FMEP Legislative Round-Up: July 3, 2020


1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters
2. FY21 NDAA — Senate
3. Hearings & Mark-Ups
4. On the Record

*Brought to you in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Round-Up was born!

Heads Up! On 6/29, the Congressional Research Service published a lengthy explainer on annexation.

1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters

(FY21 NDAA) S. 4049: Introduced 6/24 by Inhofe (R-OK) the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.” The bill was considered this week on the Senate floor. Details in Section 2, below.

(FY21 NDAA) HR 6395: Introduced 3/26 by Smith (D-WA), “the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021”. Marked up in subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee 6/223-6/23; marked up in full HASC 7/1-7/2. Stay tuned to next week’s Round-Up for full details of Middle East provisions in the bill as adopted by the full committee.

(US SHOULD GIVE ISRAEL PGMs) S. Res. 640: Introduced 7/1 by Rounds (R-SD), “A resolution to express the sense of the Senate on United States-Israel cooperation on precision-guided munitions.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. NOTE: This same text was added to the Senate’s FY21 NDAA (as part of an amendment in the nature of a substitute that is now the base text of the bill) – for details see Part 2, below.

(HAPPY 75th BDAY, UN) H. Res. 1024: Introduced 6/25 by Lee (D-CA) and having 27 Democratic cosponsors, a resolution “Recognizing the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. With respect to the Middle East, the resolution’s “whereas” clauses include one noting that UN peacekeeper (among other things)  “play an important role in ensuring that calm and stability prevail along the Israel-Lebanon border.”

(WATER COOPERATION) S. XXXX: This week, a pdf of a piece of new legislation showed up on the website of McSally (R-AZ) [it shows up in a search of the website, but there is no press release or anything else offering context or details). This bill is entitled, the “‘Water-Energy Technology Demonstration and Deployment Act.” The legislation would establish a Center mandated (among other things) to establish or partner with a water technology accelerator that has “an emphasis on binational collaboration between the United States and Middle Eastern countries, such as Israel.” It goes on to stipulate with respect to partnerships priority shall be given to an institution of higher education that “is located in a State that has an established presence in Israel for the promotion of trade.” [As in, this legislation appears to be geared to incentivizing/rewarding Arab countries for normalization of ties with Israel]


(INVESTIGATE YALE MIDEAST PROGRAM FOR ANTISEMITISM) DesJarlais letter to DeVos: On 7/2, Rep. DesJarlais (R-TN) sent a letter to Secretary of Education DeVos alleging Title VI violations at the Middle East Studies Center at Yale University, based on accusations of antisemitism. The letter – which was announced on the website of the far-right-wing Middle East Forum (the organization that brought the world the “Israel Victory Project,” recommending the total defeat and humiliation of Palestinians as the path to “peace”), which appears to have a in this and a number of similar congressional complaints that have been filed since President Trump issued his Executive Order against Antisemitism in late 2019. In all of these cases (which in addition to Yale have so far targeted Berkeley, CUNY Law, University of Arizona, NYU, Claremont Colleges, University of Michigan, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Columbia, Georgetown, and Middle East Studies National Resource Centers nationwide) the alleged antisemitism is related to criticism and/or activism challenging Israeli policies (as opposed to hateful acts or speech targeting Jews because they are Jews). This was exactly what many predicted was the true purpose (and would be the result) of Trump’s Executive Order on antisemitism. For details of all the Title VI complaints alleging antisemitism related to criticism of Israel) that I know of, see my regularly updated tracker here (and if you know of cases that are not on the tracker, please share!).

(CONCERNS ABOUT ANNEXATION) Peters letter to Bibi/Gantz: On 6/26, Sen. Peters (D-MI) sent a letter (no cosigners) to Israeli PM Netanyahu and PM-in-waiting Gantz expressing “serious concerns about the reported plan for Israel to annex portions of the West Bank.” Among else, the letter notes: “I am honored to represent vibrant Palestinian and Jewish American communities in Michigan. Palestinian Americans are proud of their homeland and they deserve to see the day when an indepedent Palestinian nation can be established in peace, side-by-side with the Jewish state of Israel as its neighbor. [The letter includes no mention of any possible consequences if Israel goes ahead with annexation]. Peters’ 6/26 tweet announcing the letter is here.

