The Pacific Green Party of Oregon has voted to join a coalition of hundreds of organizations opposing the Palestinian Anti-Terrorist Act of 2006 (S 2370). In an unexpected move last week before adjourning, the House passed the Senate version of the bill, paving the way for it to be signed into law by the President.
This Act imposes draconian economic and diplomatic sanctions against the Palestinian people for exercising their right to vote in legislative elections earlier this year. “If the United States claims to be promoting democracy in the Middle East, why are we advancing legislation to punish and isolate people when the result of an election is not to our liking?” asks Joanne Cvar, PGP secretary and member of the Green Party Peace Action Committee.
Additional provisions of the bill include restricting U.S. humanitarian aid, designating Palestinian territory as a “terrorist sanctuary,” prohibiting official Palestinian diplomacy or representation in the United States, reducing U.S. dues to the United Nations because some of the bodies were created by the UN to advocate for Palestinian human rights, and denying Palestinians the ability to receive assistance through international financial institutions.
“Such an approach only perpetuates the violence, human rights violations, and the military occupation of Palestine, rather than promoting dialogue and a just, peaceful resolution to the conflict,” adds Cvar.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is currently trying to arrange an urgent meeting with the National Security Council to call on President Bush to veto this bill. The US Campaign is hoping to deliver a petition of at least 400 organizations opposed to this bill.