House of Reps to sneak through billions to Israel, oppose BDS, etc

House of Reps to sneak through billions to Israel, oppose BDS, etc

Eliot Engel (D-NY) chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Photo from December 2013 when Engel was named chair of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians.

The House is expected to fast track three measures on behalf of Israel tomorrow: a law to give Israel a minimum of $38 billion, a law to sanction foreign groups and individuals who support the Palestinian resistance, and a resolution expressing opposition to the global boycott of Israel (BDS)

Go here to contact Congress about the legislation

By Alison Weir

The U.S. House of Representatives is reportedly scheduled to fast track three bipartisan items on behalf of Israel tomorrow, including a bill that would require the United States to give Israel a minimum of $38 billion over the next 10 years.

The  measures are expected to be voted on Tuesday afternoon under the House’s suspension of the rules procedure.

The aid bill is H.R.1837 – United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act. Versions of the legislation were passed in 2018, but Congress ran out of time before passing a final version to be signed into law, thus requiring the legislation to be re-introduced this year. The bill has 279 cosponsors.

The aid would amount to $7,230 per minute to Israel, about $23,000 per every Jewish Israeli family of four.

The bill codifies into law – and expands – a non-binding agreement signed by Obama with Netanyahu in 2014. The law would increase the amount of aid given to Israel beyond the amount in the Obama MOU, and also contains some additional pro-Israel perks (see this).

A Senate version was passed in February after several failed attempts due to the controversy over the government shutdown.The media have largely failed to report on the legislation.

Two other items on behalf of Israel are also scheduled to be pushed through tomorrow:

 • H.R. 1850: a law that would financially sanction any foreign organization or individual who provides “support” to an organization deemed to be part of the Palestinian resistance. Groups such as Hamas are termed “terrorists” although Palestinian resistance groups have killed vastly fewer civilians than have Israeli forces – see a timeline of deaths here. The bill has 41 cosponsors. (It is unclear whether this bill could also be applied to American citizens.)

 • H.Res. 246: a resolution expressing opposition to “BDS,” the international boycott of Israel over its human rights abuses. Surveys show that a large majority of Americans oppose anti-boycott legislation. It has 346 cosponsors.

(An opposing resolution was introduced July 16th, H.R.Res.496, which affirms Americans’ First Amendment right to boycott, but has not been placed on the House calendar. The resolution has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jerry Nadler (D-NY), a life-long supporter of Israel. Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reports that Nadler’s district is “said to be the most Jewish congressional district in the country.”)

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Eliot Engel, passed the items last week, clearing the way for tomorrow’s vote. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) said AIPAC was “elated,” and called the legislation “manna for AIPAC” (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Engel is co-chair of the Israel Allies Caucus.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who scheduled the vote for tomorrow, is known for pressuring Congress members to participate in AIPAC trips to Israel. (See information on next month’s trip here.)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has appointed Israel partisans to chair committees particularly relevant to Israel, as she describes in the video below.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew , president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

 

 

 

 

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