Bush Signs Palestinian
Plans to Ignore Worst
Yesterday, as expected, President
Bush signed into law the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006
(S. 2370). Yet
unexpectedly, he accompanied his signature with a signing statement that
declared his intention to freely interpret or ignore many of the
bill's most problematic clauses that prevent substantive U.S.
engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. See Brit
Tzedek's press release below.
Brit Tzedek called on the
President not to sign the bill at all. We believed that his veto
would have sent a strong message that the U.S. is determined to
reengage in the peace process. Nevertheless, the President's signing statement
demonstrates that even the Administration recognized the
inherent faults in legislation that unnecessarily limits
diplomacy and humanitarian aid at such a volatile moment in
Israeli-Palestinian relations. We hope that this means President
Bush may finally seriously engage in negotiating a resolution to
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
PRESIDENT BUSH DISTANCES
FROM ANTI-PALESTINIAN LAW
TZEDEK V'SHALOM CALLS ON BUSH TO USE LAST TWO YEARS
RESOLVE THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
CHICAGO -- Diane Balser, national advocacy chair of Brit
Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace,
expressed hope that President Bush's addition of a measured
signing statement in making the Palestinian Anti Terrorism Act
law yesterday indicated his willingness to engage in negotiating
a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian
Balser issued the following statement:
We are encouraged by President Bush's decision to
distance himself from a new law that creates significant
obstacles to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We hope that this means he may finally engage diplomatically in
the final years of his administration.
While it would
have been far more effective if the President had vetoed the
Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, his inclusion of a signing
statement in which he promises not to adopt "the statements of
policy as U.S foreign policy" and to construe them instead as
"advisory" has created an opportunity for progress.
President has left the door open for substantive U.S. diplomatic
engagement in facilitating a negotiated resolution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by preserving his authority "to
conduct the Nation's foreign affairs" in matters such as
diplomatic negotiations and Palestinian representation in the
United States, and by construing the bill's provisions requiring
consultation with Congress to require "only notification" when
providing support for moderate Palestinians and humanitarian
The Middle East has unraveled on President Bush's
watch. Historically the final two years of a two-term presidency
affords unique opportunities for successful U.S diplomatic
leadership in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We
strongly urge the President to seize this opportunity to bring
Israelis and Palestinians closer to the peace they long for and
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance
for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
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