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APN Legislative Round-Up - June 26, 2009

1. New Bills and Resolutions; 2. Update on FY09 Supplemental; 3. FY10 ForOps Season Opens; 4. Berman on Iran; 5. Taking On Elliot Abrams Over Settlements (new APN blog post)

...for the week ending June 26, 2009
 
1.  New Bills and Resolutions
2.  Update on FY09 Supplemental
3.  FY10 ForOps Season Opens
4.  Berman on
Iran
5.  Taking On Elliot Abrams Over Settlements (new APN blog post)
 
1.  NEW BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS
 
(
IRAN ) HR 3016: Introduced 6/24/09 by Rep. Burton (R-IN) and no cosponsors, "To prohibit the use of certain funds to host Iranian officials for Independence Day celebrations, and for other purposes."  Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(
IRAN ) H. Res. 579: Introduced 6/24/09 by Rep. Burton (R-IN) and no cosponsors, "Expressing support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law, and rescinding the invitation to Iranian officials to attend July 4th celebrations at United States embassies and for other purposes."  Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
 
(
IRAN ) S. XXX : According to a report in CQ, "Three hard-line Senate voices on Iran said Thursday they will introduce legislation to expand Iranians' access to free media in the wake of a post-election crackdown on protests and communication.  Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Connecticut independent Joseph I. Lieberman said they would introduce the bill, which would authorize more money for U.S. broadcasting services as well as technology to circumvent attempts to block broadcasts and Web sites, after the July Fourth recess."
 
2. UPDATE ON FY09 SUPPLEMENTAL
 
On
6/24/09 President Obama signed into law the FY09 Supplemental Appropriations bill (HR 2346).  For details of this bill, please consult past editions of the Round-Up.

 3. FY10 FOROPS SEASON OPENS
 
As noted in the
6/19/09 edition of the Round-Up, on 6/17/09 the House Appropriations Committee's Foreign Operations Subcommittee marked up the FY10 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.  On 6/23/09 , the full Appropriations Committee mark-up and passed the bill.  The Middle East-related details of the bill, which now goes to the full House for a vote, are as follows (changes made in the 6/23 mark-up, as part of a manager's amendment that passed by a voice vote, are noted).
 
TiTLE I - THE Department of State and Related Agencies
 
International Broadcasting Operations
Bill Text:  The bill provides $733,788,000 "to make and supervise grants for radio and television broadcasting to the
Middle East ."
 
Report:  The report notes that the recommendation includes $111,601,000 "for television and radio broadcasting in Arabic, including Alhurra, Alhurra-Iraq, and Alhurra Europe, as well as radio Sawa, which is $1,038,000 above the fiscal year 2009 program level and $1,976,000 below the request.
 
The Committee recommendation includes funding to continue through fiscal year 2010 the initiative begun in fiscal year 2008 to provide for 24/7 streaming and 60-day archiving on the station's website of all original programs for the Alhurra stream. The Committee believes that these steps should enhance the transparency and accountability of Alhurra."
  
Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue
Bill text:  The bill includes a perennial provision making available interest and earnings accruing to the Fund on or before the end of the fiscal year available until expended, "For necessary expenses of the Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund."
 
Report:  "The Committee recommends an appropriation for fiscal year 2010 of interest and earnings from the Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund, expected to total $875,000."
 
Israeli Arab Scholarship Program
Bill text: The bill includes a perennial provision making all interest and earnings accruing to the Fund on or before the end of the fiscal year available until expended, "for necessary expenses of the Israeli Arab Scholarship Program as authorized by section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (22 U.S.C. 2452)."
 
Report:  "The Committee recommends an appropriation for fiscal year 2010 of interest and earnings from the Israeli Arab Scholarship Endowment Fund, expected to total $375,000."
 
Other Title I Report Language
 
Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs:
- ".The Committee urges the Department to continue to support the citizen exchange activities of Sister Cities International, including efforts to increase exchanges with communities in Africa and in countries with significant Muslim populations."
- Special Grants-One-time Grants Program:  The committee recommendation includes $8 million for "the one-time special educational, professional, and cultural exchange."  The Secretary is encouraged to consider the following proposals for this competitive program: Arkansas State for exchanges with the Middle East and East Asian countries; Strengthening America's Image for citizen exchange programs with cities in Muslim majority countries; United Planet for exchanges in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
 
TITLE II - US AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 
There is no Middle East-related bill text in this section. 
 
The explanatory report states that "The Committee is aware of USAID's efforts to develop better controls and screening systems to ensure that United States government funds are not diverted to terrorist organizations. While the overwhelming majority of implementing partners are performing admirably, often in difficult environments, screening systems can help to ensure that American interests are adequately protected. The Committee expects USAID to work constructively with implementing organizations, including contractors and nongovernmental organizations, to frame a commonsense system, without undermining foreign policy and development goals. As the system is established, USAID is directed to consult regularly with the Committees on Appropriations and to provide a quarterly status report on implementing a comprehensive partner vetting system.
 
The Committee is aware of the partner vetting system in the West Bank and Gaza that strengthens USAID's ability to prevent any United States financial assistance from being provided to a private entity, educational institution, or nongovernmental organization that provides financial support for terrorist activity. USAID is directed to report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 120 days after enactment of this Act on lessons learned from the partner vetting system's implementation in the West Bank and Gaza.
 
