FMEP Legislative Round-Up: May 17, 2024


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

Highly recommended:

  • On 5/14/24 the Arab American Institute (AAI) sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee laying out concerns and objections related to the Countering Antisemitism Act – aka the CAA (S. 4091/HR 7921). In addition, AAI produced a superb, comprehensive analysis of the threat posed by the CAA, as well as a handy (and excellent) FAQ summarizing key concern.

1. Bills & Resolutions

(HOLDING SALARIES FOR KEY US OFFICIALS, AND $$ FOR KEY NATSEC PROGRAMS HOSTAGE TO FUNDS BEING GIVEN TO ISRAEL) HR 8369: Introduced 5/14/24 by Calvert (R-CA) and 117 cosponsors (all Republicans), the “Israel Security Assistance Support Act.” This bill would, in effect, bar funding for key US national security functions (including salaries) if any funding for Israel is delayed/withheld. The bill was introduced and taken up immediately by the House Rules Committee 5/14/24 (skipping even the pretense of any discussion/oversight in committees of jurisdiction), with media around the bill (which started days before it was formally introduced) making clear that the goal was to create political pair for Democrats, given their desire to both show support for Israel and to defend President Biden’s (largely performative, temporary) move the prior week to temporarily pause provision of one specific kind of bomb. Also, for the Hill nerds: note that as happened a few weeks ago with the Antisemitism Awareness Act, House leadership found a way to skip the committee process but still bring HR 8369 to the floor under normal order, meaning it could pass by a simple majority, rather than the 2/3 majority required for measures brought to the floor on the suspensions calendar – which given that it was clear that the overwhelming majority of Democrats would vote against the bill was critical to passing the measure). Further details:

(CONGRESS MUST HAVE POWER TO PREVENT ANY DELAYS/LIMITS ON ARMS SALES TO ISRAEL!!!) HR 8437 (bill text): Introduced 5/16/24 by McCaul (R-TX) and 31 cosponsors (including 6 Democrats), “To provide for congressional oversight of proposed changes to arms sales to Israel,” aka, the “Maintaining Our Ironclad Commitment to Israel’s Security Act.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Rules. HFAC has already scheduled a mark-up of HR 8437 on 5/22/24. Democrats cosponsoring the bill are: Stanton (D-AZ), Sherman (D-CA), Manning (D-NC), Gottheimer (D-NJ), Golden (D-ME), and Moskowitz (D-FL).

(FORCE UNIVERSITIES TO CRACK DOWN ON PALESTINE RIGHTS PROTESTS) HR 8389: Introduced 5/14/24 by Molinaro (R-NY) and Gottheimer (D-NJ), “To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education to report to the Secretary of Education each incident of antisemitism reported to campus security authorities or local police agencies,” aka the “College Antisemitism Transparency Act.”  Referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Oversight and Accountability. Also see: press release 5/14/24: Molinaro Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Crack Down On Antisemitism On College Campuses

(CUT OFF US FINDING TO UN IF UNGA GIVES PALESTINIANS *ANY* NEW PRIVILEGES/STATUS) HR 8345 [text]: Introduced 5/1024 by Baird (R-IN) and McCaul (R-TX),”To limit funds to the United Nations and other organizations that provide any status, rights, or privileges beyond observer status to the Palestine Liberation Organization, and for other purposes”, aka the “No Official Palestine Entry (NOPE) Act.“Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. NOTE: this is the House companion to S. 4311, introduced in the Senate 5/9/24. Also see: press release –  McCaul, Baird Introduce the No Official Palestine Entry (NOPE) Act

(WTAF? HOW DARE BIDEN NOT SEND EVERY POSSIBLE WEAPON/AMMO TO ISRAEL?) H. Res. 1219: Introduced 5/10/24 by Miller (R-OH) and McCaul (R-TX), “Condemning the Biden Administration’s decision to pause certain arms transfers to Israel.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also see: press release – U.S. Congressman Max Miller Introduces Resolution Condemning Biden Decision to Pause Certain Arms Transfers to Israel

(WTAF? HOW DARE BIDEN NOT SEND EVERY POSSIBLE WEAPON/AMMO TO ISRAEL?) H. Res. 1224: Introduced 5/10/24 by Van Drew (R-NJ), “Condemning President Biden’s threat to withhold aid and military assistance to Israel.”  Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also see: press release – Congressman Van Drew Introduces Resolution To Condemn President Biden’s Threat to Withhold Aid to Israel

