With this issue, JPS inaugurates a new section that will monitor U.S. congressional initiatives dealing with Palestine and Israel. Substantively, the initiatives——listed chronologically——include all relevant acts, bills, appropriations, and resolutions (joint, concurrent, and simple) that mention, even briefly, either Palestine or Israel. Speeches are not included. Space considerations have prevented more than a very brief description of each initiative, along with essential details such as bill number, date introduced, name of sponsor and number of cosponsors, votes cast, last action taken, and companion measures. The format is designed to give the reader an overview of legislation that relates to the Palestine issue and to help identify the major themes of legislation, its initiators, their priorities, the range of their concerns, and their attitudes toward the regional actors. While this first monitor covers two years——both annual sessions of the 109th Congress——each new Congress will be treated by annual session. Material in this compilation is drawn from thomas.loc.gov.
This is part of a larger IPS project to cover the current 110th Congress, subsequent congresses, and previous congresses dating back to the start of the second Bush administration and beyond, while simultaneously monitoring ongoing and past executive policy statements on the same topics. The expectation is that cumulative congressional data, when compared and/or contrasted to parallel executive data, could generate new insights into the process of and the influences upon U.S. foreign policymaking with respect to one of the most central and volatile conflicts of modern times.