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Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s bill would empower Hamas, not negotiations

September 1, 2011

H.R.2829: To promote transparency, accountability, and reform within the United Nations system, and for other purposes

Blue Says: The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) is expected to appeal to the UN for statehood recognition this month. The United States will veto it when it comes to the Security Council first, but the measure will pass in the general assembly. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has a backwards, if not totally delusional, concept of how international pressures work. This bill is inspired by President George H.W. Bush’s actions in 1989, when the UN decided against granting statehood to then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat. It backfired then, and it would backfire again.

Important Points:

  • Withholding funding for UNRWA will leave millions of Palestinian refugees without access to food, medicine, and job opportunities; experience shows that when this kind of vacuum exists, militant groups like Hamas will fill it and will find recruits
  • Recognized Statehood would give PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salad Fayyad a stronger position against their Hamas opponents; the stronger Fatah becomes, the weaker Hamas is
  • Providing a path to negotiations in which the PA is Israel’s equal (in name if not in power) gives Palestinians a reason to put their faith in negotiations rather than in upheaval

Blue Votes: Nay, Hell Nay

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