As a sweetener to last week’s Wye River agreement, the Clinton administration is offering new aid to the Palestinians and Israelis.
Aid Hinges On Congress
As a sweetener to last week’s Wye River agreement, the Clinton administration is offering new aid to the Palestinians and Israelis. But on Capitol Hill, already sour on foreign aid and not a hotbed of support for Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, the aid package could be a hard sell.
The fight over foreign aid could be tougher than ever in the upcoming Congress
James D. Besser
The fight over foreign aid could be tougher than ever in the upcoming Congress, and Israel’s support on Capitol Hill could be buffeted by the new violence and political upheaval in the region.
Last week the pro-Israel lobby began a preemptive effort to shore up support, especially among African-American members.
Lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), concerned about what some see as a gradual erosion of support among members of the Congressional Black Caucus, met with a handful of Washington representatives for leading Jewish groups.
Republicans were quick to criticize the Clinton administration for playing politics with appointments to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, but a current member of the panel who had his chair yanked out from under him claims the Bush administration is doing just that.
After a major campaign by the pro-Israel lobby, the Bush administration has ended its opposition to an extra $200 million in military aid to help Israel with the soaring costs of its fight against terrorism.
The price: Pro-Israel forces will have to swallow an extra $50 million in humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians.
President George W. Bush may get a boost in the polls after a U.S. air strike killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the top al Qaeda leader in Iraq, but a growing number of Jewish voices are speaking out against the war. This week the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism issued an action alert urging its network of activists to support a bill in the House that would require President Bush to “develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of the United States armed forces from Iraq.”