Congress Demands Clarification on Obama Israel Sanctions Report
45 Republican Congressmen fired off a stern letter to President Barack Obama demanding that he “clarify recent reports” which suggest his Administration has held classified meetings over the past several weeks to discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions against Israel for its decision to construct homes in eastern Jerusalem.
Congressman Mark Meadows tweeted that the anti-Israel sanction reports were “appalling.”
The letter, published Friday, further warned that “Israel is one of our strongest allies, and the mere notion that the Administration would unilaterally impose sanctions against Israel is not only unwise, but is extremely worrisome. Such reports send a clear message to our friends and enemies alike that such alliances with the United States government can no longer be unquestionably trusted.”
In the wake of numerous Obama “executive orders” – including an amnesty for illegal immigrant and Obamacare, which Republicans have alleged are “illegal” – the 45 congressmen emphasized that “at no point in time has Congress given the [Obama] Administration the authority to sanction Israel. In fact, Congress has continued to show its unwavering support for Israel and has recently taken steps to increase our economic and military cooperation.”
It was widely reported last week that the State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf dodged questions on whether the Administration would pursue sanctions. And on Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest failed to give a definitive yes or no answer when asked about the Administration’s position during the White House press briefing.
In view of the uncertainty that these reports caused, the congressmen made clear that while “it is our hope that these reports are untrue, the fact that your Administration has failed to denounce or clarify them is deeply troubling. The United States must stand firm in its commitments to Israel, or we risk fracturing our relationship with Israel and other key partners across the globe.”
And in a dramatically ominous sign of the deteriorating congressional Democratic Party support for Israel, there were no Democratic congressmen as co-authors or co-signatories to the letter.
The report, which was leaked by far-left Israeli paper Haaretz, coincides somewhat suspiciously with the collapse of Israel’s Likud-led coalition government, and the announcement of snap elections – leading some analysts to speculate it is an attempt to influence the outcome of next March’s general elections
Speaking to Arutz Sheva Friday, Professor Shmuel Sandler – an expert on US-Israeli relations at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies – noted that both Haaretz and the White House have never made any effort to hide their dislike for the current government and prime minister, and could potentially have coordinated the link “to influence the public” to vote for a more left-wing government,
In another up the sentiments of many Israeli and American observers, Congressman Meadows asked: “What message does it send to the world for the US to impose sanctions against Israel while easing sanctions against Iran – a state-sponsor of terror with an abysmal human rights record?”