REQUESTING REPORT ON ANTI-AMERICAN INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 183
(House of Representatives - December 08, 2009)

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[Pages H13558-H13560]
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REQUESTING REPORT ON ANTI-AMERICAN INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE 
                                  EAST

  Mr. COSTA. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 2278) to direct the President to transmit to Congress a 
report on anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East, and 
for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2278

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. ANTI-AMERICAN INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE 
                   EAST.

       (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
       (1) Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are the 
     foundations of free and prosperous societies worldwide, and 
     with the freedom of the press and freedom of expression comes 
     the responsibility to repudiate purveyors of incitement to 
     violence.
       (2) For years, certain media outlets in the Middle East, 
     particularly those associated with terrorist groups, have 
     repeatedly published or broadcast incitements to violence 
     against the United States and Americans.
       (3) Television channels that broadcast incitement to 
     violence against Americans, the United States, and others 
     have demonstrated the ability to shift their operations to 
     different countries and their transmissions to different 
     satellite providers in order to continue broadcasting and to 
     evade accountability.
       (4) Television channels such as al-Manar, al-Aqsa, al-
     Zawra, and others that broadcast incitement to violence 
     against the United States and Americans aid Foreign Terrorist 
     Organizations in the key functions of recruitment, 
     fundraising, and propaganda.
       (b) Statement of Policy.--It shall be the policy of the 
     United States to--
       (1) designate as Specially Designated Global Terrorists 
     satellite providers that knowingly and willingly contract 
     with entities designated as Specially Designated Global 
     Terrorists under Executive Order 13224, to broadcast their 
     channels, or to consider implementing other punitive measures 
     against satellite providers that transmit al-Aqsa TV, al-
     Manar TV, al-Rafidayn TV, or any other terrorist owned and 
     operated station;
       (2) consider state-sponsorship of anti-American incitement 
     to violence when determining the level of assistance to, and 
     frequency and nature of relations with, all states; and
       (3) urge all governments and private investors who own 
     shares in satellite companies or otherwise influence 
     decisions about satellite transmissions to oppose 
     transmissions of telecasts by al-Aqsa TV, al-Manar TV, al-
     Rafidayn TV, or any other Specially Designated Global 
     Terrorist owned and operated stations that openly incite 
     their audiences to commit acts of terrorism or violence 
     against the United States and its citizens.
       (c) Report.--
       (1) Requirement for reports.--Beginning 6 months after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, 
     the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional 
     committees a report on anti-American incitement to violence 
     in the Middle East.
       (2) Content.--The reports required under paragraph (1) 
     shall include--
       (A) a country-by-country list and description of media 
     outlets that engage in anti-American incitement to violence; 
     and
       (B) a list of satellite companies that carry mediums 
     described in subparagraph (A) or designated under Executive 
     Order 13224.
       (d) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Anti-american incitement to violence.--The term ``anti-
     American incitement to violence'' means the act of 
     persuading, encouraging, instigating, advocating, pressuring, 
     or threatening so as to cause another to commit a violent act 
     against any person, agent, instrumentality, or official of, 
     is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the 
     United States.