(DEAR HOUSE DEMS: OPPOSE ANNEXATION) Joint List letter to House Dems: On 6/24, 15 members of Israel’s Knesset, all from the Joint List (the list primarily but not exclusively made up of Arab-Palestinians), sent a letter to House Democrats urging them to oppose Israeli annexation of West Bank territory. The letter asserts that “No congressionally appropriated aid to Israel should be allowed to be used in enabling annexation or in furtherance of illegal settlements and human rights violations in the Occupied Territories.” In the case where there is annexation and that annexation is recognized by the Trump Administration, the letter urges any future Administration to “immediately and unequivocally revoke that recognition to remove the insulting and apartheidist Trump Plan from the table” and urges members of Congress to “take a firm stance against this action [annexation] and use all of the tools at your disposal, legislative and public, to stop it.” Also see: Middle East Eye – Palestinian-Israeli Joint List urges US Democrats to stop annexation

(DESIGNATE HEZBOLLAH A TERRORIST ORG) Bipartisan/Bicameral letter to EU: On 6/24, Senators Blackburn (R-TN) and Rosen (D-NV) and Reps Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Deutch (F-FL) sent a letter to EU member states, care-of the EU Delegation to the US, commending/welcoming individual EU states’ actions targeting Hezbollah, but urging the EU as a whole “to designate the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization a terrorist organization.” Blackburn press release is here. Also see: JNS – Bipartisan letter calls on EU to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as terror group

(WARNING: CONSEQUENCES FOR ANNEXATION) Ocasio-Cortez et al letter to Pompeo: On 6/20, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) led a letter sent to SecState Pompeo warning of concrete consequences for Israel if it carries out annexation of West Bank territory. The letter observes: “Should the Israeli government move forward with these plans, they would actively harm prospects for a future in which all Israelis and Palestinians can live with full equality, human rights and dignity, and would lay the groundwork for Israel becoming an apartheid state, as your predecessor John Kerry warned in 2014.” The letter goes on to warn: “Should the Israeli government continue down this path, we will work to ensure non-recognition of annexed territories as well as pursue legislation that conditions the $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are not supporting annexation in any way. We will include human rights conditions and the withholding of funds for the offshore procurement of Israeli weapons equal to or exceeding the amount the Israeli government spends annually to fund settlements,as well as the policies and practices that sustain and enable them.” In addition to AOC, the letter was signed by 12 House members — McCollum (D-MN), Jayapal (D-WA), Tlaib (D-MI), Grijalva (D-AZ), Pressley (D-MA), Omar (D-MN), Carson (D-IN), Davis (D-IL), Garcia (D-IL), Velazquez (D-NY) and Rush (D-IL) — as well as Senator Sanders. AOC press release announcing the letter is here. Other member statements/tweets, as well as media coverage, in section 5, below.


2. FY21 NDAA = Senate

The FY21 National Defense Authorization Act — S. 4049 — was on the Senate floor this week. See last week’s Round-Up for a comprehensive rundown of Middle East/Israel-related provisions in the base bill, as it came to the floor from the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Amendments: As noted in last week’s Round-Up, the NDAA — which is considered must-pass legislation — always attracts a huge number of amendments (germane and non-germane). This year, the situation is even worse, since the NDAA is one of the only, if not the only, piece of major legislation that will be passed into law before the November elections. As of this writing (7/3, at 12:15pm, 733 amendments have been introduced to S. 4049).

