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

May 07, 2003

Somewhat better news:

House amends bill supporting Palestinian state

The House International Relations Committee on Wednesday adopted an amendment to the fiscal 2004-2005 State Department authorization bill that expressed support for a terror-free, democratic Palestinian state.

The amendment, known as the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Enhancement Act of 2003, formalizes language in President Bush's June 24 speech on the Middle East, in which he said a peaceful Palestinian state is in Israel's interest but that the state must abandon forever the use of terror. The amendment urged Bush not to recognize a Palestinian state until the Palestinians have achieved the goals laid out in his speech.

The amendment, offered by Henry Hyde (R-Illinois), Tom Lantos (D-California), and Gary Ackerman (D-New York) also effectively codifies the concerns that over 300 House members expressed in a letter sent to President Bush, which insisted that the road-map peace process remain a performance, not time-table based initiative.

The amendment seeks to prohibit aid to a future Palestinian state unless the President deems that the PA is free from terror. It next goes to a full vote of the House.