The Orthodox Union praised Senator John Ashcroft for co-sponsoring S.2938, the Middle East Peace Process Support Act, legislation introduced in the United States Senate that would terminate U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinians unilaterally declare a state. The legislation also prohibits the expenditure of any funds to extend recognition to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state and would also mandate that the President instruct the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to oppose the admission of such a state into the world body.
Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs, said “Senator John Ashcroft has long been on record as a staunch supporter of the State of Israel and its safety and security. We applaud Senator Ashcroft’s support of this legislation opposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Such a declaration would be a fundamental violation of the Oslo Accords and would inevitably lead to violence and to the deterioration of the delicate situation in the Middle East.
“This legislation sends an important message on the part of the United States Senate that the statement issued at the end of the recent Camp David Summit that explicitly states that there can be no declaration of a Palestinian state must not be violated. The determination of the eventual status of the Palestinian entity—as well as other final status issues—can be made only through direct negotiations between both parties.”
The Orthodox Union thanks Senator Ashcroft who joins Senators Sam Brownback (R-TX), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Phil Gramm (R-TX), Rod Grams (R-MN), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and George Voinovich (R-OH) who have co-sponsored S.2938, opposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
The OU views this legislation as vital. Although the Palestinian National Council voted this weekend to postpone a unilateral declaration of statehood until after November 15th, the PCC also declared its intention to take “the necessary measures to establish the state of Palestine and enforce its sovereignty on the occupied Palestine with holy Jerusalem as its capital” over the next two months. The PCC also asked Palestinian leaders to begin work on a constitution, prepare for new elections and plan an application for admission to the United Nations.