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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

The Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), firmly denounced  the decision made the United Nations General Assembly to elevate the status of  “Palestine” (the Palestine Liberation Organization) to non-member observer state at the UN.

In a statement issued on the day of the vote, Nov 29, Cong. Ros-Lehtinen said that Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner for peace and that his action at the U.N. will “push peace with Israel even further away.”

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The Florida Congresswoman said that the decision by Abbas to ignore the U.S.’s strongly-worded and repeatedly given advice that he not attempt to achieve unilateral goals through the U.N. rather than through negotiations with Israel, made “crystal clear” that Abbas and his compatriots “do not value their relationship with the U.S.”

In addition to withholding all U.S. funds for “Palestine” the committee chair also intends to pull U.S. funding for any U.N. agencies that grant membership to “Palestine,” as is required under U.S. law.

Cong. Doug Lamborn (CO-5), co-chair of the Republican Israel Caucus and the Israel Allies Caucus also issued a statement through email denouncing the U.N. shenanigans.  He said that the action taken by Abbas could, “inflame tensions in the region and ultimately hurt their efforts to achieve statehood and a lasting peace.”

Lamborn also called for the cutting off of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority as the result of its effort to gain statehood outside of direct negotiations with Israel.” 

Although the U.S. administration strongly opposed and voted against this measure at the U.N., Ros-Lehtinen also included a warning to the U.S. administration in her statement.

She said, “if the Administration again seeks to gut U.S. law and keep funding those reckless UN agencies, Congress’ response must be simple: No.”

Last year Abbas sought to gain full United Nations membership through the UN Security Council.  That gambit was rebuffed by a threat by the U.S. to veto any such motion.  However, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization went ahead and recognized “Palestine” as a UNESCO state member.  As a result of that decision, and in compliance with U.S. law, Congress cut UNESCO’s funding. However, after heavy congressional lobbying by the administration, the funding was restored in late April of this year through the implementation of a waiver.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has been an outstanding Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Due to tge House rules she will have to leave this position in a month. Who is slated to replace her?

  2. With the resumption of funding UNESCO after been lobbied , USA has shown that they merely bark without bite and no one can easily rely on the USA now in this dispensation now that ABBAS had won his battle, US again can still be lobbied and forget the pains afflicted against ISRAEL.It appears that the UN does not want to listen to any complain Israel had complained to the council about their security concerned with Palestine and needed guarrante which was ignored , and UN was aware of Israeli position.The issue now is ABBAS can't rub peace and want peace.We would patiently wait and see whether Israel will be forced out of their God given LAND to appease Palestine in the name of peace through the Un.

  3. Would it have been so bad just this once to stand up and say, “Yes, 3.
    million Palestinians have the human right to have a state and proper.
    representation in world affairs.” It would have been right. It would
    have been just. And today, we could have held our heads just as high as.
    the days when we defeated the Nazis and led the vote which granted.
    Israel statehood. But for now, I am ashamed.
    @@@
    by JACK HAMLIN on DECEMBER 3, 2012.
    it was United.
    States who acted shame, voting against this small first step. I have yet.
    to find the legitimate reason, perhaps over the next few days someone.
    from the White House will tell us why. I, for one, am not holding my.
    breath. I am, however, ashamed.
    @@@
    http://sandiegofreepress.org/2012/12/shame-on-us-palestines-first-step-to-statehood-and-liberation-but-where-were-we/#comment-40078

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