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Some headlines and summaries from JTA

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Israel aid unscathed in GOP proposal

Funding for Israel would remain untouched in cuts proposed by Republicans in the wake of recent hurricanes.

Funding for Egypt, Africa, the AIDS initiative and the Peace Corps would take hits under a Republican Study Committee document, obtained by JTA, that breaks down offsets into several categories, including foreign aid. Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. aid, receiving more than $2.5 billion a year, but is not on the list for cuts.

Egypt, the second biggest recipient with $1.8 billion a year, would lose $12 million in 2006 and $400 million over the next five years, according to the proposal, because its “democratic development has been extremely limited and its human rights record remains poor,” according to the document prepared by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the RSC chairman.

The report is a proposal that House Republican leaders may bring to the House floor.

U.S.: P.A. getting stronger in Gaza

The Palestinian Authority is strengthening its control in the Gaza Strip and has restored greenhouses looted after Israel withdrew, a Bush administration official said.
“Every single day what you see is the Palestinian Authority in a variety of different ways exerting greater and greater control in terms of the security situation and in terms of the economic situation,” State Department spokesman Shawn McCormack said Friday. Israel wants to see P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas contain terrorism before it takes further steps toward renewing peace talks.

Prior to Israel’s recent withdrawal from Gaza, U.S. Jewish philanthropists came up with $14 million to subsidize the transfer to the Palestinian Authority of Jewish settlement greenhouses that had employed thousands of Palestinians. However, Palestinians ransacked the greenhouses in the days after the pullout. “We have heard reports that in fact they have made great progress in getting those greenhouses back in shape and back up online so they can be used to start producing goods that can be sold,” McCormack said.

Dichter: U.S. embargoed Israel parts

The United States imposed a limited arms embargo on Israel in the first year of the intifada, a former Israeli intelligence official said.

Avi Dichter, former chief of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, said the embargo was imposed on helicopter parts because of their use in Israel’s targeted killing of terrorist leaders, but that U.S. officials resisted calls for a wider arms embargo. The United States opposed targeted killings at the time. Dichter was speaking at the Saban Institute in Washington, where he now is a fellow.

The embargo ended after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the United States used helicopter-launched missiles to assassinate an Al-Qaida terrorist leader in Yemen in 2002. President Bush later said he could not keep Israel from carrying out an anti-terror strategy that he himself favored.

Southern Baptist: Don’t pressure Israel

Pressure on Israel to take decisions that harm its security would cause a “cataclysmic failure” in evangelical Christian support for President Bush, a senior Southern Baptist Convention official said.

Richard Land, president of the convention’s Religious Liberty Commission, said that as many as three quarters of Evangelicals supported Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s decision to leave the Gaza Strip because they believe in deferring to Israel on matters of security. No more than 20 percent to 25 percent opposes any withdrawal from the biblical Land of Israel, he said. But Land warned against outside pressure.

“It’s one thing for Sharon to say you can’t occupy people forever and to say that we ought to withdraw from Gaza and to seek a two-state solution,” Land said Thursday at a Council on Foreign Relations briefing in New York on evangelicals and the Middle East. “It is another thing for America — for the American government — to pressure the Israelis to make compromises on their security that they’re not comfortable with.”

posted by Somebody @ 10:13 PM Permanent Link


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