The Jerusalem Post and Washington Post report that the House Foreign Relations Committee passed a modified version of Palestinian Anti-Terrorism bill (HR 697) in a 36-2 vote. While President Bush seems to have won significant easing of the restrictions on U.S. aid to the Palestinians and preserved some presidential flexibility in its disbursement, there are several ridiculously punitive measures that remain in the version passed. Here’s how the Post described both the modifications in the bill and the punitive measures that remain:
The new bill allows the president to use his waver authority in order to approve direct assistance to the PA, and is not as tough as the original version on supplying the Palestinians with humanitarian assistance.
The version approved by the committee enabled the US to provide aid to the Palestinians through non-governmental organizations for causes of health, water improvement and food supplies.
In addition, the US may transfer money to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for purposes of elections, or for his personal security.
The bill includes diplomatic limitations as well, including the closure of PLO offices in Washington, and the restriction of PA representatives’ movement to within 40 km of New York.
So let us understand this…the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism bill designed to punish Hamas for its support for terror is punishing the PLO under Mahmoud Abbas who denounces Palestinian terror every chance he gets. I’ve read no account of this bill in any media source which mentioned that the bill was designed to punish any Palestinian entity other than Hamas. Yet somehow the PLO has become a terrorist group in the eyes of Aipac’s grand lobbying wizards and their legislative agents in Congress.
You’ll notice that with the PLO banished from Washington, the halls of Congress and the White House; and with PLO diplomats limited to the UN Mission in New York, there can be no Palestinian presence in our nation’s capital whatsoever. They can’t even travel down from NY to DC because of the travel restriction. That, of course, leaves the field of battle with only Aipac standing. The group will no longer face any opposition from any Palestinian source. How convenient for Aipac! But how bad for maintaining a balanced and fair U.S. Mideast policy.
As Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer noted in more general terms in their controversial essay, Aipac has once again steamrollered its way toward a U.S. policy that allows Israel’s alleged interests to dominate our legislative agenda to the detriment of the Palestinians (and Israel’s long term interests as well).
My five year old son asked me what I was writing here and I explained to him that our government was passing a law that I thought would hurt people unfairly. He asked me how I would write that here. We agreed together that we could say: “I think that this law is bad.”
Dov C. says
only one note worth mentioning,
The Walt Mearsheimer Article, Has gotten so much critisizm for it’s lack of Academic Nature that, within a few years it will be used in Reasearch Methods Classes – as the Negative example to how to write a paper. In this I am not even talking about it’s content, but it’s style, Including, bad sourcing, taking stuff out of context, Adding information that does not help the Argument, Contredicting themselves, and using methods un-acceptable in Academia.
If I were to hand in a paper like that, I would surly fail.
Richard Silverstein says
I’m assuming that you’re not an academic researcher. Do you presume to judge the academic qualifications of the authors or the essay itself? If so, what are your specific criticisms? “Bad sourcing, taking stuff out of context” hardly constitute well-founded and well-sourced criticisms & won’t be accepted as such w/o more detail. Your other charges are similarly unsubstantiated and therefore not credible. Again, provide chapter & verse then we can argue. Until then, your claim is not credible.
If you were to hand in a paper like that you’d prob. become a dean at the Kennedy School or a professor at the University of Chicago and experts in your chosen academic field. But as it is, I think you should keep whatever yr day job is.
I have read a few pieces attacking The Israel Lobby. One of the main ones is by Alan Dershowitz. I find it laughable that Dershowitz decries the academic standards of this essay after Norman Finkelstein tore Dershowitz’s last book apart limb from limb accusing its author, among other things of plagiarism:
Finkelstein had years earlier proven conclusively that Peters book was a hoax. I should make clear that I do not share Finkelstein’s views of Israel, but I DO share his views on Alan Dershowitz. I find him to be an incredible windbag and so full of himself that he makes God look humble. His politics on Israel (as opposed to his domestic U.S. politics) are pure hardline pro-Israel.
