22 U.S. Code § 8601 - Findings

Congress makes the following findings:
(1)
Since 1948, United States Presidents and both houses of Congress, on a bipartisan basis and supported by the American people, have repeatedly reaffirmed the special bond between the United States and Israel, based on shared values and shared interests.
(2)
The Middle East is undergoing rapid change, bringing with it hope for an expansion of democracy but also great challenges to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region, particularly to our most important ally in the region, Israel.
(3)
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is continuing its decades-long pattern of seeking to foment instability and promote extremism in the Middle East, particularly in this time of dramatic political transition.
(4)
At the same time, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.
(5)
A nuclear-weapons capable Iran would fundamentally threaten vital United States interests, encourage regional nuclear proliferation, further empower Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, and pose a serious and destabilizing threat to Israel and the region.
(6)
Over the past several years, with the assistance of the Governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria, Hizbollah and Hamas have increased their stockpile of rockets, with more than 60,000 now ready to be fired at Israel. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to add to its arsenal of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, which threaten Iran’s neighbors, Israel, and United States Armed Forces in the region.
(7)
As a result, Israel is facing a fundamentally altered strategic environment.
(8)
Pursuant to chapter 5 of title 1 of the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108–11; 117 Stat. 576), the authority to make available loan guarantees to Israel is currently set to expire on September 30, 2012.
Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Short Title of 2014 Amendment

Pub. L. 113–296, § 1, Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 4075, provided that:

“This Act [enacting section 8606 of this title, amending sections 2321h and 2776 of this title and section 17337 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and sections 8602, 8603, and 8606 of this title, and amending provisions set out as a note under section 2776 of this title] may be cited as the ‘United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014’.”
Short Title

Pub. L. 112–150, § 1, July 27, 2012, 126 Stat. 1146, provided that:

“This Act [enacting this chapter and amending section 2321h of this title] may be cited as the ‘United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012’.”
Israel Relations Normalization

Pub. L. 117–103, div. Z, Mar. 15, 2022, 136 Stat. 1059, provided that:

“SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

“This division may be cited as the ‘Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2022’.”

“SEC. 102. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

“(1) Support for peace between Israel and its neighbors has longstanding bipartisan support in Congress.

“(2) For decades, Congress has promoted Israel’s acceptance among Arab and other relevant countries and regions by passing numerous laws opposing efforts to boycott, isolate, and stigmatize America’s ally, Israel.

“(3) The recent peace and normalization agreements between Israel and several Arab states—the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco—have the potential to fundamentally transform the security, diplomatic, and economic environment in the Middle East and North Africa and advance vital United States national security interests.

“(4) These historic agreements could help advance peace between and among Israel, the Arab states, and other relevant countries and regions, further diplomatic openings, and enhance efforts towards a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states—a democratic Jewish state of Israel and a viable, democratic Palestinian state—living side by side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.

“(5) These agreements build upon the decades-long leadership of the United States Government in helping Israel broker peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and promoting peace talks between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians.

“(6) These agreements also build on decades of private diplomatic and security engagement between Israel and countries in the region.

“(7) These normalization and peace agreements could begin to transform the region by spurring economic growth, investment, and tourism, enhancing technological innovation, promoting security cooperation, bolstering water security and sustainable development, advancing understanding, and forging closer people-to-people relations.

“SEC. 103. APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED.

“In this division, the term ‘appropriate congressional committees’ means the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

“SEC. 104. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

“It is the policy of the United States—

“(1) to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords to encourage other nations to normalize relations with Israel and ensure that existing agreements reap tangible security and economic benefits for the citizens of those countries;

“(2) to develop and implement a regional strategy to encourage economic cooperation between and among Israel, Arab states, and the Palestinians to enhance the prospects for peace, respect for human rights, transparent governance, and for cooperation to address water scarcity, climate solutions, health care, sustainable development, and other areas that result in benefits for residents of those countries and regions;

“(3) to develop and implement a regional security strategy that recognizes the shared threat posed by Iran and violent extremist organizations, ensures sufficient United States deterrence in the region, builds partner capacity to address shared threats, and explores multilateral security arrangements built around like-minded partners;