The Committee notes that United States financial institutions currently perform due diligence of their potential clients under rules known as "Know Your Customer (KYC)," with a primary goal of thwarting terrorist financing and money laundering. The Committee directs USAID to consult with the Committees on Appropriations as to whether the principles and concepts of this program could be incorporated into the vetting system that is being considered."
 
TITLE III - BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
 
Economic Support Funds (ESF)
 
The explanatory report includes a table allocating ESF to the Middle East as follows:  
  
Egypt: $250 million (same as request)
Jordan:  $363 million (same as request)
Lebanon:  $109 million (same as request) 
MEPI: $70 million (request was for $86 million)
Middle East Regional Cooperation: $5 million (request was for $3 million)
Morocco: $3 million (same as request)
Near East Regional Democracy:  $40 million (same as request)
West Bank/Gaza: $400.4 million (same as request)
Yemen: $25 million (request was $0)
 
EGYPT
Bill text:  The bill earmarks $250 million in ESF for Egypt, to be provided "on a grant basis, and of which sum cash transfer assistance shall be provided with the understanding that Egypt will undertake significant economic and democratic reforms which are additional to those which were undertaken in previous fiscal years." Of this, not less than $25 million is earmarked for democracy, human rights and governance programs.  The bill earmarks not less than $25 million for education programs.
 
Report Text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $250,000,000 for assistance for Egypt, which is the same as the request. Within the amount provided for project assistance, not less than 25,000,000shall be made available for democracy, governance, and human rights programs and not less than $25,000,000 shall be for education programs. The requirements of the Democracy Fund shall apply with respect to the provision of assistance to nongovernmental organizations.
 
USAID should consider the work of the "United States Congress-Majlis EI-Shaab Exchange Program" with the People's Assembly of Egypt. The Committee notes recent steps by the Government of Egypt to address human rights concerns and urges continued attention to these issues, including the rights of religious minority communities such as the Baha'i. The Committee also notes with concern the continued incarceration of Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman, an Egyptian human rights activist and blogger.
 
JORDAN
The bill earmarks $363 million in ESF for Jordan
 
Report Text: "The Committee recommendation includes $363,000,000 for assistance for Jordan, which is the same as the request. The Committee notes, with appreciation, Jordan's strong support for the United States and recognizes Jordan's leadership and commitment to advancing efforts to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians."
 
WEST BANK/GAZA
Bill text:  The bill states that not more than $400,400,000 million may be made available for assistance to the West Bank and Gaza.   The bill stipulates that of this amount, not more than $2 million "may be used for administrative expenses of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in addition to funds otherwise available for such purposes, to carry out programs in the West Bank and Gaza."   The bill text further stipulates that not more than $150 million  may be made available for cash transfer assistance [note: the bill originally said $200 million could be used for cash transfer assistance; the change to $150 million - which is consistent with the President's request - was part of the Manager's amendment in full committee].
 
Report Text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $400,400,000 for programs
in the West Bank and Gaza, of which not more than $200 million [changed to $150 million] shall be for cash transfer assistance.  The Department of State and USAID should continue to support efforts of the Palestinian Authority. Up to $2,000,000 of the funds provided under this heading may be used to augment administrative expenses of USAID to facilitate program administration and not less than $3,000,000 should be designated for local non-governmental organizations operating in the West Bank to strengthen civil society and improve social services for the Palestinian people.
 
"The Committee supports expanded opportunities for eligible Palestinian students to participate in scholarship, study abroad and exchange programs, particularly in the United States, and directs the Secretary of State to report to the Committees on Appropriations on efforts to expand these programs and any potential obstacles.
 
"The Committee believes that for the Palestinian Authority to be a strong and viable partner for peace, it must receive the economic and political backing of the international community, most particularly of Arab states. The Committee therefore directs the Secretary of State to report not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act and every 180 days thereafter on the status and progress of efforts to gain Arab participation in the economic development of the West Bank and support for the Palestinian Authority.
 
"The Secretary shall report to the Committee on Appropriations on the facts surrounding the injury sustained by Tristan Anderson, an American citizen from Oakland, California, on March 13, 2009 in the West Bank village of Nilin.
 
"The Committee is aware of the work of Hebrew University and urges USAID to support efforts that build partnerships between Israeli and Palestinian medical institutions."
 
LEBANON
Bill text:  The bill does not include a hard ESF earmark for Lebanon.
 
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $109,000,000 for assistance for Lebanon, as requested, of which not less than $15,000,000 is for scholarships for students in Lebanon with high financial need, including at American educational institutions. These funds arc to be awarded through an open and competitive process.
 
MIDDLE EAST PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE
 
Report text: "The Committee recommendation includes $70,000,000 for programs managed by MEPI, of which $10,000,000 should be used to continue a scholarship program to educate students from countries with significant Muslim populations, including at American educational institutions in those countries. These funds are to be awarded through an open and competitive process. The Department of State is directed to report to the Committees on Appropriations on coordination with other offices responsible for funding similar programs as MEPI, including USAID and other offices within the Department of State. The Department of State and USAID should consider the work of Street Law. The Committee supports Shaare Zedek's Medical Center partnership creating a breast and ovarian cancer genetics service infrastructure in the West Bank and commends efforts such as these that produce tangible benefits from peace and cooperation among Israelis and Palestinians."
 
MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL COOPERATION PROGRAM
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $5,000,000 for the Middle East Regional Cooperation Program to promote technical cooperation between Arab and Israeli scientists, students, and communities on topics relevant to development in the Middle East."
 
YEMEN
Bill text:  The bill does not include a hard ESF earmark for Yemen.
 
