In seeking to promote the development of democratic institutions in areas under PA administration, the bill would cut out most of the exceptions granted in S. 2370 (PATA, 2006; Public Law 109-446) to the PA president, his security detail, and PA judicial and legislative branches. (Exceptions were made for U.S. financial assistance, U.S. visas, and travel to the U.S. and UN.) The current bill would outlaw the office of the Permanent Palestinian Observer Mission to the UN. It also specifies criteria that the PA government or any successor entity must meet to be eligible to receive U.S. assistance. These were included in the failed H.R. 4681 PATA in 2006, and are as follows:
1) No member of a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) controls or is a senior policy maker in any PA agency.
2) PA publicly acknowledges Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
3) Recommits and adheres to all previous agreements signed by the PLO and PA, including the road map.
4) Purges those with ties to terrorism from its security forces.
5) Dismantles all terrorist infrastructure, thwarts terrorist attacks, and cooperates with Israeli security services.
6) Halts all anti-Israeli incitement in print and electronic media, schools, and mosques; promotes coexistence with Israel in all these arenas.
7) Ensures democracy, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and transparent governance.
8) Financial transparency of all government agencies.
U.S. financial assistance will be used only by the PA president’s office. Further, the U.S. president must assert that such assistance is in the national security interest of the U.S., and consult with Congress at least 30 days before any transfer of U.S. assistance. Other provisions call for withholding U.S. funds from UN agencies dealing with Palestinians proportional to the contributions they transfer to Palestinians, and for the U.S. to use its influence with any international financial institution to prohibit transfers of assistance to the PA.
When the “softer” Senate version of PATA became law in 12/06 (see Congressional Monitor in JPS 144) Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Tom Lantos (D-CA) vowed to reintroduce the tougher provisions contained in the failed House version. This bill is the outcome.