The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly praised Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) for the Senate Republican caucus letter to President Barack Obama, signed by a total of 16 U.S. Republican senators, urging the President to suspend U.S. aid to Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority (PA) unless Hamas, which has now joined the Fatah-controlled PA in a unity government, recognizes Israel, renounces terrorism and fulfills the signed, written agreements between Israel and the PA. The PA now receives between $550-980 million per year from the U.S. taxpayer. ZOA assisted Senators Boozman and Moran in initiating the letter and asking Senators to sign it. ZOA has also praised Democratic Senators who sent a similar letter to the President in May.
In their letter, the 16 Republican senators said:
It is clear Hamas is not committed to peace [ ] Soon after the agreement between Fatah and Hamas was signed, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar declared that our plan does not involve negotiations with Israel or recognizing it.
As long as Hamas remains involved in the PA, we cannot imagine how such a coalition can meet the most basic requirements of U.S. law or the Quartet conditions. We therefore urge you to immediately suspend U.S. taxpayer assistance to the PA unless and until it can be certified that a new government and all its ministers recognize the Jewish State of Israels right to exist in peace and security, accept and adhere to all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, and renounce all forms of terrorism and anti-Israel violence.
In addition to Senators Boozman and Moran, the signatories of the letter are Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Additionally, other senior Members of Congress have issued warnings that the United States will risk charges of financing terrorist operatives if U.S. aid to the PA is not cut. The House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has called attention to a 2006 law, P.L. No: 109-446, Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, that conditions U.S. aid on a requirement that Palestinian recipients must renounce violence and acknowledge Israel’s right to exist conditions which Hamas openly repudiates. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said, No taxpayer funds should go, they must not go, to the new Palestinian unity government. (Jennifer Rubin, Interview with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Part 1), Washington Post, May 4, 2011).
Daniel Pollak and Joshua London, Co-Directors of Government Relations for ZOA, said, Every day brings another horrific, anti-peace, pro-terror statement from either Hamas or Fatah, competing with each other to win the prize for the most vicious, belligerent statement. Fatah has insisted, since signing the agreement, that it has never and will never recognize Israel. Hamas has insisted it will never cease its armed struggle against Israel, and that the agreement requires the PA to adopt their positions. Hamas has still refused to cancel its Charter, which calls for the murder of all Jews (Article 7) and the destruction of Israel (Article 12). US law does not allow any US funding to be provided to a PA regime which includes Hamas.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We strongly praise Senators Boozman, Moran and the 14 other Republican Senators, as well as their Democratic Senate colleagues and Representative Ros-Lehtinen and numerous others for their forthright repudiation of the outrageous notion that a Fatah/Hamas PA government is one that the U.S. could fund and for their urging the president to stop aid to the PA.
Quite simply, the PA should not be the recipient of U.S. aid, because it is an unreconstructed, terror-sponsoring regime, whose leadership refuses to accept Israels existence as a Jewish state. It is undeserving of any American support, until, at the very least, it fulfills its 17-year old written agreements to arrest terrorists, as well as ending incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and Jews in PA schools, media and speeches. That the PA now has formally joined forces with Hamas, which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews, rendering it ineligible for any form of U.S. aid or diplomatic support.