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The White House has announced it is partially unhappy with the new bipartisan bill, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. They like the bill in general, they say, as the W.H. Press Secretary put it in a statement: “We are pleased the Senate passed the bipartisan Customs conference report because it will provide additional tools to help crack down on unfair competition by trading partners and foreign companies that put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage.” However, there’s this one portion they really dislike:

“…there are provisions in this bill that we do not support, including a provision that contravenes longstanding US policy towards Israel and the occupied territories, including with regard to Israeli settlement activity.”

Here’s what the new trade bill has to say about that last, unpleasant Jewish settlements part (abbreviated, because it’s Friday and you need to go shopping for Shabbat). But if you’re really in a hurry, the part Obama et al loath the most is hidden way down there, in item (b) (7), which declares that Congress

“supports efforts to prevent investigations or prosecutions by governments or international organizations of United States persons solely on the basis of such persons doing business with Israel, with Israeli entities, or in any territory controlled by Israel.”

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Here’s the rest of the segment that generated so much pain over at 1600 Pennsylvania Av.:

SEC. 909. United States-Israel trade and commercial enhancement.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(6) It has been the policy of the United States Government to combat all elements of the Arab League Boycott of Israel by—

(A) public statements of Administration officials;

(B) enactment of relevant sections of the Export Administration Act of 1979 … including sections to ensure foreign persons comply with applicable reporting requirements relating to the Boycott;

(C) enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1976 (Public Law 94–455; 90 Stat. 1520) that denies certain tax benefits to entities abiding by the Boycott;

(D) ensuring through free trade agreements with Bahrain and Oman that such countries no longer participate in the Boycott; and

(E) ensuring as a condition of membership in the World Trade Organization that Saudi Arabia no longer enforces the secondary or tertiary elements of the Boycott.

(b) Statements of policy.—Congress—

(1) supports the strengthening of economic cooperation between the United States and Israel and recognizes the tremendous strategic, economic, and technological value of cooperation with Israel;

(2) recognizes the benefit of cooperation with Israel to United States companies, including by improving American competitiveness in global markets;

(3) recognizes the importance of trade and commercial relations to the pursuit and sustainability of peace, and supports efforts to bring together the United States, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and others in enhanced commerce;

(4) opposes politically motivated actions that penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel, such as boycotts of, divestment from, or sanctions against Israel;

(5) notes that boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel by governments, governmental bodies, quasi-governmental bodies, international organizations, and other such entities are contrary to principle of nondiscrimination under the GATT 1994…;

(6) encourages the inclusion of politically motivated actions that penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel such as boycotts of, divestment from, or sanctions against Israel as a topic of discussion at the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG) to support the strengthening of the United States-Israel commercial relationship and combat any commercial discrimination against Israel; and

(7) supports efforts to prevent investigations or prosecutions by governments or international organizations of United States persons solely on the basis of such persons doing business with Israel, with Israeli entities, or in any territory controlled by Israel.

(c) Principal trade negotiating objectives of the United States.—

(1) COMMERCIAL PARTNERSHIPS.—Among the principal trade negotiating objectives of the United States for proposed trade agreements with foreign countries regarding commercial partnerships are the following:

(A) To discourage actions by potential trading partners that directly or indirectly prejudice or otherwise discourage commercial activity solely between the United States and Israel.

(B) To discourage politically motivated boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated nontariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on Israel.

(C) To seek the elimination of state-sponsored unsanctioned foreign boycotts of Israel, or compliance with the Arab League Boycott of Israel, by prospective trading partners.

One senior congressional aide who works on this legislation told the Washington Free Beacon they were surprised at the administration’s statement, saying that it goes out of its way to single out Israel.

“This administration never misses an opportunity to take a swipe at Israel—even if it means criticizing bipartisan anti-BDS measures passed unanimously in the House and Senate,” the source said. “Don’t fall for any White House doublespeak: Opposing efforts to combat BDS equates to supporting BDS. That’s why history will show that President Obama actively advanced a movement solely aimed at delegitimizing the State of Israel.”

You’re not kidding.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. I think you are wrong about Obama. I Think the US government is firmly against BDS, but is like many other governments very unhappy with the occupation of the Westbank. That territory is considered as land on which a future Palestinian state must be grounded to reach peace between the two peoples.

  2. Establishing the " West Bank" and Gaza as a Palestinian state will never lead to "peace". It will merely provide a launching pad for Israel's enemies to continue and attempt to fulfil the Palestinian dream and Iranian commitment of destroying Israel. What is it that John Kerry and his boss don't understand about that? Or do they……….

  3. Is there any rational thinking person who still believes President Obama "likes" the State of Israel? He, like most of the current Democrat party is so far left that all common sense has left them. Anyone who will vote Democrat this November clearly does not support either the USA or the State of Israel.

  4. Anyone who feels forced to shout "I am a great friend of Israel like Obama does, has, by his actions, probably shown that he is no friend at all.
    Sounds a bit like the die hard racist who denies he is a racist because "I even have some black friends".

  5. Consance Vetch. The 'west bank' is a misnomer. This was a term for the occupiers – the Jordanians – who occupied the west bank of the river Jordan. In effect, the land is Judea (and if that doesn' t sound Jewish. then what does?) and Samaria. This is the Biblical heartland of Israel. The Arabs living on this land now are occupying it. The so-called 'Palestinians' only came into being in the 1970's under the Egyptian, Yasser Arafat. Judea and Samaria were mandated to the Jewish people after defeating the Ottoman Empire. Please do not refer to our land as the 'west bank'. And please stop saying that we Jews are 'occupying' our own land. It is ridiculous. If you live in England and you are English, are you occupying the land? No. And Jews are trying to live in peace on their own land too, but the world wishes to demonize, delegitimize and terrorize us into oblivion. It will never happen! We are here to stay. We were here before you and will be here long after.

  6. Israel occupies its OWN territory including Judea/Samaria and they were recognized by internationallaw. obama ignores international law just as he ignored national law by entering the US and the US president campaign not being a US citizen and still less born in the US. What he supports is violations to international law not international law.

  7. Ignorant fools who keep using the word occupation do not even know what it means. Israel occupies its land LEGALLY. arabs occupy Western Palestine illegally. leftwing antisemites do not even know what they say, they just repeat the pr slogans they hear.

  8. Some say Obama is a closet Muslim. They are wrong. Obama is a Muslim who grew up as one in Indonesia with his Muslim father. In a gathering of rabian states, Obama stated that he is a Muslim and he shares the feelings and interests of the Muslim world. So it is no wonder why he hates Israel to the point of coddling Iran which sponsors Muslim terrorists. Now he finds himself in a diplomatic impasse in Syria and did nothing to stop the bombing and killing of rebel Syrians by Assad with the backing of Iran and Russia. Obama gave Assad a red line which the latter ignored. Obama should listen to the warnings of Pentagon particularly on China's grabbing of teritory in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. He should do something concrete to support US allies in the region.

  9. Absolutely RIGHT. These morons have tried war and were defeated. Now they try pr and lies. They will be defeated too. But their total defeat will come only when an Israeli PM will understand e MUST expell those imperialist arab-nazis over to jordan. As long as they will squat Judea/Samaria european nazis will support them and the verbal war will never end.Yes-no-yes-no this is a childish war!

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