Middle East/Israel-related amendments to S. 4049:

  • SA, 1681 (Warren, D-MA) — requires a Report on Humanitarian Effects of the De Facto Air, Land, and Sea Blockade of Yemen and the Activities of the Houthis, the Government of the Republic Of Yemen, and the Southern Transitional Council.
  • SA 1756 (Gillibrand, D-NY) — provides for the Expansion of Open Burn Pit Registry of Department of Veterans Affairs to Include Open Burn Pits Used in Syria and Egypt.
  • SA 1895 (Rubio, R-FL; Coons, D-DE; Risch (R-ID; Menendez, D-NJ) — as anticipated, this is the text of S. 3176,  the “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020”- covered in detail in the 5/22/20 edition of the Round-Up. [BECAME PART OF THE BASE TEXT VIA SA 2301]
  • SA 1815 (Rubio, R-FL & Warner, D-VA) — Adding the FY21 Intelligence Authorization bill to the NDAA, (includes Iran-related provisions) [BECAME PART OF THE BASE TEXT VIA SA 2301]
  • SA 1919 (Sanders, I-VT) — Prohibition on Support or Military Participation Against the Houthis in Yemen
  • SA 1922 (Merkley, D-OR) — Preventing Saudi Arabian diplomats from aiding & abetting flights from justice
  • SA 1928 (Merkley, D-OR) — Requirement for civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia
  • SA 1982 (Wyden, D-OR) — Investigation & report on issuance of passports & travel documents to citizens of Saudi Arabia in the United States
  • SA 1983  (Wyden, D-OR) — Investigation & report on issuance of passports & travel documents to citizens of Saudi Arabia in the United States
  • SA 1992 (Kennedy, R-LA) — Expansion of Availability of Financial Assets of Iran to Victims of Terror (expanding group that could benefit from $$ seized under the Oorah Act)
  • SA 2024 (Rounds, R-SD) — Requires on the feasibility of increased rotational deployments of members of US armed force to Greece, incl req on US diplomatic engagement re: Greece-Cyprus-Israel and Greece-Cyprus-Egypt trilateral agreements
  • SA 2060 (Lee, R-UT) — Prohibition on use of funds to provide assistance to vetted Syrian opposition
  • SA 2045 (Markey, D-MA) — Statement of Policy Regarding Iran Diplomacy
  • SA 2059 (Udall, D-NM & 19 cosponsors – incl 2 GOP) — Prohibition of Unauthorized Military Operations Against Iran (Udall press release is here).
  • SA 2065 (Gardner, R-CO) — establish a foundation to award competitive grants to private entities in the United States, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region in various areas
  • SA 2083 (Rounds, R-SD) — Sense of Senate relating to US-Israel cooperation on Precision-Guided Munitions [BECAME PART OF THE BASE TEXT VIA SA 2301]
  • SA 2137 (Cruz, R-TX) — Review of natsec implications of wind farm proposals near DOD installations (incl review of whether entity involved is influence or controlled by Iran)
  • SA 2226 (Cruz, R-TX) – to add 2021 Intell Auth to the NDAA, including 2 Iran-related reports [BECAME PART OF THE BASE TEXT VIA SA 2301]
  • SA 2294 (Murphy, D-CT) – “Limitation on use of funds for air campaign of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen”
  • SA 2301 (Inhofe, R-OK) —  Amdt in the nature of a substitute, which includes a number of amdts intro’d to NDAA, incl “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020” (SA 1895) & SoS on PGMs (SA 2083), & 2021 Intell Auth Act [see details below]
  • SA 2307 (Loeffler, R-GA) —  an amdt to SA 2301 (which is now in effect the base text), amending provision establishing the “US-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group” with new Sense of Senate
  • SA 2310 (Loeffler, R-GA) —  amdt to SA 2301 that looks identical to SA 2307
  • SA 2344 (Casey, D-PA) —  requiring the Director of the FBI in coordination with other specified US officials, expand outreach to Dual-Use sectors relating to the prevention of industrial and cyber espionage [with repeated references to Iran]
  • SA 2390 (Rounds, R-SD) — this is the text of SA 2024 re-introduced as an amendment to SA 2301
  • SA 2409 (Menendez, D-NJ) — amendment to insert lengthy legislation related to assistance to the people of Syria.
  • SA 2435 (Van Hollen, D-MD, plus 13 fellow Democratic senators) — an amendment to SA 2301, to prohibit the use of US funds to to deploy, or support the deployment of, United States defense articles, services, or training to territories in the West Bank unilaterally annexed by Israel after July 1, 2020, or to facilitate the unilateral annexation of such territories [Read Van Hollen’s powerful floor statement in support of the amendment here; watch it on video here; press release is here] .

