Dangerous Moves on the Hill — Grassroots Action Needed
Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and John Ensign (R-NV) are currently circulating a sign-on letter to Secretary Rice. The letter expands sanctions against the Palestinian Authority by urging a ban on US contact with ALL members of the PA, if the unity government doesn’t meet the Quartet’s demands.
The letter seeks to block constructive US diplomacy with Palestinian moderates and severely undermines US efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.
The Nelson-Ensign letter’s main request is that the US “continue to hold firm and insist that these very basic international principles do not change — no direct aid and no contacts with any members of a Palestinian Authority that does not explicitly and unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terror, and accept previous agreements.” This letter goes beyond current US policy and law by urging no contact with the entire Palestinian Authority, which would prevent diplomatic engagement with Palestinian moderates who seek peace with Israel, such as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and independent Salam Fayyad (likely to become the next Minister of Finance).
As Sec. Rice tries to reinvigorate the peace process, Palestinian political dynamics are continuing to unfold and the Palestinian economic situation remains dire. At this critical time when the US should be working with Palestinian moderates to influence the new government’s conduct, the Nelson-Ensign letter is promoting an approach that is counterproductive to US national security interests.
Call the Senate switchboard now to tell your member not to sign on to this letter: