FMEP Legislative Round-Up: May 29, 2020


1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters
2. Hearings
3. On the Record

Shameless plug for…another awesome FMEP webinar series! This time examining “Palestinian Prisoners in Israel’s Military Justice System”

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

1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters

Al Monitor 5/26: Democrats prepare legislation forcing Trump to declassify report on Khashoggi murder


(CONCERN ABOUT REMOVAL OF STATE IG) HFAC letter to DOS DepSec: On 5/27, Rep. Engel (D-NY), led a letter, signed by all Democratic members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, calling on the Trump Administration to reverse the President’s apparently retaliatory May 15 firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. The letter notes that that the firing appears tied, in part, to “an investigation into the process and legal justifications the State Department used in declaring a phony emergency to ram through $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.” he letter explains why it is addressed to the Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Biegum, noting: “we cannot direct this letter to Secretary Pompeo given his role in recommending the firing as an apparent act of retaliation.” Press release is here. [Also see: 5/29 – Engel, Maloney, & Menendez Announce Expansion of Probe into IG Linick’s Firing]

2. Hearings

Heads up! The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold subcommittee markups of the 2021 NDAA on June 8-9, and there will be a [CLOSED] full committee markup of the bill on June 10.

3. On the Record...

Members on the Record

Wilson (R-SC) 5/28: Statement in the Congressional Record denouncing Israel’s justice system for its “witch hunt” against Benjamin Netanyahu & calling the current proceedings a “sham trial” […all leading to this: “The similarity with America is obvious that political enemies of… Netanyahu are abusing the legal system just as the false efforts to impeach President Donald Trump were a witch hunt. Forces who lose on issues at the ballot box seek to subvert the votes of citizens.”]

Luria (R-VA) 5/28: “I am pleased that Secretary Pompeo has declined to extend waivers for countries working with Iran on civilian nuclear projects. This is an important step to combating Russian and Chinese enabling of Iran’s nuclear program. Continued sanctions and economic pressure are necessary to halt Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, which directly threatens the United States and our ally, Israel.

Cheney (R-WY) 5/28: Cheney: By Ending Civilian Nuclear Waivers, The Trump Administration Has Taken Another Step To Dismantle The Disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal

Menendez (D-NJ) 5/27: Menendez Op-Ed: Pompeo is Trying to do Another Arms Deal with Saudi Arabia and Congress Must Stop Him

Cruz (R-TX) 5/27: Sen. Cruz Applauds Trump Administration for Ending Civil Nuclear Waivers

Gaetz (R-FL) 5/27: Op-ed – Gaetz warns would-be Iranian terrorists: ‘Get your act together or get prepared to meet General Soleimani

Rubio (R-FL) 5/27: Rubio Welcomes Termination of Iran Sanction Waivers and New Measures Against Members of the Iranian Regime

Cortez Mastro (D-NV) 5/26: “I’m concerned that Israel may choose to unilaterally annex territories in the West Bank. As a strong supporter of Israel, who believes in a robust U.S.-Israel relationship, I oppose unilateral actions on the part of Israelis or Palestinians that could harm the already difficult prospects of a negotiated two-state solution, which is the best hope for sustainable peace and security in the region. The United States should be focused on supporting efforts to bring both parties back to the table to achieve a lasting peace agreement that strengthens both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples as well as the national security of the United States.”

Rosen (D-NV) 5/26: Twitter – “I’m proud to join this bipartisan push by @ChrisCoons and @SenTedCruz to increase our collaboration with Israel in the development of medical technology. It will take all of us working together to overcome #COVID19” [re-tweeting Coons tweet touting S. 3772] 

Articles and Reports Related to the Hill

JTA 5/27: Ilhan Omar says Israel, Saudi Arabia both have too much influence on US policy

+972 Magazine (Alex Kane) 5/26: Meet the South Bronx congressional candidate speaking out on Palestinian rights

Middle East Eye 5/26: Meet the candidates challenging pro-Israel Democrats in US Congress

Intercept 5/26: At Debate, Progressive Jamaal Bowman Hits Israel Hawk Eliot Engel’s Defense Industry Backing

Jerusalem Post 5/26: New legislation to increase technological cooperation between Israel, US