Obama Slammed for staying mum on Israel Sanctions

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A member of Congress from North Carolina has put together a letter – signed by dozens of his colleagues – asking President Obama whether he is trying to impose sanctions against America’s longtime and staunch ally Israel.

“Recent reports suggest that your 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 East Jerusalem. We urge you and your administration to clarify these reports immediately,” said the letter assembled by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.

“I’m appalled that the administration would even consider the idea of sanctioning Israel – one of our closest allies. We need clarification from the White House on this immediately,” Meadows said.

“What message does it send to the world for the U.S. to impose sanctions against Israel while easing sanctions on Iran – a state-sponsor of terror with an abysmal human rights record?” Meadows added.

There have been a number of recent reports on the question.

At the Free Beacon, a report said the White House on Thursday refused to discuss the questions. And State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf “dodged several questions,” the report said. Then White House spokesman Josh Earnest followed the same script.

The report said Israel’s daily Ha’aretz had written about the meetings that reportedly included officials from both the State Department and the White House.

Such move would take the Obama White House, which is been cold and distant to America’s ally, to new levels of antagonism, critics said.

Meanwhile, Obama’s administration is actively trying to prevent Congress from approving new sanctions against Iran.

The Beacon reported, “One senior congressional aide who works on the issue of Israel expressed shock that a White House could even discuss such action.”

On Friday, Meadows authored a letter, and was joined by 44 colleagues, to Obama demanding clarification of the reports.

Signers included Reps. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.; Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Jim Bridenstine, R-Mich.; Larry Buschon, R-Ind.; Curt Clawson, R-Fla.; Doug Collins, R-Ga.; Paul Cook, R-Calif.; Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.; Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.; Chuck Fleishmann, R-Tenn.; Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.; Scott Garret, R-N.J.; Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.; Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.; Tim Griffin, R-Ariz.; Michael Grimm, R-N.Y.; Joe Heck, R-Nev.; Richard Hudson, R-N.C.; Sam Johnson, R-Texas; Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Mike Kelly, R-Pa.; Peter King, R-N.Y.; Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.; Leonard Lance, R-N.J.; Billy Long, R-Mo.; Tom McClintock, R-Calif.; Luke Messer, R-Ind.; Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.; Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss.; Pete Olson, R-Texas; Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.; Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.; Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.; Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Reid Ribble, R-Wis.; Todd Rokita, R-Ind.; Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.; Aaron Schock, R-Ill.; David Schweikert, R-Ariz.; Pete Sessions, R-Texas; Adrian Smith, R-Neb.; Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.; and Joe Wilson, R-S.C.

The letter to Obama urges him to “clarify” what’s going on.

“At no point in time has Congress given the 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. At a time when you have requested an additional seven months to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, any attempts to undermine the U.S.’s support of Israel will only further diminish the administration’s ability to get congressional support for any potential agreement with Iran,” it says.

“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. We urge you to quickly and sharply address these concerns, as well as take the steps necessary to demonstrate America’s unwavering support for Israel.”

Jennifer Dekel, director of research and communications for the Endowment for Middle East Truth, told WND, “Reports that the White House would even consider imposing sanctions on our greatest ally in the Middle East, the only democracy in the region that safeguards the rights of minorities, women, and all religions, is another example of this administration’s twisted policy of punishing our allies and rewarding our enemies.”

She continued, “It is reprehensible that the administration is telling Congress not to put sanctions on Iran, a country that the U.S. is technically at war with, and which is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, yet would call for sanctions on Israel. If the reports are true, the act of sanctioning Israel would be unprecedented, and would signal a major and dangerous policy shift of U.S. foreign policy.”
Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2014/12/obama-slammed-for-refusing-to-answer-israel-sanction-questions/#mFz6EVlLDKlYMct4.99

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Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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