On Israel, Trump Administration Welcomes A New Ally: Chuck Schumer

Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a protest against Israel's new security measures at the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in Gaza City July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The White House insists its hand isn’t being forced by a Schumer-backed Senate bill that would financially batter the Palestinian Authority.

The proposed, AIPAC-backed Taylor Force Act, has been somewhat watered down from an earlier form, thus garnering the support of more moderate lawmakers like Schumer. But the bill remains unnuanced, Elgindy argues. “It has this kind-of sledgehammer approach . . . I realize the bill says those convicted of murder or killing in a fair trial. But I’m not sure than any Palestinian would say that they actually get fair trials in the context of an Israeli military occupation.” A White House official would not confirm that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government lobbied the United States on the bill, responding that the bill is a matter of common sense: is it a good idea for persons convicted of terrorism to receive support? On the Palestinian side, Elgindy noted that hope for Trump had considerably waned since May, and it’s hard to see how this bill helps either Trump’s reputation in the Palestinian territories or the prospects for peace.

With Schumer’s backing, and following the overwhelming vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Taylor Force Act is likely to become law. The White House has previously made positive noises about the principles of the act. Its latest comments suggest that it is now fully on board.

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills.

Image: Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a protest against Israel's new security measures at the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in Gaza City July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem​

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