Feinstein, Baldwin, Kaine, Paul among 12 senators who didn’t sign AIPAC letter blasting Palestinian gov’t

Israel/Palestine
on 22 Comments
Dianne Feinstein, official Senate portrait

Dianne Feinstein, official Senate portrait

As the American Israel Political Affairs Committee is crowing today, a “supermajority” of 88 senators have sent a letter to President Obama, initiated by Ben Cardin and Susan Collins, denouncing the new Palestinian government and suggesting that no aid should be sent to the Palestinian Authority till it removes Hamas from the governing coalition. Hamas is “not a partner for peace,” the senators write (full text below), and it is an obstacle to “negotiations with Israel to achieve a two-state solution.”

Among the signatories are liberals Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Al Franken, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, Barbara Boxer, Barbara Mikulski, Maria Cantwell, and Ed Markey.

Here are twelve standouts who did not sign. I am assuming some refused, they weren’t just outta town. So this list is a list of honor, and it’s bipartisan, including three Republicans, one with supposed presidential ambition:

Tammy Baldwin, WI

Thomas Carper, DE

Bob Corker, Republican, TN

Dianne Feinstein, CA

Tom Harkin, IA

James Inhofe, Republican, OK

Tim Kaine, VA

Patrick Leahy, VT

Jack Reed, RI

Rand Paul, Republican, KY

Jay Rockefeller, WV

Bernie Sanders, Independent, VT

Here’s the letter.

Dear Mr. President:

We are appreciative of your Administration’s dedication to achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Unfortunately, the recent formation of a Palestinian Authority unity government supported by Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization that has never publicly accepted the Quartet principles, represents a serious setback to efforts to achieve peace.  We are gravely concerned that the formation of this government and President Abbas’ renewed effort to upgrade the status of the Palestinians within international organizations will jeopardize direct negotiations with Israel to achieve a two-state solution.

By its actions and inaction, Hamas has demonstrated it is not a partner for peace. Hamas has openly called for Israel’s destruction and last month Hamas leaders again repeated their refusal to meet recognized international demands: recognition of Israel, renunciation of terror, and acceptance of previous Israel-PLO agreements.

Recent events have consequences as to U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority as provided for in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 and restrictions contained in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2014, including prohibiting foreign assistance to Hamas or any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member or over which Hamas has undue influence.  These troubling developments, including the role played by Hamas in the formation of the government, have undermined Congressional support for U.S. assistance to the Palestinians.  Any assistance should only be provided when we have confidence that this new government is in full compliance with the restrictions contained in current law.  We urge you to continue to impress on President Abbas the need for him to cease any alliance with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

Sincerely,

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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22 Responses

  1. just
    June 13, 2014, 11:59 am

    Well. Elections have consequences as we witnessed in VA this week.

    GOTV. Tell your critters how you feel. Vote them out if they don’t listen b/c their ear canals are stuffed with AIPAC dollars and hasbara lies.

    PS– VT rocks!

    • Krauss
      June 13, 2014, 4:20 pm

      Really annoyed that Warren signed.
      She has long been retrograde on Palestine, but still.

      Depressing how such an economic populist can turn into such a reactionary just because of money.

      Bash Wall St, but not the Israel lobby!

      • bilal a
        June 13, 2014, 11:20 pm

        didnt she dump her husband to marry her law professor? money is important to her.

    • GJB
      June 13, 2014, 7:27 pm

      I second the VT rocks comment! Bernie Sanders rocks! Really too bad about Warren though.

  2. Ellen
    June 13, 2014, 12:04 pm

    Corker did not sign? He must have been out of town. His office is 100% AIPAC occupied.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 13, 2014, 2:26 pm

      He must have been out of town. His office is 100% AIPAC occupied.

      maybe he’s not running for re election. of the people who did not sign i wonder how many of them need to have their coffers filled between now and the mid terms in november.

      • Ellen
        June 13, 2014, 2:44 pm

        Annie, yes, I think that is right. Well, shows again that all those signatures for AIPAC are bought. Which means AIPAC has no sustainable position without paying for it.

        tick tock…

  3. ritzl
    June 13, 2014, 12:11 pm

    That’s a strange bunch. I wonder what the significance of such a broad spectrum is.

