the bill also requires the president to certify that "the Palestinian Authority is not attempting to establish or seek recognition at the United Nations of a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians" . . . .
Congressional appropriators had repeatedly warned the Palestinians that their push for statehood recognition at the United Nations in September would have repercussions.
Restrictions on Palestinian aid take up 10 pages of the 186-page bill, and the language has the backing of Democrats and Republicans, who otherwise are sharply divided over the Republican majority's introduction of cuts in assistance to other parts of the world and of bans on assistance to family planning clinics that provide information on abortions.
One new restriction bans aid to any Palestinian government "that results from an agreement with Hamas." That's much broader than existing language, which bans aid to any government that has Hamas ministers. It would seemingly count out assistance to the government of technocrats that Palestinian leaders have envisioned as the result of a unity agreement with the terrorist group, although this provision includes a broad presidential waiver.
The bill also keeps assistance to Israel at $3.075 billion -- a provision that also has the backing of both parties, as does Iran sanctions language.
When it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, our Congress shows itself, once again, unable to think outside the box with which AIPAC and the Lobby have enclosed it. No room for discussion. No room to even consider that the Palestinians have been forced to the UNGA because the "peace process" has become a joke.
The WaPo reported today that US officials are confident that al-Qaeda is on the verge of destruction. But such actions by Congress are the kind of idiocy that keeps pumping life - and new recruits - into the ranks of jihadists worldwide.