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The Route 60 Tunnel Road runs from Jerusalem to Gush Etzion. Photo by Justin McIntosh via Wikimedia Commons.

Biden Admin Institutes Israel Boycott Policy

The Jewish Journal reports:

The Biden administration has reinstated a ban from the Obama administration barring taxpayer funding toward research and development and scientific cooperation projects with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights.


… The Trump administration had rescinded the Obama administration ban in October 2020; the Biden administration quickly put the ban back into place shortly after President Joe Biden was sworn into office, but didn’t implement the ban until recently, per Axios.


Republican Jewish Coalition National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman and CEO Matt Brookssaid in a statement, “By returning to the Obama-era policy, with its prejudice against Israeli control of Judea and Samaria, Biden is clumsily re-politicizing an issue that never should have been politicized to begin with. This move will negatively impact millions of Jews and Arabs who rely on access to services that provide healthcare, education, and living wages.” They called the ban “another example of Biden’s adherence to Obama’s anti-Israel Mideast policy.”


“Whether it is pleading with the terrorists in Tehran for a bad nuclear deal, ceding diplomatic ground in the Middle East to China, or releasing an antisemitism policy that undermines efforts to codify a clear and comprehensive definition of antisemitism, the Biden administration continues to be a delight for far-left radicals and a deep disappointment to mainstream pro-Israel supporters,” Coleman and Brooks added.

Breitbart quotes Senator Ted Cruz’s strong statement against the administration’s move:

Joe Biden and Biden administration officials are pathologically obsessed with undermining Israel. Since day one of their administration they have launched campaigns against our Israeli allies that are granular, whole of government, and done in secret.


This new boycott of Israeli Jews is yet another example. The State Department is telling the entire US government not to cooperate with Jews in Judea and Samaria. And of course it was sent to Congress in secret, and only revealed because reporters found out.


The Biden administration defends funding scientific research in Wuhan with the Chinese Communist Party, but they’re discriminating against and banning cooperation with Jews based on where they live.

Republicans Craft Strong Foreign Policy Appropriations Bill

What a difference a Republican majority makes! Late last week, the House State Department-Foreign Operations Subcommittee, led by Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), passed the fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill - a piece of legislation bill for Israel allies, and all Americans who want our nation to have strong, sensible and effective foreign policy.
The Diaz-Balart bill includes $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel through the Foreign Military Financing program. And the bill also contains an impressive number of pro-Israel policy reforms.


The bill requires that any nuclear deal the Biden administration cuts with Iran be submitted to the Senate as a treaty, with a two-thirds threshold for ratification.


The bill also stops the Biden administration's effort to create a de facto Palestinian Embassy by having the top Palestinian Affairs diplomat report to the Secretary of State in Washington DC rather than the US Ambassador in Jerusalem.


And, as Marc Rod details in Jewish Insider, it implements a host of reforms to address the many problems at the UN:

The legislation would also ban the US from providing funding to the UN Commission of Inquiry investigating Israel or to UNESCO, which the administration is attempting to rejoin.


It includes a new prerequisite that, before each release of funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency, the secretary of state must certify to Congress that UNRWA is complying with a range of oversight and accountability measures, including that it is implementing policies to prevent the dissemination of content that promotes antisemitism, violence or anti-Israel sentiments in UNRWA materials. The bill would also add "a new prohibition on funds for assessed expenses for UNRWA."


The House legislation would tighten restrictions on the US’ support for the UN Human Rights Council, demanding that the secretary of state provide a “detailed reform agenda, including a timeline” for removing Israel as a permanent agenda and reforming the selection process for the panel, as well as certify that remaining on the council is in the US' "national security interest."

The subcommittee's action clears the way for a full Appropriations committee vote on the State-Foreign Operations bill, followed by the House passing the bill and sending it to the Democrat-controlled Senate, which is unlikely to have passed its own bill by then. Chairman Diaz-Balart and the Republican members of his subcommittee have done great work.

The theme of the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival is "Age of Uncertainty: Imagining a New World Order."

The Country That Shall Not Be Named: Biden Admin Omits Mention of Israel in Rollout of Antisemitism Strategy

Alana Goodman reports at the Washington Free Beacon:

Biden administration officials did not mention Israel a single time in a Tuesday anti-Semitism strategy discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the latest sign that the White House is attempting to downplay connections between anti-Zionism and attacks on Jews.


During the hour-long panel discussion, Vice President Kamala Harris's husband, Doug Emhoff, and White House homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall highlighted incidents of antisemitism involving neo-Nazis and far-right nationalists, but failed to mention anti-Zionist attacks against Jews, according to Jewish Insider.


… The failure to mention anti-Zionism could add to concerns that the Biden administration is attempting to water down the definition of antisemitism to exclude anti-Israel extremism. The White House in May rolled out its long-awaited national strategy to combat antisemitism, a document that barely mentioned Israel. In the strategy, the White House also declined to officially endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of antisemitism, which includes certain extreme anti-Israel views.

Short Takes

What will happen when the Palestinians’ strongman leader finally dies?

Contrary to “expert” opinion, there will likely be no “successor” to [Palestinain Authority president Mahmoud] Abbas, but rather increased chaos as armed groups vie for control and Iran tries to co-opt the whole ugly process. Israel’s escalating military response is the result of two converging factors — the obligation to protect the citizens of Israel from terror, and to prevent an Iranian-supported takeover of the West Bank.

White House hires anti-Israel professor from university engulfed in antisemitism controversy

The White House has hired a City University of New York (CUNY) professor who has accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and "systematic genocide," a move that is raising alarms among the many people who are already concerned about the Biden administration's failure to combat antisemitism on America's college campuses. Ramzi Kassem, a professor at CUNY's law school, was tapped to serve as a senior policy adviser for immigration in the White House's Domestic Policy Council.

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Thank you Congressman @lawler4ny for joining @RJC leaders in NY today, discussing combatting Iran, fighting antisemitism, and strengthening the US-Israel relationship.


Thank you Congresswoman @MichelleSteelCA for joining @RJC Leaders from Southern California for a roundtable discussion, focusing on lowering the costs of living for hardworking families, combatting antisemitism, supporting Israel, and countering adversaries like Iran and China.




NY: Meet & Greet Breakfast with Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (NY-04)
An opportunity for RJC Leaders to meet the Congressman representing central and southern Nassau County.





TX: Event with Rep. Morgan Luttrell (TX-08)
Join us for a conversation in Houston with Rep. Luttrell, a former US Navy officer serving his first term in Congress.




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