       (2) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
     ``appropriate congressional committees'' means the Committee 
     on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the 
     Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
       (3) Middle east.--The term ``Middle East'' means Algeria, 
     Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza 
     Strip, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, 
     Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and 
     Yemen.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Costa) and the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-
Lehtinen) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. COSTA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COSTA. I yield myself as much time as I may consume as I rise in 
strong support of this resolution.
  Madam Speaker, I want to commend my friend from Florida (Mr. 
Bilirakis) for introducing this piece of legislation as well as my 
friend and colleague from New York, Joe Crowley, for his leadership on 
this issue.
  This is an important matter. The Obama administration has brought a 
new, more positive tone to American foreign policy in the Middle East. 
Yet, despite the President's desire to seek a new beginning between the 
United States and Muslims around the world, there still lies fanatical 
anti-American and anti-Semitic efforts which continue to incite people 
around the world through broadcasts in the Middle East by television 
stations for those Muslim viewers.
  Without a doubt, freedom of the press and freedom of expression are 
the foundations of free and prosperous societies throughout the world. 
Yet with this important freedom comes the great responsibility to 
reject and repudiate that incitement to violence. This resolution 
attempts to remind us of that fact.
  For years, certain media outlets in the Middle East, particularly 
those associated with terrorist groups, have repeatedly published or 
have broadcast incitement to violence against the United States and our 
allies. Television stations, such as Hezbollah's al-Manar, Hamas' al-
Aqsa, the Iraq-based Al-Zawra, and others that broadcast incitement to 
violence against the United States aid foreign terrorist organizations 
in their key functions to recruit, to fund-raise, and to incite further 
propaganda. This must not continue. Some of these stations are 
broadcast throughout the region by two prominent Arab world 
satellites--Egypt's Nilesat and the Arab League's Arabsat--in which 
both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the leading shareholders. Saudi Arabia 
and Kuwait have relations with our country.
  This is unfortunate. This propaganda threatens long-term U.S. 
interests in the region, and it does a great deal of damage to the 
prospect of improving bilateral relations between America and our 
allies in the Arab world. In addition, it undermines the prospects for 
Arab-Israeli peace. Make no doubt about that.
  Americans have witnessed the direct connection between the charged 
rhetoric of the jihadist narrative, as Tom Friedman called it in his 
recent column that many of us have read, and it incites actual 
violence. This incitement creates an environment conducive to and 
accepting of terrorism, terrorism that impacts all of us throughout the 
world. As the U.S. and other nations join in fighting this terrorism, 
there must be renewed vigilance against the purveyors of anti-American 
hatred abroad and of the consequences for inaction, inattention, or 
state sponsorship of this hatred.
  This legislation requires the State Department to submit to Congress 
an annual report that details, country by country, Middle Eastern media 
outlets that engage in anti-American incitement to violence and of the 
satellite companies that transmit them. They are the enablers.
  It also establishes as U.S. policy that satellite providers which 
knowingly and willingly contract with terrorist entities can be legally 
designated as ``specially designated global terrorists,'' under 
Executive Order 13224, for perpetrating this incitement. In addition, 
it calls upon our government to consider the state sponsorship of anti-
American incitement to violence when determining the level of 
assistance to and the frequency and nature of relations with Middle 
Eastern states. We ought to reflect and make an analysis

