AIPAC Applauds House Committee Approval of Pro-Israel Measures
AIPAC applauds the U.S. House Appropriations Committee for including key provisions yesterday in the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2018 that support America’s ally Israel.
The bill provides $3.1 billion in security assistance to Israel—fully meeting America’s commitment under the current Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. It also extends America’s authority to stockpile weapons in Israel until the end of 2019 and provides Israel with $7.5 million for assisting with refugee resettlement.
The bill and its accompanying report also include additional important provisions that:
- Address rampant anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, by
- Prohibiting funding to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) unless the Secretary of State determines that it is in America’s national security interest and that the UNHRC is taking significant steps to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item;
- Calling on the United States to work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to minimize the impact of the “blacklist” database mandated by the UNHRC;
- Highlighting the anti-Israel activities of various Palestinian committees at the U.N. while urging the United States to continue withholding payment to the U.N. equivalent to America’s contribution to funding these entities; and
- Requesting that the State Department fully describe the anti-Israel activities of these U.N. entities in its annual report on American participation.
- Maintain key restrictions on the Palestinian Authority (PA), by
- Mandating a reduction of funds by an amount equivalent to that expended by the PA, the PLO or any affiliated organization as payments to individuals that committed acts of terrorism or their families; and
- Prohibiting funding if the Palestinians form a government through an agreement with Hamas, if they do not counter incitement of violence against Israelis, or if they obtain membership as a state at the United Nations (U.N.).
AIPAC commends the leadership of Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Ranking Democrat Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) and Committee Chairman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ).
- Restrict Palestinians’ diplomatic representation in the United States and cut off aid if the Palestinians initiate or actively support an International Criminal Court investigation against Israel.
- Maintain stringent prior-year restrictions on U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) funds, including a reporting requirement to provide a justification of why it is in the national interest of the United States to provide funds to this organization, along with an analysis of the current definition of Palestinian refugees used by the agency. The committee added new report language urging the Secretary of State to work with donor countries to review UNRWA’s contemporary mandate and report back to the Appropriations Committee on that review.
- Provide funding for important people-to-people reconciliation programs that promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians;
- Provide funding for regional allies Egypt and Jordan; and
- Continue provisions that mandate reporting on sanctions applied against Iran for its ballistic missile activities.