Ros-Lehtinen: “Israel does not have a partner for peace and security”
July 7, 2011 - Today on the House Floor, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, issued a strong statement in support of Israel. Direct and timely, the Chairman logically laid out simple steps that can be taken by the Palestinian Authority if they are to demonstrate that they are "true partners for peace." In her statement she also encouraged the movement of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's eternal and undivided capital. And instead of continuing to fund bodies that demonize the State of Israel and question the authenticity of the 9/11 attacks, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen advocated for withdrawing from the UNHRC and conditioning US funding to the Council and other UN bodies on the basis of real reforms.
Full statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 268, sponsored by our Majority Leader Cantor, and Minority Whip Hoyer, and would like to thank them for their leadership in bringing this important resolution to the floor today.
“We face a perilous juncture in the history of the Middle East. Our adversaries are far from dormant, and are focused on an international effort to isolate and demonize Israel. That is why it is all the more important for the U.S. to stand by our democratic ally at this critical time.
“Let’s get the facts straight. As even Secretary Clinton noted, this Israeli government has made unprecedented concessions in pursuit of peace. Israel has always been willing and able to make the tough sacrifices. Israel has proven its commitment to peace.
“Unfortunately, Israel does not have a partner for peace and security as the Palestinian leadership continues to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Abu Mazen can utter all of the right words to the Obama Administration and the Europeans, who appear gullible enough to believe him. But the problem is whenever the Palestinian leadership, past and present, has actually been asked to sign a peace agreement with Israel, it has always refused.
“Abu Mazen also continues to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, yet demands that Israel recognize a Palestinian state. And the media he controls, through the Palestinian Authority, publishes a non-stop barrage of anti-Semitic propaganda.
“The Palestinian Authority has rejected every offer of peace from Israel. The PA has refused to negotiate directly with Israel. The PA has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. It has failed to crack down on violent extremism and anti-Israel incitement. Indeed, it has even tolerated and encouraged such behavior. It has also supported boycotts of Israeli goods, and the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, whom some consider a ‘moderate,’ even participated in a mass burning of such goods.
“Instead of negotiating directly with Israel, the Palestinian Authority is pursuing unilateral recognition of a ‘Palestinian state’ from various foreign governments, with an eye on recognition of such a state by the UN this fall. Palestinian leaders also keep threatening violence to extract concessions.
“Abu Mazen has not only failed to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but recently signed a coalition agreement with Hamas, which is committed to Israel’s destruction. To demonstrate they are true partners for peace, what Palestinian leaders must do is simple: the opposite of what they’ve been doing. They must sit down and negotiate directly with Israel, without preconditions; encourage Palestinians to accept Israel, instead of tolerating and encouraging violent extremism and anti-Israel incitement; and recognize Israel’s right to exist as a democratic, Jewish state.
“We must no longer demand that Israel take actions or make additional unilateral concessions that would compromise our democratic ally’s safety and security. Recent calls for Israel to return to the 1967 borders are unacceptable and dangerous. Continuing to provide assistance to the Palestinians—assistance amounting to $2.5 billion in the last 5 years alone—is certainly not the answer. Congress must not agree to the Administration’s 2012 budget request, which would provide yet another $400 million bailout to the West Bank and Gaza, including another $200 million directly to the PA.
“There are also many other steps that Congress and the Administration can and must take to support our ally Israel and to encourage the advancement of peace and security in the region.
“The U.S. could show its support for the Jewish state’s sovereignty and right to exist by moving our embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal and undivided capital.
“We should demand that the United Nations stop its relentless activities to demonize Israel and the Jewish people, and put our money where our mouth is. The most recent example of this bias is a cartoon posted by Richard Falk, which was apparently taken down just minutes ago, and the UN Human Rights Council has appointed Mr. Falk as an ‘expert’ to investigate and condemn Israel.
“And I’m sure that the viewers can see, or they can look it up on the internet, what this cartoon depicts. It depicts Americans and Jews as bloodthirsty dogs. And that is not the first time that Mr. Falk has spread such venom. He has compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust and questioned the veracity of the 9/11 attacks. But he continues to work for the UN Human Rights Council, with over 20 percent of his expenses and staff paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
“And has the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ever condemned Falk and demanded that he resign his UN post? Never. To the contrary, her office has published an attack by Falk on his critics. And, I understand that he says now that his account was hacked into, and he has taken that drawing down, but I say enough is enough.
“The Administrative should withdraw from the biased Human Rights Council, and Congress should withhold funding from the Council and other UN bodies that do not advance our national security interests, and condition U.S. contributions on real reforms.
“Finally, Madam Speaker, instead of dealing directly with the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks Israel’s destruction and condemned the killing of Bin Laden, the U.S. should deny all legitimacy to that group, no matter what fake name or label it now uses as it tries to camouflage itself into a legitimate political party in Egypt.
“I am glad that this body is doing the right thing today, Madam Speaker, and we have much more to do to defend our national security interests and our indispensable ally, Israel. I again thank the gentleman from Virginia, our distinguished Majority Leader, for authoring this important resolution, and I reserve the balance of my time.”