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $25,000,000 for assistance for Yemen under this heading. The Committee is concerned about the stability of Yemen and notes that the country requires focused international attention. The Committee recognizes that Yemen is an emerging democracy and expresses continued support for democracy and governance programs to assist the country's nascent democratic institutions as well as support for health and education programs to provide opportunity to the country's youth. An additional $15,000,000 is provided under the "Development Assistance" account."
 
Other ESF Funding
 
IAEA
The bill includes a perennial language stipulating that that funds appropriated under this heading may be made available for the International Atomic Energy Agency only if the Secretary of State (and reports to Congress) that Israel is not being denied its right to participate in the activities of that Agency.
 
DEMOCRACY FUNDS
The bill text stipulates that with respect to the provision of assistance for democracy, human rights and governance activities, the organizations implementing such assistance and the specific nature of that assistance shall not be subject to the prior approval by the government of any foreign country.  [Note: this provision is aimed mainly at Egypt].
 
PARLIAMENTARY EXCHANGES
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $2,000,000 for the House Democracy Assistance Commission. This program is not included in the fiscal year 2010 justification material and is therefore subject to the notification requirements of section 7015. The Commission maintains ongoing partnerships with 12 legislatures in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Mongolia, Timor-Leste, and Ukraine. Funding will support operating costs for fiscal year 2010, including an array of outbound programs conducted in partner nations and inbound programs conducted in the United States Congress."
 
RECONCILIATION PROGRAMS
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $15,000,000 under this heading to continue support for USAID's reconciliation programs, which shall be awarded through a competitive grant program. The Committee provides an additional $12,000,000 under the "Development Assistance" heading for a total of $27,000,000 in this Act for reconciliation programs. The Committee intends that $16,000,000 should be used to support people-to-people reconciliation programs in all regions of the world, and not less than $11,000,000 is for such programs in the Middle East to foster reconciliation between Arab and Israeli populations."
 
DEMOCRACY FUND
Report text (added in full committee markup by Manager's amendment): "$15,000,000 shall be fore internet freedom activities, including providing unmonitored and uncensored access to the internet for a large number of unique users in order to expand access to information in closed societies which are hostile to the free flow of information through the internet, including in the Middle East and Asia."
 
Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA)
Bill text:  The bill stipulates that not less than $25 million in MRA funds shall be available for the resettlement of refugees in Israel (the amount was $30 million in FY09).
 
Report text:  The report text includes the following regarding MRA--
 
 - Iraqi refugees:  "The Committee is aware of concerns raised by international nongovernmental organizations working with Iraqi refugees in Syria that their humanitarian efforts are impeded by the United States sanctions imposed on Syria. The Committee has been informed, for example, that restrictions on technology make it difficult for aid workers to bring or use computers and other routine information technology in Syria and requires them to purchase new and more costly computing equipment in Syria. The Committee encourages the Secretary of State to examine the advisability of granting a limited humanitarian exemption from these restrictions to  nongovernmental organizations funded by the United States and operating in Syria and to forward any recommendations for changes to existing law to the relevant committees of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
 
"The Committee is also concerned that in addition Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria, there are thousands of internally displaced persons of Palestinian descent in Iraq who are not being welcomed in any country in the region and are living in desperate circumstances just inside the border. The Committee understands that UNHCR considers Palestinians living in the border camps to be extremely vulnerable and urges the Department of State to accelerate efforts to address the needs of this vulnerable population."
 
- Migration to Israel: "The Committee recommendation includes not less than $25,000,000 for refugees from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and other refugees resettling in Israel, the same as the request."
 
- United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA):  "The Committee is cognizant of concerns over whether UNRWA is taking all reasonable steps to prevent United States assistance from 'supporting terrorists, terrorist organizations or other extremists, particularly in the West Bank and Gaza and is operating in an open and transparent manner. While a May 2009 Government Accountability Office report found UNRWA has "strengthened policies and procedures to conform with conditions of United States contributions", they also noted that "weaknesses remain". Therefore, the Committee recommendation includes a provision (Sec. 7085) requiring the Secretary of State to,submit an accountability report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act. The report requirements, which are similar to those included in the conference report on the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law Ill-XX), are as follows:
 
Whether UNRWA is:
(1) continuing to utilize Operations Support Officers in the West Bank and Gaza to inspect UNRWA installations and report any inappropriate use;
(2) dealing promptly with any staff or beneficiary violations of its own policies (including the policies on neutrality and impartiality of employees) and the legal requirements under section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;
(3) taking necessary and appropriate measures to ensure it is operating in compliance with the conditions of section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;
(4) continuing regular reporting to the Department of State on actions it has taken to ensure conformance with the conditions of section 30l(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;
(5) taking steps to improve the transparency of all educational materials currently in use in UNRWA-administered schools;
(6) continuing to use curriculum materials in UNRWA-supported schools and summer camps designed to promote tolerance, non-violent conflict resolution and human rights;
(7) not engaging in operations with financial institutions or related entities in violation of relevant United States law and is enhancing its transparency and financial due diligence and working to diversify its banking operations in the region; and
(8) in compliance with the United Nations Board of Auditors' biennial audit requirements and is implemented in a timely fashion the Board's recommendations.
 
- Textbooks:  "The Committee is concerned about reports of host country textbooks used in UNRWA schools that include inflammatory and inaccurate information about the United States and the State of Israel, anti-Semitic teaching, as well as the glorification of terrorists. The Committee requests the Department of State undertake a sample review of educational materials used in UNRWA schools and to report to the Committees on Appropriations on the findings of the review, efforts by UNRWA and the Department of State to mitigate the use of such material and any recommendations for improving transparency and accuracy of such materials."
 
