AIPAC Update

September 21, 2018


1. Congress to vote on new Hezbollah sanctions


Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah boasted in a televised speech this week that the Iran-backed terrorist organization has "highly accurate" missiles that pose a threat to Israel in future wars.
The House and Senate will soon consider a final version of bipartisan legislation to increase sanctions against Hezbollah, earlier versions of which passed the Senate in September 2017 and the House in October 2017.
Click here to urge your representative to vote for this important bill.



2. The impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran


AIPAC continues to work with the administration and Congress to maximize effective economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Iran. AIPAC remains focused on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, confronting Iran’s regional aggression, and strongly support regional allies.

The re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran is crippling Tehran’s economy. Iranian oil exports have decreased by 35 percent since April, and additional sanctions on Iran’s petroleum industry are set to take effect in November. The Iranian rial has lost 140 percent of its value since April. In light of the threat of re-imposed U.S. sanctions and volatile economic conditions, major global companies have ceased operation in Iran.

·  British Airways and Air France will stop flights to Tehran this month. British Airways made the decision noting that “the operation is currently not commercially viable” and Air France cited “the line’s weak performance.

·  Germany’s BASF—the world’s largest chemical maker—committed this week to comply with all U.S. sanctions on Iran.

·  Siemens’ CEO announced in May that his company would not accept any new deals with Iran. In late August, Siemens significantly reduced its activity in Iran “to bring business activities in Iran in line with the changing multilateral situations” and stated its intention to comply with U.S. sanctions.

A second round of U.S. sanctions will take effect on Nov. 4. I encourage you to read this New York Times piece about the effectiveness of sanctions. Here are two notable excerpts:

While governments in Europe and Asia have publicly opposed his decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement, many businesses in those places have made a different calculation. They have concluded that it makes little financial sense to risk investments in and trade with the United States by doing business with Iran.

After Nov. 4, companies that buy, ship or insure shipments of Iranian oil can be excluded from the American market and banking system unless they obtain waivers from the administration.




3. Legislative Update


Congress has made significant progress advancing four important pro-Israel bills: 
1. The Ileana Ros-Lehtinen U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 passed in the Senate in August, and in the House on Sept. 12. This bipartisan legislation authorizes ten years of security assistance to Israel over the next decade, expands U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel and promotes new U.S.-Israel cooperation in anti-drone technologies.

·  Thank Congress for supporting U.S. security assistance to Israel.

2. The STOP Using Human Shields Act of 2018 is advancing in Congress and will be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next week. This bipartisan bill mandates sanctions against members of Hamas and Hezbollah that are responsible for the use of human shields.

·  Are your senators supporting? 

·  Contact Congress

3. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which we lobbied for at Policy Conference 2018, would protect American companies by expanding existing U.S. anti-boycott laws to cover international governmental organizations like the U.N. that promote boycotts of allies like Israel.

·  Is your representative supporting? 

·  Are your senators supporting?

·  Contact Congress

4. The Combating BDS Act of 2017 would authorize state and local governments to restrict business with entities that promote BDS targeting Israel. 

·  Is your representative supporting? 

·  Are your senators supporting? 

·  Contact Congress