The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, expressed its support for H.R. 3624, the Peace with Security Act, introduced by Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), which would halt the distribution of American taxpayer money, directly or indirectly, to the Palestinian Authority or any of its agencies. The United States now sends an average of $35 million every year to the Palestinian Authority which is administered through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2000, Congress appropriated a $400 million three-year aid package to the Palestinian Authority, of which $125 million was delivered last year.
Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International Affairs, said, “We wholeheartedly support Representative Cantor’s Peace with Security Act, H.R. 3624 and call on all our member synagogues to urge its passage in Congress. There is no doubt that Chairman Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are terrorists and not peace partners. Arafat and the PA have deliberately planned and orchestrated their campaign of terror to spread fear and shed innocent blood in order to further their political aims. They are responsible for the perpetration of numerous terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians in coordination with Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah with whom they plan their carefully calibrated violence. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority have proved that they do not want a place at the peace table; instead, they are interested in terrorizing the Israeli people into giving in to their outrageous demands. President Bush has demanded that Yassir Arafat and the PA cease to support and encourage the terrorist activities. The United States Administration has also acknowledged the PA’s responsibility in the smuggling of dangerous weapons to be used against Israel on the Karine-A. It is clear that the Palestinian Authority should not receive any American assistance or recognition.
“In addition to the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism, at least 22 American citizens have been killed in terrorist attacks in Israel that were perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist groups since 1993. In violation of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority has provided those implicated in these terrorist attacks with refuge and has released the very terrorists responsible for the murders of Alisa Flatow, Sara Ducker and Matthew Eisenfeld. Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are in flagrant violation of their numerous agreements with Israel and the United States and have failed miserably in stopping and renouncing terrorism and prohibiting incitement to violence.
“In light of this deliberate campaign of violence against Israelis, we believe that the American government should reassess its relationship with the Palestinians. Palestinians involved in violent attacks against Israelis should be barred from the United States and the United States should consider closing the PLO office in Washington. We urge Congress to pass H.R. 3624, the Peace with Security Act, and cut off all American assistance, direct and indirect, to the Palestinian Authority.
“It is time for the American government and people to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Israel’s safety and security and to recognize the uniquely common values and interests that Americans share with their only democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Please call your Representatives at (202) 225-3121 or write to Representative __ _(name)______, United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515 today and urge them to support and pass H.R. 3624, the Peace with Security Act.”