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March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
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Nita Lowey’s Leadership Moment in Israel and the Peace Process

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D)(NY-17).

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D)(NY-17).
Photo Credit: YouTube

America grants the Palestinian Authority about $500 million annually. The fast-spinning money meter has already broken the $5 billion mark over the years. The annual financial infusion has been on autopilot as Israelis and Palestinians negotiated over the meters and metrics of a two-state solution. American money has been lavishly spent on Palestinians for one purpose: to encourage the peace process.

Recently something changed. The Palestinian Authority unified with Hamas, making it the largest, best organized, and best armed terrorist entity in the world. Hamas, long designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization, is well-known for showering Israeli civilians with rockets. Quickly dashing any hopes of change, Hamas did not disband its highly-armed and trained militias, vowed to never recognize Israel, and barred pursuing joint peace.

Newspapers have been filled with headlines recently about how Congress is preparing to defund the Palestinian Authority because various federal laws make continued cash infusions under present conditions illegal, and because further money would be antithetical to America’s pro-peace and anti-terrorism policy.

While many of the names of House and Senate leaders have been bandied about, most Congressional sources arguably agree that the most important lawmaker is Rep. Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat from Westchester County, NY. Lowey sits on both the full Appropriations Committee and the key subcommittee governing State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Foreign assistance begins and dies in this subcommittee. The Republican side of the aisle has been lining up staunchly against continuing funding and invoking the mandatory legal brakes. This includes subcommittee chairwoman Kay Granger from Dallas, who has asserted that unification “puts in jeopardy future U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority.”

The Obama Administration, however, has signaled it is ready to continue funding the new Hamas-infused Palestinian Authority.

Therefore, all eyes now fall on Lowey. For her, this is a leadership moment. Will she break with her party and the Administration?

Lowey’s personal and legislative feelings have been made abundantly clear. “At this point, the law is clear, their actions are clear, and the path forward is clear,” Rep. Nita Lowey (R-NY) told the JTA news service immediately after news of the Hamas union became known in late April.

On Monday, June 2, after the unification ceremony finished in Ramallah, Lowey issued this short warning: “I am deeply disappointed with the announcement today of a Palestinian government that includes the terrorist organization Hamas. As long as Hamas rejects the Quartet principles and the existence of the State of Israel, United States funding for this unity government is in jeopardy.”

Early June 4, 2014, a source close to Lowey confirmed her feelings remain unchanged. Indeed, within 10 seconds of asking, he emailed this reporter the relevant section of one of several key legal bars to continued funding. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, in Section 7020, Subsection F, entitled Prohibition to Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, unambiguously declares: “None of the funds appropriated … may be obligated or expended for assistance to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.”

The Lowey source explained, “The law is clear-cut, but what makes it complex is there are also important considerations – are we subjecting ourselves to more danger? For example, is there a particular security assistance program? Should we stop that? Or, is it smarter to keep some of those of those programs going?”

The staffer conceded the notion of a drastic cut with carve-outs for special security programs. However, the source added, “The Administration seems to be ‘all systems go’” in terms of unrestricted funding.

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8 Responses to “Nita Lowey’s Leadership Moment in Israel and the Peace Process”

  1. Omar A. Omar says:

    USA and UK are responsible and must pay for their mistake, they inserted an illegal state in the ME which is Israel making the ME unstable and full of terror and violence and it will keep so as long as ISRAEL exist, Palestine must be freed and occupation ended as a first step to create peace environment in the ME . USA and UK are responsible for all Israeli crimes as much as Israel is since they always support Israeli Aggressions.

  2. I guess there will always be fools, liars, cowards and murderers among us. You, sir, are one. God has blessed Israel.

  3. GOD BLESS ISRAEL.
    GOD LOVES ISRAEL.
    GOD WILL PROTECT ISRAEL…

  4. Omar you have not the slightest idea what you a are talking about. First, the Jews are the indigenous people of Israel and as such they have the right of self determination. The Jews have been in Israel over 3500 years and no other people have been there that long or have ever had a nation there. You clearly do not care about facts as you are committed to your racist anti-Jewish theology. Try reading instead of hating http://www.mythsandfacts.org/

  5. Marcel Murad says:

    Omar, where did you crawl out from?

  6. Marcel Murad says:

    There was never a so called palestinian State. Terrorists cannot have a State. End of story.

  7. hey troll crawl back from where you came from

  8. Don,t worry Obama will overide congress because he likes people like Omar more then israel.THEY WILL BOTH BURN IN HELL!

Comments are closed.

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For Lowey, the question is whether she will break with the Obama Administration, which has signaled willingness to continue funding the new Hamas-infused Palestinian Authority.

Lowey’s choice: the law and common sense on one hand, and her party and extenuating circumstances on the other.

This vote was not about the Conference. This was about J Street; the vote was not even close.

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