WASHINGTON – Ahead of the UN General Assembly vote Thursday to grant non-member status to the Palestinians, US Senators on both sides of the aisle filed amendments that would cut aid to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations should the effort succeed.
The amendments, which would be attached to the defense authorization bill currently being debated in the Senate, would cut aid to the PA and the UN and impose other penalties for granting non-member status to the Palestinians.A bipartisan amendment would deny the PA US aid should the PA bring a case before the International Criminal Court, which could be possible with the changed status, as well as immediately close the Washington office of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the body representing the Palestinians in the US, unless the Palestinians have entered “meaningful negotiations” with Israel.
“Granting United Nations membership to the Palestinian authority is a nightmare in the making for the peace process and future relations between the Congress and UN,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina, who filed the amendment along with John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey). “Granting a form of member-status to the Palestinians goes around the only viable way to negotiate a two state solution, that’s between the parties themselves.
Two further amendments drafted by Republicans alone would cut Palestinian and UN aid more swiftly.