TITLE IV - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE
[note: In the text to the FY09 Supplemental is referred to as "111-XX" since the bill had not been signed into law when this text was drafted.  Presumably the correct Public Law number will be inserted when the bill is reported out of committee]
 
Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)
Bill text:  The text earmarks $26 million for the US contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai.
 
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $26,000,000 for the MFO mission in the Sinai, which is the same as the request."
 
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation assumes full funding of the request with the exception of the funding proposed for Azerbaijan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea, Somalia, East Asia and Pacific Regional, Pakistan, and Administrative Costs. The Committee recommendation does not include funding for Equatorial Guinea IMET programs, which is $40,000 below the request; Somalia IMET programs, which is $40,000 below the request; and East Asia and Pacific Regional IMET programs, which is $920,000 below the request."
 
"Egypt:  The Committee recommendation provides $1,900,000 for IMET programs for Egypt, which is $500,000 above the request. The Committee directs that the additional $500,000 shall be used for a combined military training program to include students from Egypt and Israel."
 
Foreign Military Financing (FMF)
 
ISRAEL
Bill text:  The bill earmarks not less than $2.22 billion in FMF for Israel, to be disbursed within 30 days of the enactment of this Act.  The bill stipulates that to the extent that the Government of Israel requests and as agreed by Israel and the U.S., these funds shall be made available for advanced weapons systems, of which not less than $583.860 million shall be made available for procurement of articles and services in Israel [note: unless otherwise stipulated, FMF must be spent in the U.S.
 
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation provides $2,200,000,000 in grants for military assistance to Israel, in addition to $555,000,000 provided in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-XX), for a combined total of $2,775,000,000 for fiscal year 2010. The Committee notes that of the total $2,775.000.000 provided for Israel in fiscal year 2010, $729,825,000 is for offshore procurement of military equipment, of which $583,860,000 shall be applied to funds in this Act.  The Committee continues prior-year language that funds shall be made available within 30 days of enactment of this Act.
 
"The Committee notes that this is the second year of a ten year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on August 16, 2007, between the Department of State and Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs which established the framework for United States military assistance to Israel and calls for $2,775,000,000 in fiscal year 2010. This MOU reflects the unshakable commitment of the United States to Israel's security and provides for an increased level of military assistance to help Israel with its security requirements in light of the increased threats it faces in the region. The Committee continues to support this framework agreement as a continuation of a valuable strategic relationship and a commitment to the security of the state of Israel as well as the United States.
 
"The Committee remains committed to helping Israel maintain sovereignty and security. Therefore, the Committee is convinced that the United States must make every effort to carry out its longstanding policy of assisting our ally Israel to maintain its technological advantage."
 
EGYPT
Bill text:  The bill earmarks not less than $1.040 billion in FMF for Egypt.  The bill also includes the perennial provision under which estimated current year outlays for Egypt shall be placed in an interest-bearing account within 30 days of the enactment of this Act.  The bill notes that these funds are for grants for Egypt, "including for border security programs and activities in the Sinai."
 
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $1,040,000,000 for Egypt, which is $260,000,000 below the request. The Committee provided $260,000,000 in military assistance for Egypt for fiscal year 2010 in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-XX) for a combined total of $1,300,000,000 in fiscal year 2010. The Committee continues prior-year language which provides that funds shall be transferred within 30 days of enactment of this Act to an interest bearing account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York."
 
JORDAN
The bill earmarks $150 million in FMF for Jordan
 
Report text:  "The Committee recommendation includes $150,000,000 for assistance for Jordan, which is $150,000,000 below the request. The Committee provided $150,000,000 in military assistance for Jordan for fiscal year 2010 in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law Ill-XX) for a combined total of $300,000,000 in fiscal year 2010. The Committee notes with appreciation the critical role that Jordan has played in advancing peace and stability in the region."
 
Other Title IV Report Language
 
The explanatory report allocates FMF to the Middle East as follows: 
 
Egypt: $1.040 billion (which when added to the $260 million in the FY09 Supplemental is the same as request of $1.3 billion)
Israel:  $2.220 billion (which when added to the $555 million in the FY09 Supplemental is the same as request of $2.775 billion) 
Jordan: $150 million (which when added to the $150 million in the FY09 Supplemental is the same as $300 million request)
Lebanon: $100 million (same as request)
Morocco: $9 million (same as request)
Tunisia:  $20 million (request was $15 million)
 
Tunisia:  "The Committee recommendation includes $20,000,000 for FMF programs for Tunisia, which is $5,000,000 above the request. Tunisia is an important ally of the United States and a valued partner in combating global terrorism. The Committee understands that the Tunisian Armed Forces are relying on outdated equipment, and supports efforts to transform its military to focus on counter-terrorism and international peacekeeping. The Committee remains concerned with reports of incidents of security forces imposing restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association."
 
Lebanon:  "The Committee recommendation provides $100,000,000 for FMF programs for Lebanon, which is the same as the request. The bill includes a provision (Sec. 7044) making funds available to professionalize the Lebanese Armed Forces, strengthen border security, interdict arms shipments and combat terrorism in Lebanon. The Committee recommendation includes language that none of the funds are available for obligation until the Secretary of State provides a detailed spending plan and strategy to achieve such goals."
 
TITLE VI -   EXPORT AND INVESTMENT ASSISTANCE
 
Title VI of the bill includes no Middle East-related provisions.  However, the report includes the following:
 
"Credit Export Facility for the Palestinian Authority.-- The Committee notes the forthcoming Export-Import Bank report to the Committees on Appropriations on the potential for establishing a credit export facility for the Palestinian Authority.
 
TITLE VII -   GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
- Sec. 7007:  Prohibition Against Direct Funding for Certain Countries
Perennial bill language banning aid to Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria, extending to loans, credits, insurance, and guarantees of the Export-Import Bank or its agents.
 
- Sec. 7013: Prohibition on Taxation of United States Assistance
This is a perennial provision barring taxation of United States assistance. While this provision appears generic (applying to all countries/entities receiving US aid) the only country/entity explicitly identified is the West Bank and Gaza. This reflects the genesis of the provision - the allegation in a previous year that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was taxing U.S. assistance provided to NGOs, thereby indirectly benefiting from US assistance designed specifically to bypass the PA.
 
- Sec. 7015 (f): Reprogramming Notification Requirements. 
This section states that no funds may be obligated or expended for assistance to Serbia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Iran, Haiti, Libya, Ethiopia, Nepal, Mexico, or Cambodia except as provided through regular notification procedures of the Committee on Appropriations. 
 
- Sec. 7021: Prohibition on Assistance to Foreign Governments that Expert Lethal Military Equipment to Countries Supporting International Terrorism
Perennial bill language banning assistance to governments that export lethal military equipment to countries supporting international terrorism; includes a Presidential national security waiver.
 
- Sec. 7022: Prohibition on Bilateral Assistance to Terrorist Countries
Perennial bill language prohibiting aid to any country which the President determines grants sanctuary to any individual or group that has committed an act of international terrorism, or any country that the President determines otherwise supports international terrorism. The language includes a national security waiver for the President.
 
- Sec. 7034(k): Middle East Foundation
States that "funds appropriated in this Act and prior Acts for a Middle East Foundation shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committee on Appropriations.
 
- Sec. 7035: Arab League Boycott of Israel
Perennial bill language expressing the Sense of the Congress opposing the Arab League Boycott of Israel, and articulating what Arab League states and the U.S. should be doing to end the boycott. [Same as House and Senate versions]
 
- Sec. 7036: Palestinian Statehood
Perennial bill language stipulating that no funds appropriated in this Act may be used to support a Palestinian state unless the Secretary of State certifies the state has met a list of requirements related to fighting terror, democratic reform, and commitment to peace. As in the previous year, the President is granted the authority to waive these requirements for reasons of national security. [Note: This section is a relic of history, reflecting a time when Congress was extremely focused on the threat of Yasser Arafat unilaterally declaring a Palestinian State.  This threat has not been on the agenda for some years, yet this very extensive section of law is passed every year].
 
- Sec. 7037: Restrictions Concerning the Palestinian Authority
Perennial bill language stipulating that no funds appropriated in this Act may be used to create any new U.S. government office in Jerusalem to conduct business with the Palestinian Authority or any successor Palestinian governing entity. 
 
- Sec. 7038: Prohibition on Assistance to the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation
Perennial bill language stipulating that no funds appropriated in this Act may be used to assist the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation [Like many other Palestinian-related provisions, this section has its genesis in Congressional unhappiness with PBC programming from the early days of the Oslo process].
 
- Sec. 7039: Assistance for the West Bank and Gaza
This is the perennial provision setting out the extensive conditions and restrictions on, and vetting, reporting and audit requirements for, the West Bank and Gaza program.    The provision has been modified from prior years by requiring that funds are subject to the regular notification procedures.
  
- Sec. 7040: Limitation on Assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
This perennial bill language stipulates that no funds appropriated in this Act may be obligated or expending with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority. The President is granted the authority to waive this restriction for reasons of national security.  If the waiver is used, the President is required to submit a report detailing the justification for the waiver, the purposes for which the funds will be spent, and the accounting procedures in place to ensure that the funds are properly disbursed. The report shall also detail the steps the Palestinian Authority has taken to arrest terrorists, confiscate weapons and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. The Secretary of State must also certify and report to the Committees on Appropriations prior to the obligation of funds that the Palestinian Authority has established a single treasury account for all Palestinian Authority financing and all financing mechanisms flow through this account, no parallel financing mechanisms exist outside of the Palestinian Authority treasury account, and there is a single comprehensive civil service roster and payroll. 
 
In addition, this provision stipulates that funds may not be used for "salaries of personnel of the Palestinian Authority located in Gaza" or for "assistance to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas or any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member unless the President certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such government, including all of its ministers or such equivalent, has publicly accepted and is complying with the principles contained in section 620K(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended." The section notes that the President "may exercise the authority of section 620K(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act as added by the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-446) with respect to this section."  Finally, the section stipulates that funds may not be used for assistance to the PLO. 
 
(Report text:  "Sec. 7040, 'Limitation on Assistance for the Palestinian Authority', is modified to prohibit assistance to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, and further prohibit assistance to any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member unless the President certifies that such government, including all of its ministers or such equivalent, has met certain conditions.
 
- Sec. 7041: Saudi Arabia
This provision bars any funding for Saudi Arabia unless the President "certifies that Saudi Arabia is fully cooperation with efforts to combat international terrorism and such assistance will facilitate these efforts."
 