(IMPEACHING BIDEN FOR DARING TO PAUSE SENDING OF ANY WEAPONS/AMMO TO ISRAEL) H. Res. 1220: Introduced 5/10/24 by Mills (R-FL) and Crane (R-AZ), “Impeaching Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.” Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Also see: press release – Rep. Mills Introduces Article Of Impeachment For President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. For Soliciting ‘Quid Pro Quo’ [“‘As a member of the House of Representatives, it is my constitutional duty to present articles of impeachment against Joe Biden for his most recent abuse of power,’ said Rep. Mills. ‘In violation of his oath to faithfully execute the office of President and to uphold the Constitution, President Biden abused the powers of his office by soliciting a ‘quid pro quo’ with Israel while leveraging vital military aid for policy changes. This egregious action not only compromised the credibility of the United States but also undermined the interests of our longstanding ally, Israel. Therefore, President Biden’s conduct warrants impeachment, trial, removal from office, and disqualification from holding any future office under the United States.’”]; media reports– Business Insider, Fox News, The Hill, Washington Examiner

(RECOGNIZING PALESTINIAN RIGHTS/HISTORY) H. Res. 1231: Introduced 5/15/24 by Tlaib (D-MI) and 3 Democratic cosponsors, “Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian refugees’ rights.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also see: press release – Tlaib Introduces Resolution Recognizing 76 Years of the Nakba; Tlaib’s new Nakba resolution accuses Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing (Jewish Insider 5/15/24)


2. Letters

No US Discrimination or Other Mean Stuff Against Israel!

Targeting UN (incl UNRWA) and ICC

Targeting Academia/Free Speech/Right to Protest

Other stuff


3. Hearings & Markups

5/15/24: The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government held a hearing entitled, Antisemitism on College Campuses. Witnesses were: Mark Goldfeder, National Jewish Advocacy Center [and the American Central for Law & Justice, ACLJ] (statement); Shabbos Kestenbaum, Graduate Student, Harvard University (statement – note: he also testified 5/29/24 in a House Committee on Education & the Workforce “Bipartisan Member Roundtable” entitled, “Antisemitism at Postsecondary Institutions, for details see the 3/1/24 edition of the Round-Up); Eyal Yakoby, Undergraduate Student, University of Pennsylvania (statement – note: Yakoby is part of a lawsuit against U Penn); and Kevin Rachlin, Nexus Project (statement). Also see:

5/17/24: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a show trial…sorry, I mean which hunt…sorry, I mean “hearing,” entitled, “Eliminating U.S. Aid to Terrorists – New Policies for the U.S. Gov’t & Its Partners.” Witnesses were: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch (statement) and Yona Schiffmiller, NGO Monitor (statement), former UNRWA General Counsel James Lindsay (statement – who is in fact another strong critic/opponent of UNRWA); and Andrew Hyde, Stimson Center (UPDATE: his name appears in the hearing repository but no statement & he did not actually appear on the panel — so basically it was three anti-UNRWA voices). Also see: hearing video. [And I’m publishing this Round-Up a few hours before the hearing starts, which among other things spares me the torture of having to cover the details here – watch it for yourself].

5/21/24: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “American Diplomacy and Global Leadership: Review of the FY25 State Department Budget Request“. The sole witness will be SecState Blinken.

5/22/24: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a markup of HR 8437 , “To provide for congressional oversight of proposed changes to arms sales to Israel,” aka, the “Maintaining Our Ironclad Commitment to Israel’s Security Act.”

5/22/24: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “The State of American Diplomacy in 2024: Global Instability, Budget Challenges, and Great Power Competition.” The sole witness will be SecState Blinken.

5/22/24: The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2025 Request for the Department of State.” The sole witness will be SecState Blinken.

5/22/24: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability will hold a hearing entitled, “Money is Policy: Assessing Shortcomings in the State Department’s Foreign Assistance Grants Process.” Witnesses announced so far are: Max Primorac, Heritage Foundation; and Robert Destro, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (a Trump political appointee).

