The latest on the Middle East

From the Episcopal Public Policy Network:

The unfolding humanitarian crisis among the Palestinian people is endangering the fragile hope that still remains for a two–state solution. President Bush and his administration need flexibility to conduct the required foreign policy involved in Israeli-Palestinian issues – but Congress is refusing to give the President the flexibility needed.

Legislation pending in the Senate (S 2370) needs to be amended in order to allow the President the flexibility to deal with the humanitarian crisis and be able to pursue avenues that might open for negotiations toward a two-state solution – the solution we believe to be in the best interest of Israelis, Palestinians, and the United States. Please write your Senators today asking them to help amend S 2370.

Existing law already prohibits aid going to a terrorist organization or directly to the Palestinian Authority. HR 4681, a far more restrictive and punitive bill than S 2370, passed overwhelmingly despite the fact that the Bush Administration said the bill was “unnecessary … and constrains the Executive’s flexibility to use sanctions, if appropriate, as tools to address rapidly changing situations.” If the Senate does not amend its bill, the final legislation that comes out of a joint House-Senate conference committee would do long-term damage to prospects for peace.

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