News / Middle East

US Lawmakers Warn Palestinians on UN Move

Representative Howard Berman, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Aug. 2, 2012.  Representative Howard Berman, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Aug. 2, 2012.
x
Representative Howard Berman, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Aug. 2, 2012.
Representative Howard Berman, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Aug. 2, 2012.
Cindy Saine
A large number of Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers are condemning Palestinian moves upgrading their status in the United Nations.  Some lawmakers said Thursday that it will hurt U.S.-Palestinian ties and called for a cut in U.S. aid to Palestinian organizations.  

The Palestinian Authority says the move to increase its status is a way to break the deadlock and to move forward with the Middle East peace process.  But Israel, the United States and other nations disagree.

The ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Howard Berman voiced a position that the Obama administration and many lawmakers share and cautioned the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, the political faction for the Palestinian cause.

"The whole world knows that Palestine is not yet a state, that it has virtually none of the attributes of the statehood enumerated in international law.  We will watch closely to see what the PLO does in the aftermath of this vote," said Berman.

A bipartisan group of senators said they will push for a vote to expel the PLO from its Washington offices and threatened to withhold U.S. financial aid to Palestinian organizations, if Palestinians seek to use their increased U.N. status against Israel.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman, Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen also questioned aid to the Palestinians.

"Earlier this year, the Obama administration decided to send economic aid to the Palestinians over congressional objections.  This included the use of taxpayer funds for such dubious projects as 'cash for work' in Gaza, scholarships for Palestinian students, office refurbishments and improvements to the P.A. [Palestinian Authority] agencies," Ros-Lehtinen said.

Democratic Representative Eliot Engel said the way to a solution is through direct negotiations.

"I am for a two-state solution.  The way we are going to ever get peace in the Middle East is for both sides to sit down and negotiate across the table, with no preconditions," said Engel.

Several lawmakers said they would wait to see what the Palestinian Authority, which administers the West Bank, does next before taking action.  The Hamas faction, which rules the Gaza Strip, has not been a party to the moves at the United Nations.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

New Yellow Fever Research May Lead to Improved Treatment

Researchers identify features of disease that may lead to more effective treatment More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid