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Government Relations: July 2009 Archives

In Friday's Legislative Round-Up I highlighted a new letter being circulated in the Senate by Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and James Risch (R-ID).  The (link has expired) letter,  which is the top item on the "Take Action" page on the (link has expired) AIPAC website, focuses exclusively on President Obama's call for Arab states to take steps to normalize relations with Israel, making no mention of the president's call for Israel to stop settlement activity (and implying that steps Israel has already taken - like removing some checkpoints and PM Netanyahu's belated support for the two-state solution - are sufficient demonstration of Israel's commitment to the peace process).

This morning, APN sent a message to every Senate office urging Senators to refrain from signing the letter unless and until it is amended to also reflect the real steps to achieve peace the President Obama has asked Israel to take.  Full text of the APN letter to the Senate after the jump.

Senators urged not to sign letter on Mideast

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Americans for Peace Now is urging U.S. senators not to sign a letter encouraging the Arab world to normalize ties with Israel because it does not mention efforts to halt Israeli settlements.

The bipartisan letter to President Obama, circulated by Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and James Risch (R-Idaho) and backed by the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, is "unhelpful" because it "seems to make a straightforward and reasonable demand for the Arab world to normalize relations with Israel," but "the subtext of the letter directly contradicts and undermines the efforts" of the Obama administration "to promote Middle East peace."

APN Legislative Round-Up for the Week Ending July 24, 2009

1.  New Bills and Resolutions 
2.  Senate Defense Authorization 
3.  New Bayh-Risch Letter on Arab Normalization 
4.  Q&A on Jerusalem/Shepherd's Hotel 

APN Legislative Round-Up - July 17, 2009

1. New Bills and Resolutions; 2. Senate Defense Authorization; 3. Senate ForOps

APN Legislative Round-Up - July 10, 2009

1. New Bills and Resolutions; 2. House Passes FY10 ForOps; 3. Senate ForOps; 4. Iran in the Senate Defense Authorization Bill