No, we won’t accept Herr Dershowitz’s word on any of this. And if you’d care to put forward any other critiques you find credible I’d be happy to read them and examine them.
Dov C. says
Sorry, I would find more but It is a couple of days before Pesach and I am helping my parents clean.
You are correct to say that I am not an academic reasercher, I am only a B.A. Student at Hebrew U. in the Poli-sci & International Relations Dept. Just to set the record Strait, I am a big fan of Mearsheimer, and I have read quite a few of his articles. I think he has a lot of good things going for him. Walt I don’t know as well, but I hope that changes by the end of this Semester after taking a class about International Security. Oh and Needles to say that My profferes who teach both about Walt and Mearsheimer, have all stated (also after meeting with Mearsheimer in a confrence 2 weeks ago in Spain), that they are not sure what Bug this is (or what it has to do with the subjects they are very well known for).
I only have one more Question.
Have you actually read the article?? The entire 83 page long article??
One last note – since you love Dershowitz so much I decided to not Include his remarks on the paper.
Richard Silverstein says
Dov C.: I don’t find any reason to include numerous media sources attacking the essay. It’s easy enough for people to find these things w/o my promoting it through yr links. If I’d left your links in then I’d have to add links that were more favorable. And I just don’t want this to get into a contest of who has the most links to support their argument.
I read the 12,000 word version of the article published in the London Review of Books. There IS a far longer version at the Harvard site.
You have not yet answered my e mail msg. expressing disappointment that you allow your blog to be exploited by hardline pro-Israel folk who also stalk this blog. What I object to is yr allowing this person to carry on their war against me in your blog.
You’ve allowed lashon hara on yr site & I object to it. I will not carry on any conversation with this stalker at my site or yours as he is a fraud of a human being. Though you seem to respect this individual you might think otherwise if you knew what he’s tried to say here.
Dov C. says
Unless they write something that I find inapropriate I see no reason to not allow it. He might have written some things that are not very nice about you, but I didn’t read anything that was that bad.
And let me ask, Comparing Lieberman to Hitler or Talking about Dershowitz the way you did (“Herr)”is not Lashon Hara? Ths is just a little hypocritical of you.
I wish you and your Family A Chag Kasher VeSameach,
And a good 3 days of Chag/shabbat (that is the Punishment for Living in Cutz La’aretz :->)
Richard Silverstein says
I find it to be lashon hara for many reasons, not least of which is that neither you nor he make any effort to present my perspective either on him or what he says about me. You leave his lies and distortions there on yr site for all to see. Besides he is an odious, deceitful human being who in order to get his comments posted here resorted to using a false name & the URL of an entirely independent blogger assuming both of them as his own.
Besides, I would think that the decision as to what is lashon hara should also involve the victim. Shouldn’t you give any weight to what I think of what he’s written at yr site? The fact that you don’t shows me you lack empathy & an essential element of menschlichkeit.
If you wish to allow him to broadcast his slander about me at yr site that’s your “look out.” But don’t expect me to think of you as a mensch. And I’d appreciate you not wishing me anything concerning Jewish holidays as I don’t accept good wishes from those who willingly consort with a liar & scoundrel.
I have no idea what you’re referring to regarding Lieberman. Unless you provide a reference I can’t possibly respond to that.
As for Dershowitz, you must be one of those Jews who finds anti-Semitism and anti-Semites under every bed. I was certainly not referring to Dershowitz as a Nazi when I used the term “herr.” You’re really reaching for things to use against me there. Use of the term “Herr” was meant satirically as a highly formal honorific title that conveyed irony in that I don’t feel great respect toward him.
I also find it objectionable that when I suggest that you broadcast lashon hara at yr site instead of trying to understand my pt. of view you counter-attack & accuse me of lashon hara. That’s pretty base. Besides the lashon hara I was talking about was personal & directed at me. Why do you feel that Dershowitz & Lieberman need protecting from my alleged lashon hara. You’re really reachin’ pal.