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Monday, June 20, 2011

Congress to bar aid to Lebanon?

Ranking House Foreign Affairs Committee member Howard Berman (D-Ca) has joined together with three colleagues of Lebanese origin (Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Nick Rahall (D-W. Va.) to present a bill suspending all US aid to Hezbullah-controlled Lebanon.
Designated as the Hezbollah Anti-Terrorism Act, or HATA, the bill seeks legislation “to make certain that no US taxpayer funds benefit the terrorist organization Hezbollah or any party that allies itself with Hezbollah,” Berman said in a phone interview Friday from his Washington office.

Berman drafted and introduced HATA a few days after the formation of a new Lebanese government “forged by Hezbollah and led by a Hezbollah-designated prime minister [Najib Mikati],” Berman said.

The California legislator, formerly the chairman and now the ranking democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, termed his alliance with the three Lebanese-American congressmen as “very unusual.”

He attributed the support by his three colleagues to their deep concern over Hezbollah’s threat to freedom and democracy in their ancestral homeland, overriding any differences with Berman on Israeli-Palestinian issues.

Issa commented that “Hezbollah is a terrorist group and a cancer on Lebanon. This bill surgically targets this cancer.”
And Lebanon does get money from the United States.
Currently, Lebanon annually receives $200 million in aid from the United States, of which $105 million goes for security assistance. The new bill specifically provides for continued support for humanitarian, educational and democratic institutions in Lebanon.

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At 4:20 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

If Obama doesn't veto the bill. Its a mistake to reduce this to just an Israeli or Jewish issue. Hezbollah mass murdered hundreds of innocent Americans, nearly all of them non-Jews. Its as much a threat to the US as it is to Israel.

A Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon should receive NO US government funding.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger 2senseplain said...

humanitarian,educational aid is an exception? How do they intend to keep it out of Hisbollah the network of Hisbollah-run organizations?

At 6:30 AM, Blogger 2senseplain said...

How do they expect to keep funds out of Hezbollah's hands with an exception for humanitarian and educational aid. Hezbollah runs a social services network as part of their strategy.


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