BY MADELEINE MORGENSTERN, JTA—
Republican senators urged President Obama to suspend U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority unless Hamas recognizes Israel and renounces terrorism.
Republican Sens. John Boozman (Ark.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.), in association with the Zionist Organization of America, organized a letter to the president signed by 16 U.S. senators.
“It is clear Hamas is not committed to peace,” the letter said. “As long as Hamas remains involved in the PA, we cannot imagine how such a coalition can meet the most basic requirements of U.S. law or the Quartet conditions. We therefore urge you to immediately suspend U.S. taxpayer assistance to the PA unless and until it can be certified that a new government and all its ministers recognize the Jewish State of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, accept and adhere to all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, and renounce all forms of terrorism and anti-Israel violence.”
The Palestinian Authority receives more than $500 million a year in U.S. aid.
ZOA National President Morton Klein commended the senators’ “forthright repudiation of the outrageous notion that a Fatah/Hamas PA government is one that the U.S. could fund.”
Twenty-nine Democratic senators sent a similar ZOA-associated letter to Obama in May.
In addition to Boozman and Moran, senators who signed the letter included Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss).