AIPAC Applauds Senate and House Passage of Resolution

Congress congratulates the Palestinian people on their recent election, calls on them to live up to their obligations to fight terror

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee applauds the House and Senate for their overwhelming and bipartisan passage of the Frist-Reid and Blunt-Hoyer resolutions congratulating the Palestinian people on their recent election and calling on them to live up to their obligations to fight terror. Frist-Reid passed by voice vote Tuesday night, and Blunt-Hoyer passed today by a vote of 415-1.

While commending the Palestinian people for conducting an open and fair election and noting the hopeful opportunity for progress, Congress continues to make clear that while holding an election is an important beginning reform, the Palestinians must immediately begin taking the steps necessary to provide Israel with a sincere and credible partner capable of making progress toward peace.

Both the Senate and House resolutions congratulate Abbas on his election, condemn terrorism in the strongest terms and urge Abbas, in the words of the House resolution, "to immediately take steps to dismantle the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure, confiscate unauthorized weapons, arrest and bring terrorists to justice, consolidate and control the many Palestinian security organizations, and end the incitement to violence and hatred in the Palestinian media, educational institutions, mosques and other institutions."

"Israel wants peace, but needs a sincere and credible partner to achieve it. Hopefully, under Mahmoud Abbas the Palestinians will finally break with the Arafat legacy of incitement, corruption, terrorism and hatred, and instead choose peace and a better life for both Israelis and Palestinians," said AIPAC President Bernice Manocherian and Executive Director Howard Kohr.

"As Congress has reaffirmed today, and the President and the Secretary of State have repeatedly said, in order to achieve President Bush's vision of two states, the Palestinians must build the institutions of civil society, establish the rule of law, dismantle terrorist organizations, end incitement, and consolidate their security forces," said Manocherian and Kohr.

The Senate resolution passed with the leadership of Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). In the House, Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Gene Green (D-TX) played leading roles.