[[Page H13559]]

of this effort. This legislation attempts to do so.
  Finally, H.R. 2278 urges all governments and private investors who 
are involved with satellite transmissions to oppose the broadcasting of 
telecasts by any specially designated global terrorist-owned-and-
operated stations which openly incite their audiences to commit acts of 
terrorism or acts of violence against the United States and its 
citizens or against citizens throughout the world.
  I know that the terrorist likes of Hamas and Hezbollah will not soon 
abandon their mass media attempts of promoting hatred and violence, but 
there are efforts that we can and should pursue. It is longtime past 
for all state-owned and privately owned satellite companies, wherever 
they are located, to cease transmitting these ugly messages which 
encourage the murder of Americans and our allies. That is why, Madam 
Speaker, I strongly support this legislation, and I urge all of my 
colleagues to join me in that support.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I also rise in strong support of this legislation 
authored by my good friend and colleague from Florida, Congressman Gus 
Bilirakis, and I am a proud cosponsor of this important bill.
  I thank Mr. Bilirakis for his vision, and I also wish to extend my 
gratitude to our colleague from New York, Congressman Joe Crowley. They 
have been leaders on this important issue.
  The bill before us, Madam Speaker, is a successor to a resolution 
that was passed last Congress condemning the broadcasting of incitement 
to violence against Americans and the United States in media based in 
the Middle East and calling for the designation of al-Aqsa TV as a 
specially designated global terrorist entity.
  As we commemorate the 68th anniversary of the United States' entry 
into World War II, we know well the power that words have for either 
good or evil. Before there were factories to drive the Nazi war 
machine, there were hateful and violent words. Before there were bricks 
to build concentration camps, there were ugly, dehumanizing words. As 
we have witnessed, such charged rhetoric invites violent action, and 
such incitement creates an environment accepting of and conducive to 
violent Islamic extremism.
  As we too sadly learned on September 11, 2001, purveyors of anti-
American incitement to violence traffic not only in words but in deeds. 
Accordingly, this important and critical legislation before us this 
morning requires that the President submit a report to Congress on the 
activities of media outlets which engage in anti-American incitement to 
violence and on the satellite providers that carry out these messages 
of hate.
  Furthermore, Mr. Bilirakis' legislation seeks to document the threat 
posed by the broadcasts of incitement to violence against Americans and 
the United States on television channels and other media which are 
accessible in the United States. It will highlight how the threat may 
increase the risk of radicalization and recruitment of Americans into 
extremist organizations which seek to carry out attacks against 
American targets and on American soil.
  We cannot allow satellite providers which traffic in and profit from 
anti-American incitement to violence to remain in the shadows. We must 
join with the majority of those throughout the Middle East and right 
here at home who value pluralism, who value tolerance, and, in both 
word and deed, who reject the purveyors of anti-American incitement to 
violence and their enablers.
  Madam Speaker, I strongly urge my colleagues to support this critical 
legislation. I thank the author of this important bill, my colleague 
from Florida (Mr. Bilirakis), for its introduction. As well, I thank 
our friend from New York (Mr. Crowley).
  With that, Madam Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to my 
friend from Florida (Mr. Bilirakis).
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2278.
  I want to thank the gentleman from California, of course my good 
friend from Florida, and also the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Crowley).
  My legislation will direct the President to transmit to Congress a 
report on anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East. This 
nefarious activity is escalating in quality and quantity and is fueled 
by the rapid growth of satellite television throughout the Arab world.
  In 2008, al-Manar TV, which is run by Hezbollah, broadcast over two 
dozen video clips of insurgents' bombings against U.S. and coalition 
forces in Iraq. Further, Iranian state-controlled TV channels, such as 
al-Rafidayn, repeatedly broadcast calls for ``death to America.'' Al-
Aqsa TV, an arm of Hamas, broadcast a puppet show depicting an Arab 
child stabbing the President of the United States.
  Instead of denouncing such incitement, many countries in the region 
provide financial, material, and technological support to the purveyors 
of incitement. Al-Manar and al-Aqsa, among others, are transmitted on 
the satellite providers Nilesat, which is controlled by the Egyptian 
Government, and Arabsat, which is controlled by the Arab League. Given 
the dangers such incitement poses to American soldiers and civilians in 
the region and at home, it is long past time for the U.S. and other 
responsible nations to stop this growing threat. The passage of H.R. 
2278 is therefore critical.
  This legislation seeks to designate, under Executive Order 13224, 
specially designated global terrorist satellite providers which 
knowingly engage in contracts with entities already designated as 
specially designated global terrorists.
  This bill would also make it the policy of the U.S. to urge all 
governments and private investors who own shares in satellite companies 
to oppose transmissions of telecasts by any station that openly incites 
its audience to commit acts of terrorism or violence against the United 
States and its citizens.
  This bill requires the President to transmit a report to Congress 
that must include a country-by-country list and description of media 
outlets that engage in anti-American incitement to violence in the 
Middle East and a list of satellite companies which carry such media.
  Most importantly, it must be the policy of the United States, in 
crafting its foreign policy, to consider the state sponsorship of anti-
American incitement to violence when determining the level of 
assistance to and frequency in nature of relations with regional 
states.
  Finally, Madam Speaker, the broadcast of incitement to violence 
against Americans in our country on television channels and on other 
media that are accessible in the U.S. may increase the risk of the 
radicalization and recruitment of individuals into foreign terrorist 
organizations that seek to carry out acts of violence against American 
targets on American soil. This is a concerning trend that must be 
halted.
  Madam Speaker, I urge the passage of this very important measure, 
which I hope will improve our national security and the safety of our 
soldiers and citizens overseas.
  Again, I thank the gentleman from California and the gentlewoman from 
Florida. I appreciate it very much.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COSTA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to turn the 
management of this measure and of the other remaining items to my 
friend, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel).
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this 
resolution.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. With that, Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Costa) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 2278, as amended.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

[[Page H13560]]

  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

                          ____________________