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Monday, Apr. 22, 2002 at 4:39 PM
Senator Dianne Feinstein's "Arafat Accountibility Act of 2002"
I had no idea Feinstein was up to this nonsense! What about an accountability act for Sharon, who receives billions of taxpayer dollars AND our newest military technology? At any rate, if you're inclined to call her to account, here's the info:
The following was copied from:
Senators Feinstein and McConnell Urge Sanctions Against Arafat, PLO
Over Palestinian Suicide Bombings
April 18, 2002
Washington, DC - Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today introduced the "Arafat Accountability Act of 2002" condemning the suicide bombings that have taken at least 209 lives since the beginning of the year, and urged Congress to sanction Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat and the PLO.
The following is Senator Feinstein's prepared statement:
"We are here today because we believe that any hope of peace in the Middle East must begin with a complete renunciation of terrorism by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and a strong, unwavering commitment to bring such the terrorism to an end.
We also believe that unless the United States steps up to the plate and provides the leadership that will ensure an end to the terrorism, there may be no way to avoid the conflagration that will ultimately occur.
For the past 18 months, as the violence of the second Intifada has increased, the United States has consistently called upon Yasser Arafat to halt the terrorism he pledged to end in the Oslo Accords.
Unfortunately, Arafat has incited the violence and helped financially support the terrorists.
We now know that one of Arafat's top advisers is directly involved in financing the illegal weapons purchases and terror activities of the Al Aqsa Brigade.
We now know, according to documents seized by the Israel Defense Forces, that Arafat was directly involved in efforts to illegally smuggle in more than 50 tons of arms from Iran a few months ago.
Arafat has failed to confiscate the weapons of terrorist suspects.
Arafat has failed to arrest and hold suspected terrorists and is harboring suspects in the assassination of an Israeli Cabinet official.
In fact, much of the terrorism emanates from the heart of the PLO, carried out by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, composed of members of Arafat's own Fatah faction.
Since the beginning of the year, 209 people have been murdered and more than 1,500 injured in these suicide bombings.
The Al Aqsa Matyrs Brigade claimed credit for numerous of these attacks, including:
March 31 -- Central Jerusalem, killing three people;
March 3 -- killing 10 people in West Jerusalem; and
January 31 - when the first female bomber killed an elderly Israeli.
A document seized by the Israel Defense Forces in Ramallah, signed by Arafat himself, approves funding for the Al Aqsa brigades.
On February 3, Arafat wrote a New York Times op-ed opposing violence against Israel. Yet, he declared a few days later in Ramallah that "we will make the lives of the infidels Hell" and led a chant of "A million martyrs marching to Jerusalem!"
And this past week, while Arafat spoke out against terrorism, his wife in Paris said she would be proud if she had a son who became a suicide bomber.
I believe this is not a leader who wants peace for his people. In fact, I believe the suicide bombings have been precisely calculated to destroy any chance for peace.
If these suicide bombers cannot be stopped, the situation is going to continue to deteriorate, Israel will have to continue to exercise its legitimate right of self-defense, and the result will be full-scale military conflagration.
Israel has done no less - and certainly no more - than what any country would do to defend itself.
There has been a lamentable loss of life in the West Bank - and every life, I believe, Israeli or Palestinian, has value.
But let us not forget that Israel's military operation has been one based on specific intelligence information, with specific military goals - to act directly against terrorists who, before the start of the operation were carrying out daily suicide bombings against Israeli civilians - and carried out with considerable restraint.
Certainly Israel has not gone beyond what the United States and our allies have been doing in Afghanistan, or the United Kingdom in Northern Ireland, or the bloody French campaign in Algeria - let alone what Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, or Iran do on an almost daily basis to quell dissent.
Does anyone doubt that a suicide bombing in Cairo, or Riyadh, or Damascus, or Beirut, or Paris would be met with the strongest of reactions, as was the 9-11 terrorist incident?
There simply is no excuse for arming a teenage girl with bombs around her waist to blow up women and children. And this kind of terror, is happening over and over again.
The time is now for Congress in a strong, unified voice to condemn the actions of Yasser Arafat and the terrorists he has spawned.
Yasser Arafat who says one thing in English and another in Arabic.
Yasser Arafat who fans the flames and incites the people.
We offer this bill after witnessing the failure of efforts by Tenet, Mitchell, Zinni and, at least initially, Powell to break the deadlock largely because Arafat has not brought an end to the suicide bombing and other acts of terrorism.
