FMEP Legislative Round-Up: December 22, 2023


1.Bills, Resolutions
2. Letters
3. Hearings & Markups
4. Selected Media & Press releases/Statements


  • 12/20/23 – New episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast, “The story of Attiya Nabaheen reveals the system that devalues Palestinian life”: On Gaza, Israeli law, and the Lack of Recourse, ft. FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin in conversation with FMEP Fellow Rabea Eghbariah, about his former client Attiya Nabaheen, a Palestinian teenager from Gaza who sued the Israeli Ministry of Defense for compensation for injuries caused by Israeli soldiers while he was walking, unarmed, on his family’s land in late 2014, during a time of ceasefire, or “status quo.” Deciding against Attiya, the Israeli Supreme Court “set a chilling precedent such that no one in Gaza can seek compensation for any damages caused by Israel,” as Rabea Eghbariah wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed. This conversation discusses the case and its implications for Gazans and Palestinians more broadly. After surviving four wars in Gaza, Attiya Nabaheen was killed, along with his family, in an Israeli airstrike on October 8th, 2023.
  • New from the Congressional Research Service: Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process (Updated 12/19/23)

NOTE: With Congress out of session there will (hopefully) be no Round-Up next week.


1. Bills, Resolutions & letters

Palestinians in the US

Targeting Iran

  • (MORE IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 6865: Introduced 12/19/23 by Lee (D-CA) and no cosponsors, “To provide for additional sanctions and other measures relating to Iran, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and the Judiciary.
  • (TARGETING IRAN AT THE IMF) HR 6840: Introduced 12/15/23 by Hill (R-AR) and Sherman (D-CA), To prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from engaging in transactions involving the exchange of Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund that are held by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

Reported out of  Committee & Placed on the Union Calendar 12/19/23 (as in, can be brought up for a vote at anytime)

  • (IRAN) HR 5921, the “No U.S. Financing for Iran Act of 2023.” Introduced 10/11/23 by Huizenga (R-MI) and currently having 30 cosponsors (all Repiblican), to “prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from issuing any licenses authorizing a U.S. financial institution to engage in transactions for trade with Iran, other than food, medicine, or medical devices benefitting Iranian civilians. The legislation also requires the Secretary to oppose International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance to Iran, and to ensure that IMF member companies do not exchange Special Drawing Rights held by Iran. H.R. 5921 further prohibits the Export-Import Bank from providing assistance involving the Iranian government, or an entity owned or controlled by the government.” Passed by the House Financial Services Committee 11/14/23 by a vote of 34 – 12.
  • (IRAN) HR 5923, the “Iran-China Energy Sanctions Act of 2023.” Introduced 10/11/23 by Lawler (R-NY) and having 10 cosponsors (all Republicans plus Gottheimer, D-NY), to “expand secondary sanctions involving Iran to cover all transactions between Chinese financial institutions and sanctioned Iranian banks that transact for the purchase of petroleum and petroleum products. The bill would also require an annual determination as to whether Chinese financial institutions have engaged in sanctionable conduct.”  Passed by the House Financial Services Committee 11/14/23 by a vote of 47 – 0.
  • (IRAN) HR 6245, the “Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act.” Introduced 11/6/23 by Hill (R-AR) and having 3 cosponsors (one Dem is Vargas, D-CA) to require the President “to report on the assets of certain Iranian government officials and terrorist leaders while also providing for the publication of those assets. This legislation further requires the Secretary of the Treasury to seek the closure of U.S. and foreign financial institution accounts connected with the assets.” Passed by the House Financial Services Committee 11/14/23 by a vote of 49 – 0.
  • (IRAN) HR 6365, the “Stopping Illicit Oil Shipments Act of 2023.” Introduced 11/13/23 by Waters (D-CA), to “require the insurance and reinsurance companies to include in their agreements for shipping coverage termination clauses that would be triggered when a flag state withdraws the registration of a vessel, often used as a method of disguising the transport of sanctioned oil.” Passed by the House Financial Services Committee 11/14/23 by a vote of 50 – 0.
  • (HELPING ETHNICALLY CLEANSE GAZA) HR 6367, the “Armed Conflict Migration Act of 2023.” Introduced 11/13/23 by Cleaver (D-MO), to “direct the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United States Executive Director at each international financial institution to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to provide financial assistance to countries that receive an influx of civilian, non-combatant displaced persons stemming from the armed conflict that has resulted from Hamas’s October 2023 terrorism in Israel, to be used for humanitarian aid for the displaced persons.” NOTE: This bill, in the name of providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, will directly enable/facilitate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip (while simultaneously framing this policy as support for “migration” – framing that would appear to treat Palestinians fleeing Gaza as voluntary migrants rather than refugees. NOTABLY: As amended on 11/15/23 in Committee, the bill was somewhat improved by adding that US should support such assistance “provided that such persons are not arbitrarily deprived of the ability to reenter the place from which they were displaced.” In principle this is an improvement on the original bill, which made no mention of any concern that displaced Palestinians might not be permitted to return home. In practice, the word “arbitrary” is doing a lot of work in this bill (it is not a challenge to imagine Israeli arguments for why banning return of Palestinians in Gaza is based on Israeli-defined criteria/objectives that are in no way arbitrary). Likewise, based on the experiences of the 1948 and 1967 Wars, Palestinian fears that, if they leave their homeland Israel will never let them return (and the world will stand by and allow Israel to do so), are clearly very well-founded. ALSO NOTE:  Since October 7th few members of Congress have shown any concern or empathy for Palestinian civilians in Gaza (for example, pressing for humanitarian aid for Gaza, or – crazy idea, I know – pressuing Israel to stop killing/injuring/starving civilians & destroying homes, hospitals, schools, etc).  Yet, when concern for Palestinian civilians is cynically harnassed to an initiative that directly serves Israel’s objective of thinning/eradicating the Palestinian population of Gaza, we suddenly see bipartisan support for passing/expediting legislation. Passed by the House Financial Services Committee 11/14/23 by a Voice Vote.
  • (TARGETING NGOs THAT SUPPORT PALESTINIAN RIGHTS) HR 6408: setting up a new category of lawfare to open the door to targeting any/all NGOs, but aimed initially at NGOs that deal with Palestinian rights. Introduced 11/14/23 by Kustoff (R-TN) and having 7 cosponsors (bipartisan), D-IL), “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to terminate the tax-exempt status of terrorist supporting organizations.” NOTE: As noted in the 11/17/23 edition of the Round-Up, US charitable organizations (*like all other US entities*) are already barred by law from providing material support for terror and already face intense scrutiny (for example, see the landmark Holy Land Foundation case). With this in mind, one must ask: what’s the real purpose of HR 6408? Some observers seem to assume that it is merely about virtue signaling and grandstanding, but careful reading of the text of HR 6408 (and the text of the bill as amended in Committee) strongly suggests something much more serious. Based on discussion in the Committee on 11/30/23, and based on the substitute text adopted by the committee, it is now clear that this legislation is aimed at legislating broad Executive authority to strip US groups of their non-profit status, with virtually no limitations, accountability, or recourse. As such, this new legislation, if enacted into law, would  represent a powerful weapon to impose mass harm on the U.S. non-profit sector. And to be clear: while this legislation is being introduced/promoted as a means to target 501(c)(3) “Hamas-supporting charities,” if enacted into law it could be used against 501(c)(3)’s working on a wide range of issues disfavored by the Administration in power. Passed by the House Ways & Means Committee 11/30/23 by a vote of 41 – 0. For details see the 12/1/23 edition of the Round-Up.