    The reasons for not signing may be just as broad a spectrum. From the moral/right thing to do, to fretting that Israel will have to pick up its own Occupation tab from now on (is the Palestinian factional leadership that bloody crafty?).

    • a blah chick
      June 13, 2014, 12:47 pm

      When you think about the PA is in the driver’s seat on this. All Abbas has to do is close up shop and hand Mr. Sara the keys and say “you deal with it.” Imagine all those now out of work security people going home with their service weapons. Of course dissolving the PA will mean that the average Palestinian will suffer even more, at least for a time. So it’s not a move to take lightly.

      • ritzl
        June 13, 2014, 4:02 pm

        Agree, a blah chick. Especially the “not a move to take lightly” part.

  4. unverified__5ilf90kd
    June 13, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Corker did not sign the AIPAC letter blasting the Palestinian gov’t. I am amazed because he is usually a slave of AIPAC. He is my senator and I will be writing to him with my thanks and I will encourage him to ignore AIPAC in the future.

  5. American
    June 13, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Not so fast.

    http://www.opencongress.org/vote/2014/s/160

    May 21, 2014 Roll call number 160 in the Senate
    Question On the Nomination PN1343: Stanley Fischer, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the unexpired term of fourteen years from February 1, 2006

    There were 68 votes cast with some abstaining by voting only ‘present’.
    All senate democrats, 51, voted for Fischer.
    Only 15 Republican senators, the usual suspects like Kirk, voted against Fischer.

    Appointing a dual nationalist dedicated enough to move to Israel to serve it to US Fed is the bottom of the slippery slope for the Dems.

    • American
      June 13, 2014, 1:33 pm

      Tammy Baldwin, WI

      Thomas Carper, DE

      Bob Corker, Republican, TN

      Dianne Feinstein, CA

      Tom Harkin, IA

      James Inhofe, Republican, OK

      Tim Kaine, VA

      Patrick Leahy, VT

      Jack Reed, RI

      Rand Paul, Republican, KY

      Jay Rockefeller, WV

      Bernie Sanders, Independent, VT

      All of whom on this honor role except Inhofe and Paul voted for dual nationalist Fischer for the US Fed.

  6. Citizen
    June 13, 2014, 2:32 pm

    LOL
    U.S. taxpayers are paying for Israel’s West Bank occupation–Dick and Jane even pay for infrastructure there, e.g., the segregated roads: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/1.324941

    I wonder if all these senators who signed the letter even thought that if US cuts of aid to Palestinians in OT, then Israel will have to pay for it? My two senators, Nelson, and Rubio never respond to my attempts to contact with them, except Rubio sometimes sends a boilerplate response that never address my stated issues regarding I-P situation. Nelson is a total geezer cracker flunky for Israel.

  7. Citizen
    June 13, 2014, 2:44 pm

    “American tax dollars go a long way in sustaining West Bank settlements, the Israeli army and corporations profiting from the occupation. This illustration is the fifth in a series of infographics on the effect of the occupation on the Palestinian civilian population.”: http://972mag.com/visualizing-occupation-who-profits-and-who-pays/48188/

  8. Boomer
    June 13, 2014, 4:51 pm

    88 AIPAC votes. Depressing. Either they see the evil and are afraid to oppose it–even passively by abstaining–or they actively support the evil. Either way, they are part of the problem. Profiles in cowardice, prostitution, evil.

  9. belewlaw
    June 13, 2014, 4:51 pm

    Corker may not have signed because of his position as Ranking on Foreign Relations. Some people just don’t sign these letters because it would put them in the position of prejudging issues. It also gets them out of signing a lot of letters. One would have to check his history on this.

  10. Palikari
    June 14, 2014, 12:59 am

    The Jewish senators who didn’t sign are traitors to their people.

    • Citizen
      June 14, 2014, 1:22 pm

      @ Palikari
      Gee, I thought those who didn’t sign were Americans, part of the American people….so, I don’t get what you mean.

      • Palikari
        June 15, 2014, 7:53 am

        They are part of the Jewish people, too.

  11. Talkback
    June 14, 2014, 3:29 am

    I was told America is the land of the free and the brave. We can expect a letter blasting every Israeli goverment for the same reason very soon, no?

  12. Pat Tibbs
    June 14, 2014, 10:46 am

    Diane Feinstein must have been out of town. There is no way she would have refused to sign this letter. She is definitely sympatico with AIPAC

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