5/23/24: The House Committee on Education and the Workforce held yet another kangaroo court session…I mean show trial… I mean “hearing” targeting academia, this time entitled, “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos.” Witness were: Michael Schill, President, Northwestern University (statement); Gene Block, Chancellor, UCLA (statement); and Jonathan Holloway, President, Rutgers University  (statement).

5/23/24: The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia will hold a hearing entitled, Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request for Near Eastern Affairs. Witnesses will be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara A. Leaf; and Deputy Assistant USAID Administrator for the Middle East Bureau Jeanne Pryor.


4. Israel/Palestine in 2024 Politics/Elex


New York




  • Washington Post 5/16/24: The moderate reinvention of Ruben Gallego, Senate hopeful in Arizona [“Gallego has embraced some policy positions that show the balancing act he is undertaking. Asked about the war in the Middle East at his event, he said ‘Israel has a right to defend itself’ after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and he wants to see a two-state solution where Palestinians ‘have a country of their own.’“]



New Jersey


5. Selected Media & Press releases/statements

Student Protests

Targeting Civil Society/Free Speech/Right to Protest

  • Cassidy (R-LA) 5/16/24: Ranking Member Cassidy Delivers Remarks During Hearing on Dental Care [“while I am interested in today’s hearing, there are other urgent issues impacting the lives of constituents that we should address. I have requested for months that this committee hold a hearing on the disturbing antisemitism spreading on college campuses. Jewish students are being threatened and assaulted. No student should be afraid while attending school and or be a victim of bigotry. So far, there’s been no commitment from the majority that we will exercise oversight over the response, or lack thereof, from universities and the Department of Education.”]
  • The Guardian 5/16/24: Washington is pushing policies to combat antisemitism. Critics say they could violate free speech
  • Arab Center/Ethan Mayer-Rich 5/15/24: Congress’s Crackdown on Campus Protests and the Threat to Civil Liberties
  • Nonprofit Law Prof Blog 5/15/24:The Republican Pincer Movement on Civil Society
  • JINSA 5/15/24: National Security Brief: Possible Terrorist Ties to U.S. Campus Protests [“Congress should invite the Director of National Intelligence and representatives from other relevant national security agencies for closed door briefings to understand the known scope of connections between Hamas and other terrorist organizations, if any, with these demonstrations. Given the fact at least 33 Americans were killed in the October 7 terrorist attack and many still are being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, Congress should insist law enforcement agencies devote additional resources to fully enforce all statues aimed at preventing material support for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Congress should consider potential legislation to increase transparency into foreign funding sources of universities and create mechanisms to coordinate with major banks regarding instances of foreign adversary funds being transferred to these universities. The House Oversight and Accountability Committee and other relevant oversight committees should conduct aggressive oversight into organizations reported to be leading, financing, and participating in the pro-Hamas protests that have engaged in illegal conduct.  Congress and the Executive Branch should develop new initiatives for working with universities and local and federal law enforcement to better identify and share information about the scope of the post-October 7 threats to Jewish students on campuses to better ensure student safety.“]
  • Washington Examiner – op-ed by Kustoff (R-TN) 5/14/24: Congress must scrub terrorism from the tax code
  • Nonprofit Law Prof Blog 5/13/24: Republicans Step Up Coordinated Attacks on Liberal Nonprofits
  • New York Times/Michelle Goldbert 5/10/24: What Part of Civil Society Will Trump’s Party Target Next?

Targeting Palestinians/ICC/UN

  • The Hill/Mark Goldfeder (former Trump lawyer) 5/13/24: UN backing of statehood for Palestine is a huge mistake [“As a political measure, the vote to give the PA full membership will be vetoed at the Security Council level — but that still leaves the United States with the choice to pull its funding from the U.N.  Under Public Law 101-246, “No funds authorized to be appropriated from this act or any other Act shall be available for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.” (The Palestinian Liberation Organization is the name of group that officially represents the Palestinian people at the U.N., while the Palestinian Authority is the recognized interim government on the ground.) The final draft removed the right to vote in the General Assembly from the list of privileges as an attempt to keep the U.S. sending money, but it still grants Palestine the same standing as member states in almost every respect, and so going forward any administration would have grounds to pull roughly one-fifth of the U.N.’s entire budget.”]
  • Jewish News Syndicate 5/12/24: GOP senators sponsor bill to cut UN funding over PA benefits