This legislation would require the President to report to Congress every 90 days detailing the acts of terrorism engaged by the Palestinian Liberation Organization or any of its constituent elements and, based on that report, designate the PLO or its constituent elements as terrorist organizations, or explain why not.
The legislation also finds that Yasser Arafat and the PLO:
have violated his commitment to peace through the recent purchase of 50 tons of offensive weaponry from Iran;
are responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent Israelis and the wounding of thousands more since October 2000; and
have been directly implicated in funding and supporting terrorists who have claimed responsibility for a number of homicide bombings inside Israel.
Because of the failure by the PLO to renounce terrorism, the Act would:
(A) Downgrade PLO representation in the United States.
(B) Place travel restrictions on the Senior PLO Representative at the United Nations.
(C) Confiscate assets of the PLO/PA or Chairman Arafat in the United States.
(D) Deny visas to Arafat or other officials of the PLO/PA. (It is important to note that the President may, on a case by case basis, waive this provision based on national security considerations).
This legislation presents a Sense of the Congress outlining the first steps needed to reach peace:
(1) The United States should urge an immediate and unconditional end to all terrorist activities and commencement of a cease-fire.
(2) Arafat and the PLO should turn over to Israel for detention and prosecution those wanted by the Israeli government for the assassination of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi.
(3) Arafat and the PLO should take broad and immediate action to:
Condemn all acts of terrorism, including, and especially, suicide bombing which has resulted in the murder of over 125 Israeli men, women, and children in the month of March alone, and the injury of hundreds more;
Confiscate and destroy the infrastructure of terrorism, including weapons, bomb factories and materials, as well as ending all financial support of terrorist activities;
Take positive steps to urge all Arab nations and individuals to cease funding terrorist operations and the families of terrorists.
(4) The President of the United States, working with the international community, with Israel and the Arab states should continue the search for a comprehensive peace in the region.
There is no question that there are serious differences to be reconciled between Israel and the Palestinian people, and that only a political settlement can, hopefully, bring the violence in the region to an end.
I believe that the 1967 borders -- borders which have the imprimatur of the United Nations -- hold the key to a settlement.
Despite serious differences about the refugee problem, ongoing security and the status of Jerusalem, I believe real peace can be achieved through negotiation and agreement and not through violence.
But the necessary first step is the end to the violence, the terrorism and the suicide bombings.
Once that is done I am firmly convinced that if leaders on both sides want peace the rest can all be worked out."
# # #
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by Looking forward to the next election
Monday, Apr. 22, 2002 at 10:12 PM
How can anyone promote such a hateful and mean spirited piece of legislation and then in the same breath say they are a big supporter of a peace process?
I've been writing Feinstein already for months. She announced this lovely news just after the horrific stories started coming out of Jenin--mid last week. Time to get a new Senator because this is NOT the behavior of someone who wants peace in the Middle East. And, mind you, she sits on the foreign relations committee.
For all the hype about promoting democracy, this country's folks in Washington sure don't act like it. I 'm not a big Arafat fan, but the Palestinians voted him in. Just like Chavez--he was voted into office by his people--it is NOT this country's place to tell democratically elected leaders to take a powder.
i've really had it with Feinstein voting only in HER personal best interests. (Let's not forget she also just voted to repeal the estate tax) Any candidate who runs against her gets a big fat donation check from me.
Someone should remind her about hubris...its always been a leaders down fall.
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by enough is enough
Monday, Apr. 22, 2002 at 10:44 PM
Why wait? Any chance of launching a re-call of Feinstein?
Anyone else feeling this way?
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Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2002 at 3:37 AM
I am getting tired of this, and I'm sure a lot of other people are too. Whatever you want to say about what Israel is doing, stop using this bullshit tone of Israel and Jews like Feinstein being a monolithic, evil force of oppression against these innocent Plaestinians, and this constant suggestion of a Jewish conspiracy (with 'Feînstein acting in her OWN best interests.' We've heard about this conspiracy too many times...) The issue is huge, its complex, its contentious. If you spend all your time denouncing this current violence as simple colonialism, you are not understanding any of the historical context, and have no idea how much israel has been willing to sacrifice for peace. I wonder how many people who denounce all this violence so vocally have any sense of middle east history. All this simple-mindedness is making it impossible for me to feel a part of the many progressive movements i have always supported.
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