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First Senate bill of 2019 would give Israel billions of dollars, combat BDS, and rebut Trump’s Syria withdrawal

Marco Rubio’s career has been funded by pro-Israel billionaires such as Normal Braman, Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson, and Larry Ellison. (Photo from Politico )
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | January 6, 2019

According to Marco Rubio, the first bill the 2019 U.S. Senate will take up is one that is focused on Israel. His twitter announcement shows a number of people suggesting that he should instead focus on getting the U.S. government running.

The four-part bill, designated S.1, is composed of measures on behalf of Israel that Congress tried and failed to pass in 2018. Some were pioneered by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The first component is the “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2019” – the 2018 text can be seen here. This would give Israel $33 billion over the next ten years in addition to the $5.5 billion enacted in last year’s defense spending bill. This is reportedly the largest military aid package in U.S. history. The bill was held up by Senator Rand Paul, who threatened a filibuster against it. Most Americans feel the U.S. already gives Israel too much money.

Unlike the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the Obama administration negotiated with Israel in 2016, this would make the $38 billion a floor rather than a ceiling and cements it into law (an MOU is non-binding). It also provides Israel additional perks, including calling for NASA to work with Israel’s space agency, despite Israel’s alleged acquisition of classified U.S. research.

Another component of the bill is the “Combatting BDS Act of 2019” (the text of the previous version is here). This allows state and local governments to prohibit contracting with any entity that participates in BDS, the boycott of Israel over Israel’s violations of human rights and international law. Many groups and individuals oppose the bill on the ground that it violates freedom of speech. AIPAC is a strong supporter of such legislation.

A third component is “The United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act,” which would provide money to Jordan. Israel has long used U.S. aid packages to Mideast governments to enable Israel’s regional divide-and-conquer strategies.

Similarly, the fourth component is the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019” (2018 version here), which imposes sanctions on Syria. Roll Call reports that the bill “could serve as a rebuttal” to President Trump’s recent announcement that he was going to withdraw troops from Syria. NBC reports: “They can’t make Trump keep troops in Syria. They’ve asked for increased sanctions on Syria instead.”

Bill being fast-tracked

According to Roll Call, the composite bill, entitled “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019,” is being “expedited through a Senate procedure that allows for bypassing the committee process, and the new chairman of the committee of jurisdiction for most of the bills is on board with the approach.”

The chairman is Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. According to Open Secrets, one of Risch’s main sources of campaign donations is the pro-Israel lobby.

Image from video of Risch’s speech at AIPAC convention; view it here

It appears that none of the U.S. news reports on the legislation inform voters how much U.S. tax money the bill will give to Israel; many reports don’t even mention that aspect of the bill. This continues the media omission on this subject.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

January 6, 2019 - Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. Stop pretending like the United States government actually means something good for its people.

    A first Senate bill gives BILLIONS to Israel? Yes, we know.

    combats BDS, and rebuts Trump’s Syria withdrawal Duh.

    Don’t give them a foothold, people.

    Comment by tsisageya | January 6, 2019 | Reply

    • I’m not sure what that means. It all just makes me very angry.

      Comment by tsisageya | January 6, 2019 | Reply

  2. “Many groups and individuals oppose the bill on the ground that it violates freedom of speech. AIPAC is a strong supporter of such legislation”.

    It is outrageous that the American government can criminalise American people for choosing to boycott a foreign country, which has so much power within the USA Government.
    Whatever happened to America First??
    The overwhelming power of these Dual Passport holders is a DIRECT THREAT to the USA, while the “Smokescreen” of “Russian Interference in America’s election” diverts the American people’s attention away from the REAL THREAT to the USA, from AIPAC and the multitude of other Jewish organisations that dominate the USA.

    Wake up, AMERICA……

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | January 6, 2019 | Reply

  3. How wonderful that the United States of America is BFF with the apartheid regime of Israel, led by premier humanitarian and peace activist Benjamin Netanyahu. As Donald Trump would say … “It’s a fantastic, beautiful thing.”

    Comment by Jerry Alatalo | January 6, 2019 | Reply

    • Just to make sure of no misunderstanding … the “How wonderful…” comment above was meant as 100% sarcasm.

      Comment by Jerry Alatalo | January 6, 2019 | Reply

  4. So sorry unbelievers but I like this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ldkrgBx6Ys

    It is what it is?

    Comment by tsisageya | January 6, 2019 | Reply

  5. Believe, or don’t. Everything else is just scientology.

    Comment by tsisageya | January 6, 2019 | Reply

  6. Headline in the current issue of The Globe and Mail: “Jewish teenagers may face ‘grave terrorism’ charges in fatal stoning of a Palestinian mother of 9 in West Bank.” Yeah, right. They’ll award them all medals, more likely, and urge them to go out and stone more defenceless mums.

    Comment by traducteur | January 6, 2019 | Reply

  7. And those young men were seminarians. What kind of religion is it…

    Comment by traducteur | January 7, 2019 | Reply


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