2. Letters

In name of supporting Israel and/or fighting antisemitism, Targeting Free Speech, Protest, Academia, Journalism. & Red Cross

  • 12/19/23: Free Beacon – ‘Profoundly Irresponsible’: Cruz Demands Answers [from Education Secretary Cardona] on Teachers’ Union’s Anti-Semitic ‘Teach-In’ [letter text] – “I write to you to express my deep concern regarding the December 6, 2023 ‘teach-in’ conducted by at least seventy K-12 public school teachers in Oakland, California. As you are undoubtedly aware, this unauthorized effort to disseminate ‘educational resources on Palestine’ was organized by an activist faction within the Oakland Education Association Teachers’ Union and the event showcased pervasive anti-Israel hatred. Given that the Oakland Unified School District receives tens of millions of dollars in federal aid annually, this activity raises serious questions regarding the prudent use of federal taxpayer resources.”
  • 12/18/23: @EdWorkforceCmte Slams Cardona for Failing to Protect Jewish Students [letter text] — from the press release – “Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and all 24 Committee Republicans sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona blasting the Department’s decision to delay rulemaking under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 originally expected this month amidst a national crisis of campus antisemitism. The rulemaking would protect Jewish students by implementing President Trump’s December 2019 Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism. (emphasis added)”  Reminder: Trump’s Executive Order would endorce the IHRA definition of antisemitism – including its examples conflating almost any/all meaningful criticism or protest of Israeli policies/Zionism with antisemitism – on US campuses. Also see:  House Republicans press Education Secretary over efforts to combat antisemitism (Jewish Insider 12/19/23)

Concern about What Israel/Israelis is/are Doing to Palestinians

Support for Israel & Hostages

Using Oct 7 as Hook for Bigger Issues

  • 12/19/23: Ernst, Stefanik Prevent U.S. Tech from Equipping CCP Spyware [letter text] — “The U.S. Department of Defense should not be recommending approval of export control licenses for U.S. technology that advances DJI’s capabilities, which are actively being leveraged by our adversaries in attacks against our allies and partners, from Eastern Europe to Israel. In addition to aiding CCP’s in the brutal oppression of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang, DJI drones have been exported to America’s adversaries for military purposes, in violation of U.S. export laws and sanctions. Most recently, open-source reporting has shown that on October 7, 2023, Hamas used DJI drones to disable Israeli surveillance systems and drop munitions on Israeli forces on the Gaza border…

Targeting Iran


3. Hearings & Markups



4. Selected Media & Press releases/statements

Israel/Palestine & War on Gaza