US passes resolution halting PA aid

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Ben W, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    This passed 418-1, does anyone know who the "1" was that voted against the bill?

    US passes resolution halting PA aid
    By NATHAN GUTTMAN AND AP
    WASHINGTON

    The US House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution late Wednesday expressing support for the shutting down aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas continues to advocate the destruction of Israel.

    Hamas, which is included in the US State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, won recent Palestinian elections and is due to be sworn in to parliament Saturday.

    The Senate approved the non-binding resolution that passed the House on Wednesday, 418-1.

    Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated that US tax dollars would not be given to a Palestinian government in which Hamas plays a leading role. In response to a remark by Senator George Allen (R-VA), who said he did not want to see "one penny" of American money given to the PA, Rice replied "neither do I."

    Rice did stress, however, that the US would continue its support for humanitarian projects in the Palestinian territories - as long as these funds did not pass through the Palestinian government, and after each program was reviewed.

    Rice also met Wednesday with a small group of Jewish leaders to discuss the recent developments in the region and the US reaction to Hamas's election victory.

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  2. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    The resolution was smoke and mirrors and meaningless. It did not halt all funding to the PA. I merely expressed support for doing so:

    When will the politician elitists get a clue and put away the childish games of symbol and actually do something like actually cut all funding? All they currently have is hollow empty words, with no action.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Here you go.
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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  5. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Thanks Joseph,

    Here is a news feed that I found detailling his reasons as to why he chose to vote against the bill.

    - America Should Not Cut Off Aid to Newly Elected Hamas Government
    By Congressman Neil Abercrombie, 2/17/2006 3:20:39 PM

    Editor's note: U.S. Rep. Abercrombie was the only member of the U.S House to vote against SR 79, which says the United States should cut off aid to the new Hamas government in Palestine. In response to Hawaii Reporter's request for his justification for his vote, Rep. Abercrombie issued the following oped:

    Congressman Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, First District

    I believe Senate Concurrent Resolution 79, which would cut off U.S. aid to Palestinians as consequence of Hamas’ victory in the recent Palestinian Legislative Council elections, is ill advised.

    I support Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and that support has manifested itself in concrete terms. I have voted consistently in favor of the Foreign Operations appropriations bills which fund U.S. aid to Israel. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have supported the joint U.S.-Israel Arrow missile Research & Development program.

    President George W. Bush declared that it is United States policy to support democracy and free elections in the Mideast. It is inconsistent at best, hypocritical at worst, to take a position in favor of democratic elections and then turn around and punish people on the basis that we don’t approve of the results. At the very least, it undercuts U.S. credibility in a region where it is already suspect.

    There is a dialog under way within Hamas leadership that could lead to profound changes to the Hamas charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel. Some prominent individuals are expressing a disposition to recognize and engage with Israel. For example, Muaman Bseiso, columnist for the Hamas weekly Al-Risala, wrote, "the Covenant is not the Koran, which is unchangeable. I believe that one day it will be changed or replaced according to the views of the Hamas, in order to realize the national interests of the Palestinians." Shaykh Muhammad Abu-Tayr, the second highest ranking member of Hamas, signaled possible shifts with the statement, "I frankly say Israel does exist. It does exist." Hamas Deputy Ismail Haniyah is widely reported to support dialogue with Israel and the international community.

    The hard liners still appear to be dominant within Hamas, but the course of action proposed by Senate Concurrent Resolution 79 weakens the position of those who are voicing doubts about the organization’s current policies. Those who are skeptical about the evolutionary possibilities suggested by the comments cited above should recall the changes within Fatah, Hamas’ leading rival for political power in the Palestinian Authority. Fata, too, made the journey from uncompromising rejectionism to the point where it recognized Israel’s right to exist and engaged in negotiations. It is difficult to imagine that achievement without the engagement, support and material assistance of the United States. The kind of freeze-out proposed by the resolution would greatly decrease the likelihood of similar changes within Hamas.

    I do not underestimate the difficulties that lie ahead or the likelihood of setbacks. One thing, though, is certain: Hamas is the choice of the Palestinian majority. If we fail to recognize that reality and engage with a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, the challenge of achieving a stable and long lasting Israeli-Palestinian settlement (and other policy objectives in the Mideast) becomes even more difficult than it is today.

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  6. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Basically,

    What it boils down to is that he is an idiot and is playing politics with his vote by trying to embarrass the President and make his statement against democracy. Funny, coming from a "Democrat", huh?

    Joseph Botwinick
     

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