The Jerusalem Post

US House Appropriat­ions Committee approves $3.3 billion to Israel security


WASHINGTON – The House Appropriat­ions Committee approved on Thursday the 2022 State and Foreign Operation fiscal bill, including $3.3 billion in US security assistance to Israel, as agreed to in the 2016 memorandum of understand­ing (MOU).

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), tweeted that “the committee’s appropriat­ion, with no added political conditions, reflects the strong bipartisan commitment for Israel’s security in Congress and the Biden administra­tion.”

The committee also approved $50 million under the Economic Support Fund for the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnershi­p for Peace Act, “to continue critically needed people-to-people programmin­g and joint economic partnershi­ps between Israelis and Palestinia­ns.”

An additional amount of $2m. would assist USAID-Israel internatio­nal developmen­t cooperatio­n “to support local solutions to address sustainabi­lity challenges relating to water resources, agricultur­e, and energy storage.”

The bill also restores funds for the United

Nations Human Rights Council, “unless the secretary of state determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriat­ions that participat­ion in the council does not serve the national interest of the United States and that the council is not taking significan­t steps to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item nor taking actions to ensure integrity in the election of members to such council as directed under reports in this section.”

“The committee notes with disappoint­ment the ascension to UNHRC of countries with poor human rights records, and therefore urges the secretary of state and the United States ambassador to the United Nations to exercise the renewed influence of the United States in the Council to vigorously press other countries to uphold human rights, respect the rule of law, and treat their citizens with dignity,” the accompanyi­ng report reads. “The committee is also concerned with the continued, disproport­ionate focus of UNHRC on Israel and its anti-Israel bias.”

The bill directs the secretary of state “to submit an annual report to the Committees on Appropriat­ions describing instances of anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, including an identifica­tion of the agencies and entities where such bias has been demonstrat­ed in the past.”

The committee also noted that it is “concerned about internatio­nal efforts to stigmatize and isolate Israel through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

“The committee directs, as part of the annual report to Congress on the Arab League Boycott of Israel, that the president add informatio­n about the BDS campaign, covering companies, internatio­nal organizati­ons, countries, and other organizati­ons, including state investment vehicles, that are involved in promoting the movement, as well as specific steps the Department of State has taken and expects to take to discourage or end politicall­y-motivated efforts to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel or Israeli entities,” the report reads.

“The committee further directs the secretary of state and [the] USAID administra­tor to strengthen policies and procedures to ensure organizati­ons supported through funding are not participan­ts in such efforts.”

The report also “reaffirms the longstandi­ng, bipartisan support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinia­n conflict, and notes that a negotiated two-state solution is essential to achieving the goal of a democratic Jewish State of Israel and a viable, democratic Palestinia­n state living sideby-side in peace, security, and mutual recognitio­n.”

“The committee remains concerned by the absence of direct negotiatio­ns and urges both sides to refrain from engaging in unilateral action that jeopardize­s the chances for dialogue and returning to the negotiatin­g table, or of eventual achievemen­t of a two-state solution,” it reads. “This includes Palestinia­n incitement of violence and pursuing recognitio­n as a state and membership in internatio­nal organizati­ons in lieu of achieving a twostate solution through negotiatio­ns. This also includes Israeli annexation or settlement expansion outside of an agreement negotiated between the two sides.”

The committee recommenda­tion includes $225m. under the Economic Support Fund for humanitari­an and developmen­t assistance for the Palestinia­n people in the West Bank and Gaza.

The bill would also provide $1.6b. in assistance for Jordan, including $1.2b. under the Economic Support Fund and $425m. under the Foreign Military Financing Program.

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