A congressional drive to punish the Palestinian Authority for its statehood bid by cutting American aid is being greeted with enthusiasm by lawmakers of both parties.
But the White House is giving the move a cold shoulder, and even Israel itself and its strongest supporters have serious reservations. The legislation being discussed in Congress would cut all or part of the nearly $600 million annual aid package if Palestinians move ahead with their plan to seek statehood at the United Nations.
Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are falling over one another to show their support for Israel. Most observers, however, believe the move is more about political grandstanding than serious policymaking.
“Everybody knows the U.S. Congress is the most pro-Israel parliamentary body in the world,” former president Bill Clinton told ABC News. “They don’t have to demonstrate that.”
In a remarkable incident, The New York Times reported that the White House even turned to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to help keep aid flowing to the Palestinians.
Netanyahu, described by the newspaper as a “singularly influential lobbyist,” recently interceded with one pro-Israel representative to convince Congress to complete a $50 million aid transfer to the Palestinian Authority, the Times reported.
TVNL Comment: AIPAC rules. No one objects. Everyone is entitled to independence and democracy except Palestinians. Wonder why.