Lara Friedman writes: The first shot has been fired in the much-anticipated Congressional battle to punish the Palestinians for seeking to upgrade their status at the UN – and to also punish any UN agencies and any countries that support them.
The vehicle for this attack is S. 3254 – the highly contentious National Defense Authorization Act, which the Senate is now considering. For those who keep track of these sorts of things, there is NOTHING in the NDAA that in any way relates to the Palestinians. No funding, no programs – nothing. But that hasn’t stopped Senators Barrasso (R-WY), Lee (R-UT), and Inhofe (R-OK) from introducing an amendment whose purpose is defined as “To provide for restrictions on foreign assistance related to the status of the Palestinian mission to the United Nations.” A copy of the amendment, which was filed this afternoon, is available here. Senator Barrasso’s press release touting introduction of the amendment is available here.
The amendment seeks to do three things:
(1) Compel the President to cut U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority by 50% if the PA “seeks at any time after November 25, 2012, at the United Nations General Assembly or any other United Nations entity status different than the status it held on November 25, 2012” — with such cuts continuing “until permanent status issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are fully resolved”; [Continue reading…]