), and Posey (R-FL). Press release is here.
(IRAN MUST LET OUR PEOPLE GO) Kaine/Coons letter to Trump: On 4/1 Senators Kaine (D-VA) and Coons (D-DE), sent a letter to President Trump urging him to use all leverage possible to help secure the release of the American citizens and residents imprisoned in Iran and elsewhere, and calling on the Trump Administration to form a multinational task force to help secure the release of those wrongfully detained in Iran, to raise this issue in negotiations with nations seeking conditional waivers from U.S. economic sanctions, and to hold a briefing on these efforts no later than April 30th. Press release is here.
4/10: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing entitled, “Review of the FY 2020 State Department Budget Request.” The sole witness was SecState Pompeo (statement). Video of the hearing is here. Notably, when pressed by Sen. Kaine (D-VA) — as a follow-up to questioning from Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) in the hearing below — regarding U.S. policy regarding a possible annexation of the West Bank by Israel, as well as on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Pompeo spun, twisted, filibustered, and generally refused to respond (starting at 02:38:52 in the video). When Kaine asked Pompeo directly, “Do you think the two-state solution is an old idea whose time has gone?” Pompeo responded, “It’s certainly been an idea that’s been around a long time, Senator.” Pompeo went on to say, “I would argue that millions of man hours have been spent to try and build out a two-state solution and it hasn’t worked to date…” When pressed further by Kaine on whether two states is still the goal of the United States, Pompeo chuckled and responded, “Yeah – no – You can probably ask me fifteen other ways too, Senator, I’m gonna allow this process that we have – that we’re engaged with the parties…” Kaine followed up with: “How about if I say it this way: it has been a policy of the United States. I agree with that. I think it should be the policy. Do you agree with me or disagree with me?” Pompeo responded, “I think ultimately the individuals in the region will sort this out. We want good things for the Palestinians.” [well worth watching the whole exchange]. Also see Cruz (R-TX) press release: Sen. Cruz Calls on Trump Administration to Finally Stop Implementing the Obama Iran Nuclear Deal, Halt Waivers for Nuclear Work and Oil Sales
4/9: The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs held a hearing entitled, “Review of the FY2020 Budget Request for the State Department.” The sole witness was SecState Pompeo (statement). Video of the hearing is here. A great deal of the hearing Q&A dealt with the Middle East. Perhaps most notably, Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) sought an answer from Pompeo regarding U.S. policy on Israel and what the US policy would be if Netanyahu moved ahead with annexation of the West Bank – Pompeo refused to answer. Van Hollen followed up asking if, in a one-state solution, he believed Palestinians should have full and equal political and legal rights – Pompeo again declined to answer (see video clip here, full Q&A between Van Hollen and Pompeo starts at 01:45 in the video – well worth watching in full). Also worth noting Pompeo’s characterization of the Trump Plan: “Our proposal will absolutely have as one of its core undertakings making life better for the people that live in the Gaza [sic] and the West Bank” [as I’ve previously noted, the Trump Administration’s actions suggest that the economic initiatives in the Trump plan will tie together making life ”better” for the Palestinians with providing U.S. support for settlers.] Also, Durbin (D-IL) asked Pompeo about the Trump policy shift on the Golan (starting at 01:30 in the video) – in his response, Pompeo articulated the new U.S. policy that re-writes international law and shreds the law of war to argue that a country may hold on to land gained in a defensive war (rather than an offensive war).
4/9: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled, “Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism.” The witnesses were: Eileen Hershenov, ADL (Statement); Mohammad Abu-Salha (Statement); Eva Paterson, Equal Justice Society, (Statement); Neil Potts, Facebook (Witness Statement); Alexandria Walden Counsel, Google (Statement); Mort A. Klein, ZOA (Statement); and Candace Owens, Turning Point USA (no written statement); Kristen Clarke, National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Washington, DC (Statement). Video is here. Thanks to the presence of Klein and Owens – who were aided, abetted, and egged on by GOP members of the committee – the hearing was a farce (worth watching just to see how low things have sunk).
4/9: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled, “FY 2020 Foreign Assistance Budget and Policy Priorities.” The sole witness was USAID Administrator Mark Green (statement). Video is here.
4/3: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism held a hearing entitled, “Assessing U.S. Policy Priorities in the Middle East.” Witnesses were: Elisa Catalano Ewers, CNAS (statement), Dan Benaim, CAP (statement), and Danielle Pletka, AEI (statement). Video is here.
Engel (D-NY), Lowey (D-NY), Deutch (D-FL), and Schneider (D-IL) 4/12: Statement on a Two-State Solution
Zeldin (R-NY) 4/11: Tweeting article about Omar Barghouti being denied entry, commenting, “This foreigner is filled w/anti-Israel & anti-Semitic hatred. We should reject Omar Barghouti’s hate, reject the BDS movement, & reject his many examples of blatant anti-Semitism.”