“(4) to support and encourage government-to-government and grassroots initiatives aimed at normalizing ties with the state of Israel and promoting people-to-people contact between Israelis, Arabs, and residents of other relevant countries and regions, including by expanding and enhancing the Abraham Accords;

“(5) to support a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states living side by side in peace, security, and mutual recognition;

“(6) to implement the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act [of 2020] (title VIII of division K of Public Law 116–260) [22 U.S.C. 2346d note], which will support economic development and peacebuilding efforts among Israelis and Palestinians, in a manner which encourages regional allies to become international donors to these efforts;

“(7) to oppose efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and legal barriers to normalization with Israel; and

“(8) to work to combat anti-Semitism and support normalization with Israel, including by countering anti-Semitic narratives on social media and state media and pressing for curricula reform in education.

“SEC. 105. UNITED STATES STRATEGY TO STRENGTHEN AND EXPAND THE ABRAHAM ACCORDS AND OTHER RELATED NORMALIZATION AGREEMENTS WITH ISRAEL.

“(a) In General.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Mar. 15, 2022], and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, shall develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy on expanding and strengthening the Abraham Accords.

“(b) Elements.—The strategy required under subsection (a) shall include the following elements:

“(1) An assessment of future staffing and resourcing requirements of entities within the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, and other appropriate Federal departments and agencies with responsibility to coordinate United States efforts to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords.

“(2) An assessment of opportunities to further promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Israel, Arab states, and other relevant countries and in the economic, social, cultural, scientific, technical, educational, and health fields and an assessment of roadblocks to increased cooperation.

“(3) An assessment of bilateral and multilateral security cooperation between Israel, the United States, Arab states, and other relevant countries and regions that have normalized relations with Israel, including an assessment of potential roadblocks to increased security cooperation, interoperability, and information sharing.

“(4) An assessment of the likelihood of additional Arab and other relevant countries and regions to normalize relations with Israel.

“(5) An assessment of opportunities created by normalization agreements with Israel to advance prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians

“(6) A detailed description of how the United States Government will leverage diplomatic lines of effort and resources from other stakeholders (including from foreign governments, international donors, and multilateral institutions) to encourage normalization, economic development, and people-to-people programming.

“(7) Identification of existing investment funds that support Israel-Arab state cooperation and recommendations for how such funds could be used to support normalization and increase prosperity for all relevant stakeholders.

“(8) A proposal for how the United States Government and others can utilize the scholars and Arabic language resources of the United States Holocaust Museum to counter Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.

“(9) An assessment for creating an Abrahamic Center for Pluralism to prepare educational materials, convene international seminars, promote tolerance and pluralism, and bring together scholars as a means of advancing religious tolerance and countering political and religious extremism.

“(10) Recommendations to improve Department of State cooperation and coordination, particularly between the Special Envoy to Monitor Anti-Semitism and the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, and the Office of International Religious Freedom, to combat racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism, which hinder improvement of relations between Israel, Arab states, and other relevant countries and regions.

“(11) An assessment on the value and feasibility of Federal support for inter-parliamentary exchange programs for Members of Congress, Knesset, and parliamentarians from Arab and other relevant countries and regions, including through existing Federal programs that support such exchanges.

“(c) Form.—The report required under subsection (a) shall be in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.

“SEC. 106. BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS TO NORMALIZATION WITH ISRAEL.

“(a) Short Title.—This section may be cited as the ‘Strengthening Reporting of Actions Taken Against the Normalization of Relations with Israel Act of 2022’.

“(b) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:

“(1) The Arab League, an organization comprising 22 Middle Eastern and African countries and entities, has maintained an official boycott of Israeli companies and Israeli-made goods since the founding of Israel in 1948.

“(2) Longstanding United States policy has encouraged Arab League states to normalize their relations with Israel and has long prioritized funding cooperative programs that promote normalization between Arab League States and Israel, including the Middle East Regional Cooperation program, which promotes Arab-Israeli scientific cooperation.

