H. Res. 293, Expressing concern over anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement within the Palestinian Authority, as amended

H.Res. 293

Expressing concern over anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement within the Palestinian Authority, as amended

Date
November 2, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Monday, November 2, 2015, the House will consider H. Res. 293, a resolution expressing concern over anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement within the Palestinian Authority, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H. Res. 293 was introduced on June 3, 2015 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent on October 22, 2015.

Bill Summary

H. Res. 293 resolves that the House of Representatives:

(1) supports those working to encourage cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians;

(2) strongly condemns the wave of violent attacks in Israel and the West Bank;

(3) reiterates the strong condemnation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement to violence in the Palestinian Authority as antithetical to the cause of peace;

(4) calls on the Palestinian Authority to discontinue incitement by its media outlets, to officially and publicly repudiate attacks against Israelis, to engage in a sustained effort to publicly and officially rebuke anti-Israel incitement to violence, to continue important security cooperation with Israel and to agree to unconditionally renew direct talks with the Israelis, including the reconstitution of the Trilateral Commission on Incitement;

(5) encourages responsible nations to condemn in the strongest possible terms incitement to violence by the Palestinian Authority;

(6) expresses support for the Government of Israel in its fight against terror;

(7) directs the State Department to monitor and publish information on official incitement by the Palestinian Authority against Jews and the State of Israel; and

(8) calls on the Administration to continue publicly repudiating and raising the issue of Palestinian anti-Israel incitement to violence in all appropriate bilateral and international forums.

Background

Since Israel’s founding in 1948, the U.S. Government has demonstrated a commitment to Israel’s security and to maintaining close U.S.-Israel cooperation. Disputes between the Israeli government and Palestinians in the region over a wide-variety of issues have led to violence and continued unrest since the mid-20th century.[1]

The Palestinians are Arabs who live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or who have historical or cultural ties to that area. There are an estimated 4.62 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Israel has exercised degrees of authority over the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with the Palestinian Authority exercising limited self-rule in some areas since the mid-1990s.[2] Mahmoud Abbas, commonly referred to as Abu Mazen, is the President of the Palestinian Authority.

“Congress plays a significant role in U.S. policy toward the Palestinians, which is marked by efforts to establish a Palestinian state through a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; to counter Palestinian terrorist groups; and to establish norms of democracy, accountability, and good governance. Since the signing of the Oslo Accord (Declaration of Principles) in 1993, committing the two sides to a two-state negotiated solution, Congress has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians. Recent annual U.S. bilateral assistance appropriations for the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been around $440 million—$370 million in economic aid and $70 million in non-lethal security assistance for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank.”[3]

According to the bill sponsor, “what we have seen for far too long from the Palestinian Authority and Abu Mazen are words and actions that are designed to incite violence, stoke tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, and shut down the path to a peaceful settlement between the two. Why do we see this? Because Abu Mazen is weak and self-serving – this is the only course of action he can take as a charade to attempt to look strong for the Palestinian people but the Palestinian people have grown tired of his failed leadership and they don’t trust him nor his corrupt allies.”[4]

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[1] See CRS Report, “Israel: Background and U.S. Relations,” June 1, 2015.
[2] See CRS Report, “The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations,” February 10, 2015.
[3] Id.
[4] See Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Press Release, “Amid Increased Terror Attacks and Rising Violence Across Israel, Foreign Affairs Committee Unanimously Passes Ros-Lehtinen, Deutch Resolution Condemning Palestinian Authority Incitement,” October 22, 2015.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.