AIPAC backs Senate letter calling for PA to retake control of Gaza


JTA — A bipartisan Senate letter backing U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority toward returning it to power in the Gaza Strip has the backing of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Sens. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), both considered close to AIPAC, initiated the letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry now circulating among senators for signatories and an official of the lobby on Wednesday confirmed to JTA that AIPAC supports the letter.

The letter and AIPAC’s backing for it signal a sharp change from before the latest Israel-Hamas war in Gaza over the summer, when AIPAC backed congressional measures that would have penalized the Palestinian Authority in the wake of its agreement to work with Hamas toward elections.

“We must enable efforts to enable the Palestinian Authority to exercise real power in Gaza,” it says.

“Real peace between Israelis and Palestinians will require a Palestinian partner that controls the West Bank and Gaza, is focused on economic development in both areas, and will accept Gaza’s demilitarization,” says the letter which Ayotte and Casey plan to send Sept. 18 after garnering additional signatures. “We must start this process now.”

Notably, while the letter says that Hamas “has no interest in peace with Israel,” it does not call for the dismantling of the new government backed by Hamas and the P.A., something Israel and the pro-Israel community had repeatedly called for before the war.

It also calls for urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza, with measures taken to keep such assistance out of the hands of Hamas.

The letter calls on Kerry to keep the Palestinians from taking “further harmful steps” in UN and UN-affiliated bodies that would target Israel for its Gaza war actions and urges the P.A.’s return to peace negotiations, which collapsed in April in part because of Palestinian complaints over Israeli settlement expansion.

Also backing the letter is J Street, a Jewish Middle East policy group that backs an assertive U.S. role in Middle East peace-making.

A J Street statement said the group “commends the letter’s emphasis on a negotiated end to the underlying Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a U.S. foreign policy priority.”

September 11, 2014 | 5 Comments »

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. yamit82 Said:

    I really despise stupidity and AIPAC reps are

    based on the myth that a “peace deal” is a good thing.
    so far, it looks to me, that the instability of the region caused by the faux arab spring was and still is a good thing for Israel. the same with Ukraine, euro muslim troubles and other events which have tended to take up the time and attention of those seeking to damage Israel and jews.
    Christian BDS groups are looing more foolkish daily as their pets are chopping off their brothers heads in the ME. Europe is having to deal with internal muslim problems AND Vlad. Arabs, Hezbullah, hamas, GCC, Turkey, Iran have all suffered and been weakened in the last couple of years. Even Obama’s anti Israel agenda has suffered as a result of all his scandals and now he has to deal with immigration, Ukraine and ISIS too,…Its too bad that Israel does not take more opportunities presented by these events but perhaps its better to allow them to play out. China appears to be the one sitting in the background, watching the show, gobbling the world resources, shipping, etc. Whoever wins, China will win. china does not see talking a lot as efficacious, they do what is in their interests and keep the talk at a minimum. Israel could learn from this, Israel used to talk less and act more. On the other hand, Israel is doing well considering almost the whole world delegitimizes her.

  2. bernard ross Said:

    its best if gaza and Pa west bank are separate

    A no brainer if one is really pro Israel.

    I really despise stupidity and AIPAC reps are ….. Fill in the Blank with any expletive of choice.