WASHINGTON - May 23 - The US Campaign to End the Israeli
Occupation denounces today's vote by
the House of Representatives to impose draconian economic and diplomatic
sanctions against the Palestinian people for exercising their right to vote. The
House passed HR4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, by a vote of
361-37 with 9 voting present.
The resolution restricts US humanitarian aid
and potentially eliminates entire US aid projects to the Palestinians; threatens
to withhold US dues to the UN because the international organization maintains
bodies advocating for Palestinian human rights; declares Palestinian territory
to be a "terrorist sanctuary", requiring US business to obtain special export
licenses for most goods; refuses visas to members of the Palestinian Legislative
Council and the Palestinian mission to the UN and threatens to close the PLO's
office in Washington; and instructs the US representative to the World Bank to
vote against humanitarian aid projects for the Palestinians.
Josh Ruebner, Grassroots Advocacy
Coordinator of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, criticized the
substance of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act. "This resolution has
little to do with Hamas or the election which freely and fairly brought it to
power. The so-called Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act is really a grab bag
of extreme anti-Palestinian agenda items that Israel's supporters on Capitol
Hill have failed to generate support for in the past. By using the
Palestinian election as a pretext to impose severe economic and diplomatic
sanctions against the Palestinian people, this resolution calls into question
the commitment of the United States to advancing democracy abroad."
The US Campaign to End the Israeli
Occupation led a months-long campaign to mobilize opposition to HR4681, the
Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act. More than 340 US-based organizations,
including United for Peace and Justice, Progressive Democrats of America,
American Friends Service Committee, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee,
and Jewish Voice for Peace, signed an open letter to Members of Congress
opposing this resolution. The open letter can be read by clicking here.