Targeting Biden Admin for Being Insufficiently Supportive of Israel

Defending Biden’s Israel Policy

Administration’s NSM-20 Report

  • The New Yorker 5/15/24: The Biden Administration’s Have-It-Both-Ways Report on Gaza [interview with Van Hollen, D-MD]
  • The Hill 5/12/24: Senate Democrat [Van Hollen, D-MD] defends criticism of US report on Israel war conduct
  • Welch (D-VT) 5/11/24: “…The Secretary’s assessments will only be seen by the Netanyahu Government as—at most—a slap on the wrist; it risks setting a dangerous precedent for future uses of U.S. weapons and munitions. The facts are undeniable. The Netanyahu government has created a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, supplied and perpetrated with U.S. planes, bombs, tanks, and firearms. Like many in Vermont and across America, I oppose this – which is why I voted against the National Security Supplemental package. Israel’s invasion of Rafah is only compounding this crisis. Aid is not flowing as it should now and the suffering is worsening, despite the State Department’s glass-half-full assessment…
  • Van Hollen (D-MD) 5/10/24: “…The Administration created a tool to promote accountability but has come up very short in its implementation. When it comes to applying international law and human rights, you can’t cherry-pick the facts and the law. Today’s report also indicates a continuation of a disturbing pattern where the expertise and analyses of those working most closely on these issues at the State Department and at USAID have been swept aside to facilitate a predetermined policy outcome based on political convenience…
  • Murphy (D-CT) 5/13/24: “I’m disappointed that ultimately the Administration failed to take a position in many cases and make the difficult determinations required, including whether Israel violated international law on mitigating civilian harm or facilitating humanitarian aid. It is true that in the weeks leading up to the report, the amount of humanitarian aid into Gaza had begun to tick up. But today the aid has once again virtually stopped flowing, demonstrating that Israel has not taken the necessary steps under U.S. and international law to protect civilians during this conflict. I believe this report should have gone further and I urge the administration to invoke the clause to refresh the credibility of assurances from Israel within 45 days so that we can continue to press Israel to improve the conduct of its operations against Hamas and efforts to free the hostages.
  • Cardin (D-MD) 5/10/24: “…While the most recent report regarding Israel under the NSM-20 has raised concerns, I agree with its assessment that Israel has not violated International Humanitarian Law and that military assistance to support Israel’s security remains in the U.S. interest and should continue. In this regard, I differ with President Biden’s recent decision.”
  • Risch (R-ID) 5/10/24: “In keeping with nearly four years of failed foreign policy, the Biden Administration is trying to have it both ways. Today, the administration has given Israel a politically damaging assessment while publicly announcing it is withholding a select set of precision weapons. The administration is attempting to placate voters on the far left at the expense of a close ally in the midst of its justified war with Hamas terrorists. NSM-20 is aimed squarely at Israel in the near-term, but the additional highly-politicized reporting requirements will eventually be aimed at other American allies and partners across the globe, further impeding the delivery of security assistance and undermining our ability to deter China and Russia.
  • McCaul (R-TX) 5/10/24: “NSM-20 serves no purpose other than to provide political cover to the president with his base. I am not surprised the administration concluded Israel is in compliance as this self-imposed reporting requirement is wholly redundant and unnecessary, and only contributes to politically-motivated anti-Israel sentiment. Hamas started this war with their October 7th attack that murdered 1,200 people. And Hamas has maximized the civilian death toll through its systemic use of human shields. Now is the time for the United States to stand with our ally Israel and ensure they have the tools they need to quickly defeat the terrorists who pose a threat to their very existence.”
  • Scalise (R-LA) 5/10/24: “Despite President Biden’s desire to turn his back on Israel while they are at war, even his State Department today acknowledged the truth: Israel is fighting this war as humanely as possible, in accordance with international humanitarian law and US law. Facing terrorists who hide behind human shields and hoard humanitarian assistance for themselves, the IDF goes to great lengths to protect civilians in its operations, and accepts great risk to facilitate aid flowing into Gaza. The State Department has confirmed there is no excuse for withholding critical US military assistance from an ally in a fight for its existence. President Biden must resume sending military aid to Israel immediately.”