By Tony Perkins
When President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet this month, it won’t be to swap holiday greetings. The rocky relationship between the two leaders took an even rockier turn last week when reporters dropped a foreign policy bombshell: the White House may impose sanctions against its long-time ally. Over the past several weeks, sources say the administration has been holding classified meetings about the possibility of formally punishing Israel for building homes in East Jerusalem.
This week, the State Department refused to answer questions on the topic, saying only that the rumors are “unfounded and completely without merit.” If that’s so, you could have fooled Congress. In the House, conservative Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) took the reports seriously enough to draft a letter to the President with almost 50 of his colleagues, demanding that the administration stop undermining America’s strongest Middle East relationship.
“I’m appalled that the administration would even consider the idea of sanctioning Israel — one of our closest allies… What message does it send to the world for the U.S. to impose sanctions against Israel while easing sanctions against Iran — a state-sponsor of terror with an abysmal human rights record?”
Even if the White House only entertained the idea, it’s very revealing given the U.S.’s continued financial support (read: endorsement) of the controversial anti-Jewish programs of the Palestinian Authority.
On one hand, the President is considering sanctions against Israel, and only the other, it continues to funnel money to the PA which is used for everything from children’s programing that teaches hatred toward Jews to making direct payments to terrorists. We continue to fund the PA, despite the fact that it bankrolls radical Islamists’ suicide bombings, rocket launches, and civilian attacks. Unfortunately, this shows the world exactly where the administration’s priorities are. And, as Israelis are painfully aware, those priorities are not to undergird alliances, but undermine them.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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