(Report text:  Sec. 7041, 'Saudi Arabia', is a new provision that prohibits any assistance from this Act unless the President certifies full cooperation with efforts to combat international terrorism.")
 
Note: the original Sec. 7043 (identical to a provision in the previous ForOps bill, was replaced during the full committee mark-up with the following, which was part of the Manager's amendment)
 
- Sec. 7043: Iran
This brand new provision states:
(a) DIPLOMACY WITH IRAN: Not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act and every 90 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall report to the Committees on Appropriations, in classified form if necessary, on the status and progress of diplomatic efforts aimed at curtailing the pursuit by Iran of nuclear weapons technology.
 
(b) LIMITATION ON THE USE OF FUNDS BY THE EXPORT-IMPORT BANK RELATED TO IRAN: None of the funds made available in Title VI under the heading "Program Account" and "Subsidy Appropriation" may be used by the Export-Import Bank of the United States to guarantee, insure, or extent credit for any project controlled by an energy producer or refiner that provides the Islamic Republic of Iran with significant refined petroleum resources, that materially contributes to Iran's capability to import refined petroleum resources, or that allows Iran to maintain or expand, in any material respect, its domestic production of refined petroleum resources, including any assistance in refining construction, modernization, or repair.
 
(c) Sanctions report:  Not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations "on the status of multilateral and bilateral United States sanctions against Iran and actions taken by the United States and the international community to enforce sanctions against Iran." The report shall included:  " (1) A list of all current United States bilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran; (2) A list of all United States and foreign registered entities which the Secretary of State has reason to believe may be in violation of existing United States bilateral and multilateral sanctions; (3) A detailed description of United States efforts to enforce sanctions, including a list of all investigations initiated in the 12 months preceding the enactment of this Act that have resulted in a determination that a sanctions violation has occurred and United States government actions taken pursuant to the determination; (4) In the instances when sanctions were waived or otherwise not imposed against entities that were determined to have violated United States bilateral or multilateral sanctions, the reason in each instance of why action was not taken to sanction the entity; and (5) A description of United States diplomatic efforts to expand bilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran and strengthen international efforts to enforce existing sanctions." [note: this part of the provision is identical to the original section 7043]
 
[Report text: "Sec. 7043, 'Iran', is modified by changing the reporting date, adds a new reporting requirement on diplomatic efforts to prevent Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapon technology; and includes a limitation on Export-Import Bank as it relates to Iran.
 
"The Committee supports continued diplomatic efforts, including sanctions, to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability and requires the Secretary of State to report on the status and progress of such efforts not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act. The Committee is concerned that current U.S. law does not prevent the Export-Import Bank of the United States from providing credit, insurance, or guarantees to benefit companies that contribute significantly to Iran 's refined petroleum resources, including through imports or contributions to Iran's domestic production.  As a result, the Committee includes bill language that takes critical steps to close any such loophole. The Committee intends "significant" to mean any amounts in excess of$20,000,000, "consistent with the Iran Sanctions Act. The Committee understands that per its mandate, the Export-Import Bank of the United States and its Board of Directors approve or disapprove transactions based primarily on market considerations; thus, the Committee expects that the Department of State and Department of Treasury will be responsible for determining what companies meet the standard as outlined in bill language. Finally the-Committee continues a reporting requirement on Iran Sanctions from the fiscal year 2009 bill."
 
- Sec.  7044: Lebanon
This section stipulates that FMF for Lebanon shall be available "only to professionalize the Lebanese Armed Forces and to strengthen border security and combat terrorism, including training and equipping the Lebanese Armed Forces to secure Lebanon's borders, interdicting arms shipments, preventing the use of Lebanon as a safe haven for terrorist groups and implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701."  It states that no FMF shall be available until the Secretary of State provides a "detailed spending plan, which shall include a strategy for professionalizing the Lebanese Armed Forces, strengthening border security and combating terrorism in Lebanon."
 
- Sec. 7052:  United Nations Human Rights Council
This section bars the use of any funds appropriated by this Act for the United States contribution to the UN Human Rights Council unless the Secretary of State certifies that such support to the Council is in the U.S. national interest, or if the U.S. is a member of the Council.  While the section does not mention Israel, Congressional outrage over the UN Human Rights Council has focused on the Council's treatment of Israel.
  
- Sec. 7056: Landmines and Cluster munitions
This section states that notwithstanding any other provision of law, demining equipment available to USAID and the Department of State and used in support of the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance for humanitarian purposes may be disposed of on a grant basis in foreign countries, subject to such terms and conditions as the President may prescribe.  It also stipulates that "no military assistance shall be furnished for cluster munitions, no defense export license for cluster munitions may be issued, and no cluster munitions or cluster munitions technology shall be sold or transferred" unless "the submunitions of the cluster munitions have a 99 percent or higher functioning rate" and "the agreement applicable to the assistance, transfer, or sale of the cluster munitions or cluster munitions technology specifies that the cluster munitions will only be used against clearly defined military targets and will not be used where civilians are known to be present."
 
- Sec. 7064: Reconciliation Programs
Provision stating that not less than $27 million shall be made available "for reconciliation programs which bring together and facilitate interaction between individuals of different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds from areas of civil conflict and war."  Of this amount, the section states that "$11,000,000 shall be made available for such programs in the Middle East."
  
- Sec. 7066: Requests for Documents
This provision bars aid to NGOs that fail "to provide upon timely request any document, file, or record necessary to the auditing requirements of the United States Agency for International Development." While this is a generic requirement, applying to all NGOs receiving US funds, the issue of audits of NGOs working with USAID has been especially focused on the West Bank and Gaza.
 