Zeldin (R-NY) 4/11: Rep. Zeldin Applauds Denial of Entry into US for BDS Founder Omar Barghouti
Pocan (D-WI) and Jaypal (D-WA) 4/11: Pocan and Jayapal Denounce Netanyahu Annexation Threats, Urge Adherence to Human Rights and International Law
Duncan (R-SC) 4/11: Duncan Congratulates Benjamin Netanyahu
Wright (R-TX) 4/10: Tweet – “Netanjahu [sic] wins a historic victory. I look forward to continuing to work with and support the State of Israel”
Cramer (R-ND) 4/10: Tweet, “Congratulations to @IsraeliPM on his well-earned victory and to the people of Israel for exercising their right to vote in a free and transparent election. Israel’s democratic system is why they remain our closest ally in the region.”
Scott (R-FL) 4/10: Tweet, “Happy to hear that @Airbnb has decided to drop the ban on listings of Jewish-owned properties in the West Bank. This is a win for the people of Israel and it was the right decision. We will not support any businesses that boycott Israel.”
Hern (R-OK) 4/10: Twitter thread: “This weekend marks 100 days of @HouseDemocrats in the majority. In those 100 days, they’ve failed to set a clear platform & failed to do the business of governing.” Including “Enabling #Antisemitism, @SpeakerPelosi refused to condemn the hateful remarks made by @Ilhan (on MULTIPLE occasions), allowing anti-Semitic rhetoric a free pass in the halls of Congress. America has always been & will continue to be Israel’s strongest friend.”
Graham (R-SC) 4/10: Graham Congratulates Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu [“Bibi is a strong leader, and America has no better friend and ally than Prime Minister Netanyahu.”]
Cruz (R-TX) 4/10: Tweet, “Israelis went to the polls yesterday and demonstrated yet again that they are the Middle East’s sole, thriving democracy. I congratulate my good friend @netanyahu on securing reelection as Israel’s Prime Minister.” + “I look forward to continuing to work with him to strengthen the unbreakable US-Israel relationship and enhancing the national security of both our nations.”
Van Hollen (D-MD) and Connolly (D-VA) 4/10: Op-ed in WaPo, “Congress cannot afford to ignore Netanyahu’s embrace of the far right” [“…Congress must pass legislation calling for the protection of the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians and opposing any actions that sabotage a future two-state solution — including any expansions of settlements to new areas and any effort to unilaterally annex any or all of the West Bank. Congress must also restore basic assistance to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and support schools and hospitals in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”]
Feinstein (D-CA) 4/10: Feinstein: Israeli Election Could Push Two-State Solution Further Out of Reach
Spano (R-FL) 4/10: “I rise today to recognize and congratulate the nation of Israel for holding its national elections yesterday. As the sole democracy in the Middle East, it not only sets an example to its neighbors, but it is a key ally in spreading peace, democracy, and prosperity throughout the world. I also want to recognize the thousands of people who traveled to Washington recently for this year’s AIPAC conference. It has been an honor to work with so many of my colleagues on legislation that will not only help secure Israel militarily but also allow it to thrive economically. Countries in the region should take note of what is possible when they work in good faith and, most importantly, seek peace. As NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in this Chamber last week, it is good to have friends. I am honored to count Israel as one of our closest and greatest friends. I look forward to working with a united Congress to support the Jewish state and to spread democracy wherever tyranny exists.”
Kennedy (R-LA) 4/9: “The first thing we have to do is to build a wall…You cannot seal a 1,900-mile piece of real estate without having a barrier. It can’t be done. If you don’t believe me, ask Israel. That is why it has a 400-plus-mile border wall with the West Bank…Border walls work. All border walls say is: If you come into our country, come in legally because we believe in the rule of law.”
Feinstein (D-CA) 4/9: Feinstein on U.S. Barring 16 Saudis from Entering United States
Rubio (R-FL) 4/9: Rubio Urges Full Accountability for Jamal Khashoggi’s Assassination
House GOP 4/9: 100 Days of Extremism: Enabling Anti-Semitism
Deutch (D-FL) 4/9: Embracing approach that it is illegitimate to differentiation between Israel and settlements, “Since this misguided policy was first announced, I have engaged with Airbnb executives and urged them to reconsider their misguided and discriminatory plan…I applaud the company’s move to reverse that position…Just like other boycott efforts, applying a double standard to Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank does nothing for the peace process, and in fact harms economic opportunities of both Israelis and Palestinians…I hope this reversal serves as a reminder for other multinational companies that taking action that discriminates and plays into the hands of the anti-Israel BDS movement is wrong, harmful, and bad for business.”
Graham (R-SC) 4/6: “South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said Saturday he wanted the United States to enter into a mutual defense agreement with Israel. Graham said at the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas Saturday that it’s time for the US to declare to the world how important its relationship is with Israel. The pact would show the international community that ‘an attack against Israel would be considered an attack against the United States,’ he said.”
Deutch (D-FL) 4/4: Chairman Deutch Statement on Yemen War Powers Resolution Sent to President’s Desk
Engel (D-NY) 4/4: Engel Floor Remarks on Yemen War Powers Resolution
McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 4/1: McMorris Rodgers Appointed as Republican Representative to the United Nations General Assembly [“…I will proudly lead to support our friends and allies like Israel, and use this opportunity to fight socialism and advocate for the advancement of freedom, democracy, and individual rights around the globe.”]
Wicker (R-MS) 4/1: Wicker Supports U.S. Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty in the Golan Heights