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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Congress places hold on money to 'Palestinian Authority'

Three members of Congress - Nita Lowey (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-Cal.) and Ileana Ros-Lehthien (R-Fla.) are jeopardizing a Bush administration plan to transfer $86 million to 'moderate' 'Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen to strengthen his 'security forces.' Lowey, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the State Department budget, has placed a hold on transferring the money.

The reason for the hold is a US law that prohibits United States funding for terrorist organizations. Lowey, Lantos and Ros-Lehthien argue that since Abu Mazen entered into the Mecca Accord with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, and since Hamas is a terrorist organization (de facto and under US law), the United States may no longer fund the Fatah terrorists.
California Democrat Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehthien, a senior member of the committee, wrote U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "The fact that Fatah will now join a government led by Hamas terrorists - and will do so with Abbas's blessing - raises serious questions about the commitments and loyalties of the Palestinian security forces we have undertaken to assist... Questions arise as to whether these forces will be strictly under Abbas's control and whether Abbas, in line with our long-time belief, is truly committed to peace and non-violence."
It's about time.


At 12:22 AM, Blogger Lichty said...

It is a good result resting on a faulty premise. Fatah is no different than it was before the Mecca accord.

Only Israel can change this perception - it will not start from the US. Once an Israeli leader declares that Fatah and Hamas are no different, one is just more honest about its intentions, can Israel make any diplomatic headway.

I do not think Netanyahu will be willing to buck conventional wisdom to that extent so long as he has Hamas to rail upon (the Sharon strategy). It is a mistake. The US will follow Israel when it leads and is defiant, it will not respect and Israel that licks its boots.


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