- Sec. 7072: Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. 
This provision directs that a portion of U.S. assistance for the Government of the Russian Federation be withheld until the President certifies that, among other things, Russian government has "terminated implementation of arrangements to provide Iran with technical expertise, training, technology, or equipment necessary to develop a nuclear reactor, related nuclear research facilities or programs, or ballistic missile capability..."
 
- Sec. 7083: Commercial Leasing of Defense Articles
This perennial provision permits financing to be provided to Israel, Egypt and NATO and major non-NATO allies for the procurement by leasing (including leasing with an option to purchase) of defense articles from United States commercial suppliers, if the President determines that there are compelling foreign policy or national security reasons for those defense articles being provided by commercial lease rather than by government-to-government sale.
 
- Sec. 7086: UNRWA ACCOUNTABILITY
This is a new section requiring extensive reporting on UNRWA operations (in addition to the reporting required in the report language on UNRWA).  The section states:
 
The Secretary of State shall prepare and submit to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act a report on whether UNRWA is:
(1) continuing to utilize Operations Support Officers in the West Bank and Gaza to inspect UNRWA installations and report any inappropriate use;
(2) dealing promptly with any staff or beneficiary violations of its own policies (including the policies on neutrality and impartiality of employees) and the legal requirements under section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;
(3) taking necessary and appropriate measures to ensure it is operating in compliance with the conditions of section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;
(4) continuing regular reporting to the Department of State on actions it has taken to ensure conformance with the conditions of section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;
(5) taking steps to improve the transparency of all educational materials currently in use in UNRWA-administered schools;
(6) continuing to use curriculum materials in UNRWA-supported schools and summer camps designed to promote tolerance, non-violent conflict resolution and human rights;
(7) not engaging in operations with financial institutions or related entities in violation of relevant United States law and is enhancing its transparency and financial due diligence and working to diversify its banking operations in the region; and
(8) in compliance with the United Nations Board of Auditors' biennial audit requirements and is implementing in a timely fashion the Board's recommendations.
 
4.  DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILLS
 
On 6/24/09 the House began debate on HR 2647, the FY2010 Defense Authorization bill.  On 6/25/09 the House completed debate on the bill and passed it by a vote of 389-22.  On 6/25/09 the Senate Armed Services completed a mark-up of its version of the bill.  A full analysis of these bills, including a discussion of what is happening with the Arrow-3 program, will be included in next week's edition of the Round-Up.
 
5.  BERMAN ON IRAN
 
http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press_display.asp?id=627
 
June 19, 2009
 
Mr. Speaker, every day since Iran's election, the streets of Tehran have been filled with demonstrators, and each day this past week, the number seems to be growing.  Even state-run media in Iran has put the number of demonstrators in Tehran at "hundreds of thousands." One British newspaper reports that there were a million demonstrators in Tehran yesterday.
 
What do these demonstrators want? Are they simply in favor of the candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi? Or are they making a more profound statement about the Iranian regime?  Nobody knows exactly. We do know one thing, though: The demonstrators feel their intelligence was insulted and their dignity assaulted by the high-handed manner in which the results of the June 12 election were handled.  They want justice - this morning, the Supreme Leader offered none.
 
It is not for us to decide who should run Iran, much less determine the real winner of the June 12th election.  But we must reaffirm our strong belief that the Iranian people have a fundamental right to express their views about the future of their country freely, and without intimidation.
 
The Iranian regime is clearly embarrassed by the demonstrations and has not shrunk from using violence to stop them. At least eight demonstrators - and quite likely, a number more - have been killed and hundreds have been injured.  The Regime has also tried to ban media coverage of the demonstrations.  Foreign journalists are consigned to their homes and offices; several have been expelled from the country.
 
Cell-phone coverage has been frequently blocked in order to limit communication among the protestors.  And the regime has interfered with the Internet and taken down many opposition Web sites.  We cannot stand silent in the face of this assault on human freedom and dignity.  I repeat that we have no interest in interfering in Iran's internal affairs. That era has ended.
 
This resolution "affirms the universality of individual rights," as well as "the importance of democratic and fair elections."  Beyond that, it simply expresses its solidarity with "Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law."  I don't know how many of the demonstrators fall into that category, but I do know that many of them do.
 
This resolution also condemns the bloody suppression of freedom.  It is not a judgment on who won the Iranian elections.  It is an acknowledgement that we cannot remain silent when cherished, universal principles are under attack.
 
Mr. Speaker, I want to just offer my appreciation to our ranking member and to the gentleman from Indiana for working together on a resolution which puts the House of Representatives on the side of the people of Iran.  And with that, I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution.
 
5.  TAKING ON ELLIOTT ABRAMS OVER SETTLEMENTS (NEW APN BLOG POST)
 
http://peacenowconversation.org/?p=219
 
The Settlers' Lawyer (or, Elliott Abrams Is At It Again)
June 25, 2009, posted by Lara Friedman
 
On May 23, 2005, the Washington Post ran a an incisive op-ed by former State Department negotiator and Middle East advisor Aaron Miller, entitled "Israel's Lawyer," in which Aaron argued "For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel's attorney." I was reminded of that article when I read today's piece by Elliott Abrams in the Wall Street Journal, which should, I believe, have been entitled "The West Bank Settlers' Lawyer."
 
