Tim Scott on Foreign Policy
The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. For the House, we included 15 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, five bills and one letter on Palestine, two bills on Lebanon, three bills and a letter regarding civil liberties, and two bills on immigration.
Excerpts from Letter from 73 Senators to Secretary of State Kerry We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to seek membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), because the Palestinian Authority is not a state and its express intent is to use this process to threaten Israel.
Pres. Abbas` effort contravene the spirit of earlier agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and erodes the prospect for peace. Therefore, the US must make clear that joining the ICC is not a legitimate or viable path for Palestinians.
Israel is a major strategic partner of the US and is facing increasing pressure from those who seek to delegitimize its very existence. The only realistic and sustainable path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation, `U.S. Should Not Join the ICC,` Aug. 18, 2009): The ICC prosecutor is exploring a request by the Palestinian National Authority to prosecute Israeli commanders for alleged war crimes committed during the recent actions in Gaza. Palestinian lawyers maintain that the Palestinian National Authority can request ICC jurisdiction as the de facto sovereign even though it is not an internationally recognized state. By countenancing Palestine`s claims, the ICC prosecutor has enabled pressure to be applied to Israel over alleged war crimes, while ignoring Hamas`s incitement of the military action and its commission of war crimes against Israeli civilians. Furthermore, by seemingly recognizing Palestine as a sovereign entity, the prosecutor`s action has created a pathway for Palestinian statehood without first reaching a comprehensive peace deal with Israel. This determination is an inherently political issue beyond the ICC`s authority.
The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'The U.S. Should Continue to Support and Stand with the Nation of Israel Against her Enemies' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."
Congressional Summary: S.Res.6/H.Res.11 objects to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which characterizes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and demands cessation of settlement activities.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, Dec. 19, 2003): In principle, separation seems the best answer to stop the killing. For this reason, a security fence makes sense--if it actually separates Jew from Arab. Unfortunately, to protect a number of disparate Israeli settlements erected in the midst of Palestinian communities, Israel currently is mixing Jew and Arab and separating Arab from Arab. Thus are sown the seeds for conflict. After 36 years of occupation, the land remains almost exclusively Arab. The limited Jewish presence is the result of conscious colonization. The settlements require a pervasive Israeli military occupation, imposing a de facto system of apartheid. Separation offers the only hope, but separation requires dismantling Israeli settlements.
Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R.6256 and S.65): To ensure that goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People`s Republic of China do not enter the United States market. This bill imposes importation limits on goods produced using forced labor in China, and imposes sanctions related to such forced labor. The bill also expands existing asset- and visa-blocking sanctions related to Xinjiang to cover foreign individuals and entities responsible for serious human rights abuses in connection with forced labor.
Al Jazeera news, `Biden signs law banning goods made in China`s Xinjiang region,` 12/23/21: President Joe Biden signed a new law banning products made in China`s Xinjiang region because of China`s oppression of its largely Muslim Uighur minority population. The law imposes a near-blanket ban on the import to the US of goods from Xinjiang by requiring suppliers to first prove their products were not made with forced labour. Xinjiang is a large supplier of cotton and solar panels.
UN experts have estimated that more than one million people, mainly Uighurs, have been imprisoned in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang. The US and many rights groups have called it `genocide`.
China has rejected allegations of abuse in Xinjiang, accusing countries and rights organisations of launching `slanderous attacks` about conditions for Muslim Uighurs in the far western region. An independent UK-based tribunal ruled last week the Chinese government had committed genocide, crimes against humanity and torture of Uighurs and other minorities. The US cited the situation in Xinjiang in a decision earlier this month to launch a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Legislative Outcome: Introduced in House and passed by voice vote on 12/14/2021; passed Senate by Unanimous Consent on 12/16/2021; signed by President on 12/23/2021.
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