One-sided collective punishment legislation passed by U.S. House

Despite our best efforts, the Senate version of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (S. 2370) passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by voice vote, clearing the way for the bill to reach the White House. No amendments were allowed, no vote was recorded and no one other than the three members who rose in support of the bill could be seen in the House chamber.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Tom Lantos (D-CA), the bill’s sponsors, lamented the fact that they could not send their original text on to the president and instead had to settle for the Senate’s less draconian but nonetheless damaging language.

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) reiterated his constant demand that the U.S. close the PLO Mission to the United Nations, a measure that was in the House text but removed from the Senate version, before joining other prominent “pro-Israel” Democrats in condemning former President Jimmy Carter’s new book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

The House version, H.R. 4681, like the Senate version, included a panoply of economic and diplomatic sanctions against the Palestinians for electing for a Hamas majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Both versions of the bill contained measures intended to sanction Hamas, fulfilling the bill’s ostensible purpose, but also included numerous “AIPAC wishlist” items to punish Palestinians as a whole.

The Council for the National Interest is joining with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in its campaign to have the president veto this one-sided legislation.

The Council for the National Interest is a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization advocating a new direction for U.S. Middle East policy.