Before anyone accuses me of casting aspersions on Mr. Abrams' honor or motivations, let me be clear: I have no doubt he has taken the case pro bono. For him, advocating for the settlers is clearly a labor of love. And the settlers are fortunate to have Elliott volunteering for the job. He brings a unique combination of expertise and experience, combined, it would seem, with a shameless willingness to cherry-pick the facts and, when the facts don't support his argument, to fall back on the "I was there and I know what happened."
 
An interesting approach from a man who does not have a spotless record when it comes to truth-telling and foreign policy (for anyone who has forgotten the history: "Elliott Abrams - Pleaded guilty October 7, 1991, to two misdemeanor charges of withholding information from Congress about secret government efforts to support the Nicaraguan contra rebels during a ban on such aid. U.S. District Chief Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., sentenced Abrams November 15, 1991, to two years probation and 100 hours community service. Abrams was pardoned December 24, 1992.")
 
But that was a long time ago.  Let's forgot the ugly and embarrassing Iran-Contra history and focus on the "facts" in the current case, as Elliott sees them:
 
In today's WSJ article, Elliott offers an almost completely unverifiable history of what he says transpired between June 2003 and August 2005 (the date of Israel's "disengagement" from Gaza). Predictably, he focuses on the letter President Bush gave to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on April 14, 2004. In that letter, Elliott notes (correctly), Bush wrote: "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."
 
What Elliott neglects to mention is that in the letter Bush also re-stated his commitment to the Roadmap ("the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap"), which in stage I states that "Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements)."
 
Elliott then goes on to assert that "On settlements we also agreed on principles that would permit some continuing growth."  His evidence of such an agreement? Exhibit A: A statement by Prime Minister Sharon, not President Bush: "Mr. Sharon stated these clearly in a major policy speech in December 2003: 'Israel will meet all its obligations with regard to construction in the settlements. There will be no construction beyond the existing construction line, no expropriation of land for construction, no special economic incentives and no construction of new settlements.'"
 
Is this extremely experienced lawyer and foreign policy professional seriously arguing that a statement by Sharon should be understood as an accurate articulation of US policy, even in the absence of any corroborating statement by the US President? Even when that lengthy policy speech went into a range of issue where - at least officially - there was public disagreement with the US? (for example, in this same speech Sharon makes clear Israel views the Roadmap commitments as sequential - the Palestinians do everything they have to do, and only then does Israel act. )  Apparently so.
 
But it gets better. For further evidence, Elliott asserts that, really, the US agreed with everything Sharon was saying. His evidence? Exhibit B: A letter from Ariel Sharon's Chief of Staff, Dov Weissglas, Secretary of State Rice.
 
It is like saying "your honor, I swear my client did not sideswipe that car in the parking lot. I was there and I saw the whole thing. And as proof I give you my statement and a statement from my client and his wife, written to the owner of the damaged car, making clear that they were not the ones who hit his car. I rest my case."
 
So there are not quotes from President Bush or Secretary Rice to support Elliott's narrative - only statements by Israeli officials.
 
But Elliot has more proof to bring before the court: media reports. Exhibit #C: Elliott notes that "Stories in the press also made it clear that there were indeed 'agreed principles.' On Aug. 21, 2004 the New York Times reported that 'the Bush administration . . . now supports construction of new apartments in areas already built up in some settlements, as long as the expansion does not extend outward.'"
 
Interesting. So if the NYT reported it, it must be true, right? Or rather, what must be true is that they were reporting what someone told them, at the time. And according to the first paragraph of the article Elliott cites, the source is: "American and Israeli officials." Who could these officials be? Could they be Abrams himself (who at this point can no longer deny that he is personally invested in such a policy), and maybe Dov Weissglas?  There is no way to know, but regardless, this is clearly not definitive proof of anything, other than the fact that there were Israeli and US officials spinning the story this way.
 
The rest of Elliott's article is simply hearsay and innuendo, speculation, and conjecture - not a single "fact" that can be examined, let alone refuted. Elliott rests his case on statements by two Israeli officials who never hid their desire to do everything possible to keep building West Bank settlements, and press reports based on un-named US and Israeli officials.
 
With this kind of evidence, it is hard to see why the jury is still debating this case at all. Clearly the settlers' have a really excellent lawyer.
 
---
 
And since some of us prefer to rely on facts, rather than clever argumentation and bombastic statements, here are some actual statements by President Bush about settlements, from the same period Elliott is addressing:
 
President Bush 9/21/04: ".Israel should impose a settlement freeze, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people and avoid any actions that prejudice final negotiations."
 
President Bush, 11/27/07: ".Israel must demonstrate its support for the creation of a prosperous and successful Palestinian state by removing unauthorized outposts, ending settlement expansion, and finding other ways for the Palestinian Authority to exercise its responsibilities without compromising Israel's security."
 
President Bush, 1/9/2008: ".The second track is to help both parties deal with road map issues. Settlements is a road map issue."
 
President Bush, 1/10/2008: ".Each side has got obligations under the road map. Settlements are clearly stated in the road map obligations for Israel. We have made our concerns about expansion of settlements known, and we expect both parties to honor their obligations under the road map."
 
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Past editions of the Round-Up are archived and available online at:
http://www.peacenow.org/roundup.asp
 
Americans for Peace Now promotes Israeli security through the peace process and supports the Israeli Peace Now movement.   For more information, visit the APN web site at www.peacenow.org or contact Lara Friedman, APN Director of Policy and Government Relations, at 202/728-1893, or at lfriedman@peacenow.org.