Amendment in the nature of a substitute: On 6/29, SASC Chairman Inhofe (R-OK) introduced SA 2301 (listed above), an amendment in the nature of a substitute — which in effect immediately became the new base text on the floor (as in, from that point forward, amendments dealt with on the floor were amendments to SA 2301, not amendments to S. 4049). That new base bill retains all the Middle East/Israel-related provisions from the version it replaced, but adds to them a handful of new provisions offered in the early set of amendments (all of which were apparently considered so non-controversial that SASC leaders from both parties agreed on them being added to the bill without any consideration by the committee or on the floor).

Middle East/Israel-related provisions in SA 2301 – now, effectively, the base bill under consideration (items marked “new” are those that were NOT in the version of S 4049 reported out of committee)

    • Section 1221 – “Extension of Authority and Limitation on Use of Funds to Provide Assistance to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” This section extends current law another year with respect to assistance to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It also limits such assistance under DOD/OCO funding to $322.5 million.  Lastly, it puts a hold on 75% of the permitted funding until the Secretary of Defense reports to Congress regarding how the funding will be used and what it will achieve, and other related matters.
    • Section 1222 – “Extension and Modification of Authority to Provide Assistance to Vetted Syrian Groups and Individuals.” This section extends current law another year with respect to assistance for vetted Syrian groups and individuals. It also adds additional reporting requirements.
    • Section. 1223 – “Extension and Modification of Authority to Support Operations and Activities of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq.” This section extends current law regarding the operations and activities of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq another year, and modifies current law by reducing funding.
    • Section 1284 – “Notification with respect to withdrawal of members of the Armed Forces participating in the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt.”  This new section requires that “not later than 30 days before a reduction in the total number of members of the Armed Forces deployed to the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt to fewer than 430 such members of the Armed Forces, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a notification that includes” a laundry list of information including an explanation of “any anticipated negative impact of such a reduction on the ability of the Multi-national Force and Observers in Egypt to fulfill its mission of supervising the implementation of the security provisions of the 1979 Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel and employing best efforts to prevent any violation of the terms of such treaty.”
    • Section 1286. Establishment of United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group [NOTE: This is the same legislation as HR 7148, introduced in the House by Wilson (R-SC) and covered in the June 19 edition of the Round-Up]. This section establishes a new “United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group.”
      • This group would be led by the U.S. Secretary of Defense (or designee) and the Chair of the Joints Chiefs of Staff (or designee) and Israeli counterparts, with mandatory membership to include representatives of OSD, the Joint Staff, all military departments & relevant subordinate entities, the defense agencies, US Centcom and US Eucom.
      • Its purpose would be to provide a “standing forum for the United States and Israel to systematically share intelligence-informed military capability requirements,” to “identify military capability requirements common to both the Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Israel,” to “assist defense suppliers in the United States and Israel, by incorporating recommendations from such defense suppliers, with respect to conducting joint science, technology, research, development, test, evaluation, and production efforts,” and to “develop, as feasible and advisable, combined United States-Israel plans to research, develop, procure, and field weapons systems and military capabilities as quickly and economically as possible to meet common capability requirements of the Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Israel.”
      • As part of standing up this forum, the bill requires the US to conclude an MOU with Israel reflecting the above. The legislation also requires a report to Congress within 180 days of the establishment of the Working Group, detailing its formation (the MOU, the members, the groups plans, metrics, and a “description of any authority or authorization of appropriations required for the Working Group to carry out its work.”
      • The bill also requires a detailed annual report to Congress on the activities of the Working Group during the preceding calendar year.
      • Given longstanding concerns in US national security circles about technology transfer by Israel (of U.S. technology), the most interesting detail required in the report is the following: “A description of the efforts of the Working Group to prevent the People’s Republic of China or the Russian Federation from obtaining intellectual property or military technology associated with combined United States and Israel science and technology efforts and research, development, test, and evaluation efforts.”]
      • Also see: FDD press release celebrating inclusion of this legislation in the NDAA.
    • Section 1661 – “Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system and Israeli cooperative missile defense program co-development and co-production.”  This section authorizes:
      • $73 million to the Government of Israel to procure components for the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system through co-production of such components in the United States by industry of the United States, subject to “the terms and conditions in the Agreement Between the Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defense of the State of Israel Concerning Iron Dome Defense System Procurement, signed on March 5, 2014, as amended to include co-production for Tamir interceptors”;
      • $50 million to the Government of Israel to procure the David’s Sling Weapon System, including for co-production of parts and components in the United States by United States industry,  “subject to the terms and conditions in the bilateral co-production agreement”;
      • $77 million to the Government of Israel for the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Interceptor Program, including for co-production of parts and components in the United States by United States industry
    • (NEW) Section 6283 –  Sense of Senate on United States-Israel cooperation on precision-guided munitions. [same as SA 2083]
    • (NEW) Section 6286 – Establishment of United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group. [clarifying a term used in Section 1286, above]
  • (NEW) Subtitle H–United States-Israel Security Assistance (Sections 6290-6298). This is the text of S. 3176, the “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020” – which last week’s Round-Up predicted would show up as an amendment. This prediction proved correct with the introduction of SA 1895  — but leadership on both sides of the aisle apparently saw no need for (or preferred not to have) any regular consideration of this piece of major legislation (which is consistent with how the measure was dealt with in the SFRC, i.e., the Committee adopted the measure without any debate and before the text was available to the public). As a reminder, this legislation:
    • Codifies into law annual US aid to Israel – both the amount and the manner in which it is disbursed – in a manner intended to prevent any future Administration or Congress from having the ability to use that aid as leverage, and to make clear that the only changes in US aid to Israel that Congress will contemplate are changes that increase aid beyond the level negotiate in the current MOU.
    • Increases U.S. military support for and cooperation with Israel, and facilitates additional, new military aid support.
    • Establishes and authorizes funding for programs designed to make enhanced/expanded US-Israel cooperation part of the DNA of more and more U.S. government agencies.
    • Establishes programs that in effect recruit U.S. agencies/funding to the cause of expanding Israel’s relations and influence in the region (i.e., open normalization by Arab states) and around the world.
  • (NEW) Section 9509 — Report on effect of lifting of United Nations arms embargo  on Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • (NEW) Sec. 9510 — Report on Iranian activities relating to nuclear nonproliferation.