“(3) While some Arab League governments are signaling enhanced cooperation with the state of Israel on the government-to-government level, most continue to persecute their own citizens who establish people-to-people relations with Israelis in nongovernmental fora, through a combination of judicial and extrajudicial retribution.

“(4) Some Arab League states maintain draconian anti-normalization laws that punish their citizens for people-to-people relations with Israelis, with punishments, including imprisonment, revocation of citizenship, and execution. Extrajudicial punishments by these and other Arab states include summary imprisonment, accusations of ‘treason’ in government-controlled media, and professional blacklisting.

“(5) Anti-normalization laws, together with the other forms of retribution, effectively condemn these societies to mutual estrangement and, by extension, reduce the possibility of conciliation and compromise.

“(6) Former Israeli President Shimon Peres said in 2008 at the United Nations that Israel agrees with the Arab Peace Initiative that a military solution to the conflict ‘will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties’.

“(7) Despite the risk of retaliatory action, a rising tide of Arab civic actors advocate direct engagement with Israeli citizens and residents. These include the Arab Council for Regional Integration, a group of 32 public figures from 15 Arab countries who oppose the boycott of Israel on the grounds that the boycott has denied Arabs the benefits of partnership with Israelis, has blocked Arabs from helping to bridge the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and inspired divisive intra-Arab boycotts among diverse sects and ethnic groups.

“(8) On February 11, 2020, a delegation of the Arab Council to the French National Assembly in Paris testified to the harmful effects of ‘anti-normalization laws’, called on the Assembly to enact a law instructing the relevant French authorities to issue an annual report on instances of Arab government retribution for any of their citizens or residents who call for peace with Israel or engage in direct civil relations with Israeli citizens, and requested democratic legislatures to help defend the region’s civil peacemakers.

“(9) On May 11, 2020, 85 leaders in France published an endorsement of the Arab Council’s proposal, calling on France and other democratic governments to ‘protect Arabs who engage in dialogue with Israeli citizens’ and proposing ‘the creation of a study group in the National Assembly as well as in the Senate whose mission would be to ensure a legal and technical monitoring of the obstacles which Arab proponents of dialogue with Israelis face’.

“(10) Arab-Israeli cooperation provides significant symbiotic benefit to the security and economic prosperity of the region.

“(c) Additional Reporting.—

“(1) In general.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Mar. 15, 2022], and annually thereafter for 5 years, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of efforts to promote normalization of relations with Israel and other countries.

“(2) Elements.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall include the following information:

“(A) The status of ‘anti-normalization laws’ in countries comprising the Arab League, including efforts within each country to sharpen existing laws, enact new or additional ‘anti-normalization legislation’, or repeal such laws.

“(B) Instances of the use of state-owned or state-operated media outlets to promote anti-Semitic propaganda, the prosecution of citizens or residents of Arab countries for calling for peace with Israel, visiting the state of Israel, or engaging Israeli citizens in any way.

“(C) Instances of extrajudicial retribution by Arab governments or government-controlled institutions against citizens or residents of Arab countries for any of the same actions referred to in subparagraph (B).

“SEC. 107. SUNSET.

“This division shall cease to be effective on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Mar. 15, 2022].”

Findings

Pub. L. 113–296, § 2, Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 4075, provided that:

Congress makes the following findings:
“(1)
The people and the Governments of the United States and of Israel share a deep and unbreakable bond, forged by over 60 years of shared interests and shared values.
“(2)
Today, the people and Governments of the United States and of Israel are facing a dynamic and rapidly changing security environment in the Middle East and North Africa, necessitating deeper cooperation on a range of defense, security, and intelligence matters.
“(3)
From Gaza, Hamas continues to deny Israel’s right to exist and persists in firing rockets indiscriminately at population centers in Israel.
“(4)
Hezbollah—with support from Iran—continues to stockpile rockets and may be seeking to exploit the tragic and volatile security situation within Syria.
“(5)
The Government of Iran continues to pose a grave threat to the region and the world at large with its reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“(6)
Given these challenges, it is imperative that the United States continues to deepen cooperation with allies like Israel in pursuit of shared policy objectives.”

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