Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Publishers' Page

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Publishers' Page

Article excerpt

AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL TRUST

How Low Can We Go?

The U.S. image in the Middle East took a nosedive on May 23, when the U.S. House of Representatives put the demands of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) ahead of the wishes of its president and, by a vote of 361 to 37, passed House Resolution 4681. The draconian Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 prohibits official Palestinian diplomacy or representation in the United States, restricts humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, and even denies them the ability to receive assistance through international banking institutions.

It's Simply Outrageous...

To punish, isolate and, yes, starve a people for holding democratic elections and voting for the "wrong" leaders. (One could even argue that the passage of H.R. 4681 is evidence that, in all but 46 congressional districts-including those of the 9 House members who voted "present"-Americans have done exactly the same thing!) Instead the vast majority of U.S. representatives voted to stain, perhaps irrevocably, this country's longstanding record of humanitarianism and commitment to democracy.

To Add to Our Shame...

In his meeting with Ehud Olmert to discuss the Israeli prime minister's plans to unilaterally evacuate unwanted far-flung Jewish settlements, fortify other settlement blocs and grab East Jerusalem and major West Bank enclaves, President George W. Bush described the proposals as "bold ideas." That they may be-but they also happen to be...

Brutal and Illegal.

In his May 25 Washington Post column, Robert Novak described a searing report prepared by the staff of House International Relations Committee chairman Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) based on visits to Israel and Palestine over the past two years. Prior to the president's meeting with Olmert, Hyde sent the report to the White House, along with a letter warning that Israel's illegal annexation wall and Jewish-only settlements "are irreversibly damaging the dwindling Christian community" in the Holy Land.

Bush Must Not Have Read Either.

Instead, the president seemed to have forgotten that under the U.S.-sponsored road map, neither the Israelis nor Palestinians are to take unilateral steps that prejudge final decisions about disputed territory. Bush did avoid publicly promising Olmert the...

Additional $10 Billion Israel Wants...

To redraw the 1967 borders. We suspect the Israeli leader was not deterred, however. After all, there's always Congress-and AIPAC (guess which one will be forking over Americans' tax dollars?). So why should Olmert take no for an answer? He also promised to renew peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. We'd advise President Bush, however, not to take Olmert's "yes" for an answer.

Meanwhile Palestinians Are Dying...

Because Israel is holding on to $950 million in tax and customs revenues that belong to the Palestinian Authority. Not to be left out, the European Union suspended $600 million in aid and the U.S. another $234 million. Thanks to U.S. anti-terrorism laws, Arab countries wanting to pick up the slack can't transfer funds through international banks. As a result the Palestinian government is bankrupt and has been unable to pay March, April or May salaries to its 167,000 civil servants, whose pay supports about one-quarter of the 4 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. …

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