In The News

HOW IT PLAYED — Senate Advances Pro-Israel Bill as G.O.P. Searches for Democratic Divisions — by Catie Edmondson: “The late inclusion was an opportunity for Republicans to draw out the new generation of insurgent liberal representatives who have been critical of Israel.” [NYTimes] • “Debate on the measure will now begin and is likely to rekindle bipartisan concerns on Capitol Hill about Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria.” [CNN]

REACTION — Halie Soifer, Executive Director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), tells JI: “The fact that this is the fourth vote on the same measure exposes it for what it is, which is an attempt to politicize these issues. There are some very real concerns with regards to how to legislate this larger issue of combating BDS. There’s a difference within the Democratic caucus on that matter. That doesn’t mean that any Democrat — literally zero Democrats support BDS, in the Senate. That doesn’t mean that there’s been any change or reduction in support of Israel in the Senate among Democrats. So, I would caution anyone from reading too much into this vote, and somehow interpreting this as a litmus test for Democratic support of Israel.”

Amb. Dan Shapiro: “The bill advanced in the Senate codifies the $38 billion MOU for military aid to Israel signed during the Obama Administration, something that should be welcomed. As for its provisions aimed at combatting BDS, now the Senate has an opportunity to debate them and try to ensure that they reflect the broad consensus against boycotting, sanctioning, or divesting from Israel and that they pass constitutional muster and protect individual rights. With bipartisan goodwill, it is possible to pass such legislation.”