What next? Senate consideration of S. 4049 continues into next week. Before ending its work on the bill 7/2, the Senate passed by unanimous consent an agreement to adopt 62 bipartisan amendments to the bill and to provide for consideration of an additional six bipartisan amendments (details to come).

What does it mean? Truly, this NDAA represents an unprecedented bonanza for Israel: millions in funding; a role in Cabinet-level discussions on US military planning; codification of $3.8 billion in aid as an untouchable entitlement; & far-reaching new domains of US funding and cooperation. Some people may think — great! Fantastic moves by the Senate! Please let this pass into law! Others may have policy/substantive concerns with some or much of this, not the least being that major policy of this nature merit real oversight and debate. Still others may take comfort from Sen. Van Hollen’s amazing floor speech & amdt (which won’t pass).

But whether you are happy or not, there is no denying that this NDAA is nothing short of an historic JACKPOT for Israel. And coming at this moment in history when  Israel is literally on the brink of annexing West Bank territory, it sends a clear & unmistakable message. That message is: as far as this Congress is considered (& this is bipartisan & non-controversial), not only will there no meaningful price for annexation, annexation will be richly rewarded, including by codifiying into US law Israel impunity & entitlement. (Also see my 7/3 Twitter thread on this issue, here).

3. Hearings & Mark-Ups

July 6: The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations will hold a mark-up of the FY21 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill (text has not yet been released).

July 1: The House Armed Services Committee held a full committee mark-up of HR 6395, the FY21 NDAA. 

July 1: The Congressional Hellenic Caucus and the Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance hosted a web panel on “Turkey’s Destabilizing Actions in Eastern Mediterranean.” Speakers were: Elizabeth Prodromou, Tufts University; Alon Ben-Meir, NYU’s Center for Global Affairs/ World Policy Institute; and Endy Zemenides, Hellenic American Leadership Council. Participating alongside them were Reps. Maloney (D-NY), Bilirakis (R-FL), and Sarbanes (D-MD). Video of the event is here.

