Wednesday, March 01, 2006

No Quarter from AIPAC

AIPAC is pushing for passage of HR 4681.

This bill would punish the Palestinians for electing Hamas. According to this reference the per capita GDP of Palestine is US$1,000.00. This is not even a subsistence level.

This bill is a vicious attempt at group punishment on a people that are not able to defend or support themselves. It is inhumane and borders on an attempt to just starve the Palestinians to death.

Here is some more information on this bill:

The central provision of this resolution would prohibit the United States from providing direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless the President certifies that it has fulfilled a long list of subjective and ambiguous conditions. Current law already prohibits the United States from providing direct assistance to the PA unless the President signs a national security waiver, and in fact the United States provides no direct assistance to the PA.

This resolution goes far beyond reiterating the current US ban on direct assistance to the PA; it also calls for many troubling provisions that would punish and isolate the Palestinian people for exercising their right to vote, including:

* Restricting humanitarian aid. U.S. humanitarian assistance, overseen by USAID and implemented by certified non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), is not only essential to preventing the complete collapse of the Palestinian economy under the difficult conditions imposed by Israel; Even though it contains a waiver for certain humanitarian aid categories, this resolution threatens US assistance to NGO’s in Palestinian territories by putting it in the same category as aid to the PA.

* Designating Palestinian territory as a “terrorist sanctuary.” This designation would trigger restrictions on U.S. exports to Palestinian territories, effectively gutting the free trade agreement between the United States and the West Bank and Gaza Strip and further crippling the Palestinian economy.

* Prohibiting official Palestinian diplomacy or representation in the United States. This resolution would deny visas to PA representatives; restrict the movement of Palestinian diplomats at the UN; and shut down the PLO information office in Washington.

* Targeting the UN for supporting Palestinian human rights. The United Nations has voted by overwhelming majorities to create bodies like the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to advocate for the realization of unmet Palestinian human rights. This resolution seeks to defund these bodies by calling on the United States to withhold UN dues in proportion to the percentage of the UN budget that funds these bodies.

* Denying Palestinians the ability to receive assistance through international financial institutions. The World Bank has been working with the PA to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip since Israel’s unilateral “disengagement” from it in 2005. Funds are needed urgently to rebuild thousands of homes that Israel destroyed there. The reconstruction of the Gaza Strip could be in jeopardy if this bill is passed. It contains a provision instructing the United States, which has a controlling vote at the World Bank, to vote against such funding.



Anonymous daveg said...

The word vindictive comes to mind.

3/01/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous martin said...

Free David, but Don't Ignore Goliath

Free speech and fair treatment are the issues: Hoffman

3/02/2006 10:43:00 AM  

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