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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 02, 2003

Jewish group urges linkage of loan guarantees, settlements

Why ask the U.S. to impose condtions on money desperately needed by Israel, the country in which you live, unless your perspective is "more important" than the majority who do not believe as your group does?
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (JTA) — A Jewish organization is publicly urging the Bush administration to link Israel’s request for loan guarantees to a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Americans for Peace Now is calling on the Bush administration to withhold the $8 billion in loan guarantees until there is a complete freeze on settlement growth and a pledge to dismantle settlements constructed since Oct. 1999.

The group is also calling for 20 percent of the loan guarantee funds to be set aside for housing for settlers who want to relocate to homes inside Israel proper.

The move is being criticized by other Jewish groups, with at least one calling it a “big mistake.”

In the fall, Israel officially requested $8 billion to help offset the country’s economic crisis and the looming threat of U.S. military action in Iraq.

The White House is expected to submit to Congress the request for $8 billion in loan guarantees and $4 billion in military aid, stretched out over three years. [more]