4. On the Record...

Members on the Record…

…on the AOC et al letter threatening concrete consequences for annexation:

Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) 6/30: Tweet – “.@RepAOC joined 12 members of Congress and over 20 advocacy organizations today in calling on Secretary Pompeo to stop the new unity government of Israel from further proceeding down its path of annexation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank”

Sanders (I-VT) 6/30: Tweet – “Israel’s annexation of occupied territory would be a disaster for international law, self-determination, freedom and equality. I stand with @AOC and House progressives. We cannot allow U.S. tax dollars to be used to violate Palestinians’ human rights.”

Omar (D-MN)  6/30: Tweet – “Annexation violates international law, Palestinian human rights, and runs counter to U.S. values of democracy and self-determination. We must fight for a future where both Palestinians and Israelis can live side by side in peace. Annexation will make that impossible.”

Kustoff (R-TN) 6/30: Tweet – “@RepAOC’s letter threatens our relationship w/ our ally Israel. America is strongest when we stand w/ Israel, & conditioning aid to the Jewish state would only hurt our national & shared interests. I condemn this letter & will always stand with Israel.” [tweeted along with Politico article entitled, Ocasio-Cortez raises AIPAC ire over effort to tie Israel aid to annexation

Pressley (D-MA) 6/30: Statement on AOC et al letter [excerpt, “I join my Congressional colleagues in voicing my vehement opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government’s plans to begin unilateral annexation of large swaths of the West Bank. This harmful move would do irreparable damage to the wellbeing of the Palestinian and Israeli people and jeopardize any efforts for long-term peace and equality in the region.”

Riggleman (R-VA) 7/1: Tweet – “This letter is misguided and will put our country and allies in danger. I will always stand with our Israeli allies and the Jewish community.” [tweeted along with Free Beacon article entitled, AOC Touts Support from Anti-Semitic Groups for Israel Letter]


…opposing annexation in general:

Van Hollen (D-MD) 7/2: Tweet – “I will strongly support robust security assistance for our friend and ally Israel—but our assistance shouldn’t be used to aid and abet Netanyahu’s illegal scheme to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank, killing a two-state solution and peace prospects.” [linked to video of lengthy floor statement delivered 7/2; text in Congressional Record is here]

Pocan (D-WI) 6/30: Tweet – “On July 1, Israel plans to illegally annex the West Bank. If they do—blatantly violating human rights & intl law—Congress MUST put conditions on US funding to Israel. We cannot keep rubber-stamping @Netyanyahu ‘s destabilization of the region at the expense of Palestinian lives.”

Boyle (D-PA) 6/30: Statement [excerpt, “I am deeply concerned, and oppose, reported plans to unilaterally annex the West Bank. As I personally wrote to Prime Minister Netanyahu last week, I fear this will prove destructive to the prospects for a two-state solution. I urge both sides to recommit themselves to the peace process.”]

Booker (D-NJ) 6/29: Statement on Annexation [excerpt: “As I expressed directly to the Israeli government earlier this month, a unilateral action like annexation would threaten that lasting peace from becoming a reality– with serious security, diplomatic, economic, and legal ramifications for Israel’s national security. I am calling on both Israeli and Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating table and to avoid any unilateral steps pending an agreement.”]

Pelosi (D-CA) 6/25: Tweet – “Thank you to @janschakowsky, @RepTedDeutch, @RepSchneider & @RepDavidEPrice for organizing our colleagues to send this important message. [tweeted along with Schakowsky tweet with text of the letter]


…supporting annexation:

Reschenthaler (R-PA) 7/2: Tweet – “As many push for Israel to delay their efforts in the West Bank, it is important the we as Americans support our Israeli friends’ mission to reclaim what’s theirs. Luckily, we have @realdonaldtrump who’s a true friend to Israel, unlike the Obama Admin.”

