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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Under pressure from Obama, Senate rejects bill closing PLO office

Under pressure from the Obama administration, the Senate failed on Tuesday to pass a bill that would have closed the PLO's Washington office in response to last week's UN General Assembly decision.
The National Defense Authorization Act, passed late Tuesday, did not include among its amendments one that would cut funding to the Palestinians should they use their status, gained last week, to seek charges against Israel in international courts.
The amendment also would have shuttered the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington until the Palestinians returned to peace talks with Israel.
The amendment had been introduced by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Nov. 29, the same day as the vote in the UN General Assembly enhancing the Palestinian's statehood status. 

Other amendments favored by pro-Israel groups, including one approving additional funding for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system and one tightening Iran sanctions, passed.
Times of Israel reports that the amendment was defeated due to pressure from the Obama administration (Hat Tip: Stephen D).
According to Capitol Hill observers familiar with the amendments, they were removed due to pressure from the White House. While the Obama administration actively opposed PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s UN General Assembly move — which saw a vote of 138-9 last Thursday in favor of upgrading “Palestine” to a nonmember observer state — it was concerned that the proposed amendments would limit its options when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian issue going forward.
“Any administration will oppose amendments that will limit their prerogatives,” said a senior pro-Israel Capitol Hill source, noting however, that the amendments were not necessarily dead.
“Any reports of its ultimate demise are premature,” the source quipped about the Graham amendment. “It can be attached to another piece of legislation down the road. Senate amendments can resurrect themselves in other forms.”
Groups on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian issue have weighed in.
“Thanks to your outstanding efforts, the US Senate did NOT include a measure to expel the Palestinian diplomatic mission from the United States in the defense authorization bill which was passed a few minutes ago,” read a J Street letter to supporters Tuesday night.
A J Street campaign against the amendment generated 14,250 emails and 950 calls to Senate offices, the group said, “urging [senators] to oppose this and other attempts to punish the Palestinians for their approach to the United Nations by ejecting their official mission from our country.”
The group added: “This is a critical victory for the prospects for peace.”
In a statement Wednesday morning, the right-wing Zionist Organization of America said, “With its latest negation of Oslo and circumvention of negotiations, the PA should be subject to the sternest possible penalties in terms of U.S. funding and diplomatic support. We praise Senators Graham, Schumer, Barrasso and Menendez for taking a very important step in this direction.”
 There is nothing the 'Palestinians' can do that will cause the Obama administration to react. Nothing.

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At 1:17 AM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

You DO realize that on inauguration day Abbas will be given front row seats, adulation, a state visit and something that resembles co-presidency for day, don't you? During Clinton's Presidency the #1 most frequent visitor to the White House over all other world leaders was Yasser Arafat. We're returning to those days except of course Israelis will never be invited to the White House at all and Obama will not meet with a single Israeli diplomat or elected official ever in his second term. I am predicting a downgrade in all official relations with Israel by March of 2013, probably to the level of a trade office, not an embassy or consulate. The only exception I see to this is if through some magical process Livni becomes PM as Obama has frequently demanded and she agrees to ethnically cleanse all Jews from Yesha and Jerusalem in exchange for some of Hillary Clinton's silk Hermes hijabs. Then she'll awarded with the position of Court Jew but kept on a short leash by J-Street's Iranian handlers.

Think I'm kidding? Obama isn't the worst President for Israel ever, he's a bona fide enemy of Israel.


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