Bacon (R-NE) 6/29: Tweet – “I joined my colleagues and sent a letter to @IsraeliPM reaffirming the unshakable alliance between the United States and Israel. When it comes to security and defensible borders, we must respect Israeli sovereignty and their right to make decisions free of outside pressure.”

Cloud (R-TX) 6/26: Tweet – “Israel is an ally and a reliable friend of the United States, as we share many common democratic values. Our country must continue to back Israel in its right to make sovereign decisions independent of outside pressure.”

Burgess (R-TX) 6/26: Tweet – “I joined @GOPLeader @SteveScalise and other @HouseGOP in sending a letter to @IsraeliPM to remind him of US support for Israel’s sovereign ability to defend their security as they work to establish peace.”


…Other Issues:

Rogers (R-AL) 7/1: Tweet – “I was pleased to cosponsor H.R. 6829 which authorizes a bilateral grant program with our ally Israel. It matches funds from both govs to develop health technologies, personalized medicine & data in regards to COVID-19. It will also help Israel lessen any cooperation with China.”

Lamborn (R-CO) 7/1: Tweet – “I’m thankful that the #FY21NDAA includes my provision that expands the missile defense cooperation between the U.S. & Israel. I’ll always stand with our closest ally & the only democracy in the Middle East. We must continue looking for opportunities to strengthen our partnership.”

Gaetz (R-FL) 6/30: Gaetz on Iran Issuing Arrest Warrant for President Trump: “Our Deep State Already Tried This

McCaul (R-TX) 6/30: McCaul Statement on Iran Arms Embargo

Luria (D-VA) 6/28: Tweet – “I am cosponsoring the EMPIL-DOC Act to leverage our strong, bilateral relationship with Israel to develop lifesaving drugs and treatments for COVID-19. We must work with our allies to respond to this crisis and reduce dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals.” Press release here.


Articles and Reports Related to the Hill

On the AOC et al letter:

Arutz Sheva 7/1: Sanders signs letter calling for halting of aid to Israel

Israel Hayom 7/1: Sanders: Punish Israel if it proceeds with sovereignty move

Politico 6/30: Ocasio-Cortez raises AIPAC ire over effort to tie Israel aid to annexation

Israel Hayom 6/30: Democratic congresswomen try to derail Israel’s sovereignty bid in new letter

Free Beacon 6/30: AOC Touts Support from Anti-Semitic Groups for Israel Letter

Haaretz 6/30: The New Annexation Battle: AIPAC vs. AOC

Times of Israel 6/30: Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib among 4 Dems calling to cut aid if annexation goes ahead

Jewish Insider 6/29: Four progressive congresswomen circulate letter threatening to condition aid to Israel over annexation

Haaretz 6/30: Bernie Sanders Signs AOC’s Anti-annexation Letter Threatening to Cut U.S. Military Aid to Israel

Jerusalem Post 6/30: AIPAC condemns letter by AOC, Tlaib: ‘Threatens US-Israel relationship’


On other issues:

Times of Israel 7/2: Mondaire Jones, Nita Lowey’s presumed successor, says he’ll be friend to Israel

Jewish Insider 7/2: Touting his record, Rep. Josh Gottheimer seeks to fend off progressive challenger

Jewish Insider 7/1:  Sen. Chris Van Hollen suggests demarcating U.S. aid to Israel

Jerusalem Post 7/1: Top Democrat announces $500M in anti-missile funding for Israel

Foreign Policy 6/30: House Democrats Jockey for Foreign Affairs Committee Gavel

Jewish Insider 6/30: Why these House Dems refused to add their names to letters against annexation

Times of Israel 6/30: As annexation looms, several leading Republican lawmakers remain silent

Washington Post 6/30: The mainstreaming of Christian Zionism could warp foreign policy

Jewish Insider 6/29: Sen. Cory Booker joins colleagues, comes out against annexation

Times of Israel 6/26: The fallout from Eliot Engel’s likely defeat and a look at other US primaries

MondoWeiss 6/26: ‘Progressive’ NY primary winner Ritchie Torres participates in pinkwashing pride event featuring an IDF commander

Jewish Currents 6/25: Jamaal Bowman Reminds Progressives They Can Win