Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to discourage the Palestinian Authority (PA) from seeking a different status at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly or any other U.N. entity.
"The best path to a true and lasting peace is through direct negotiations between the two parties -- not through manipulations at the United Nations," said Barrasso. "The Palestinian Authority's attempt to change their United Nations' status is a purely political maneuver that will circumvent direct peace process negotiations with Israel. If the Palestinians move forward with this irresponsible plan, they will violate international agreements, undermine the peace process and threaten the security of our ally. My amendment makes it clear that undermining the peace process comes at a cost."
Barrasso's amendment specifically cuts 50 percent of the total U.S. funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and also to any U.N. entity that grants the Palestinians a status change. It also reduces 20 percent of all U.S. foreign assistance to any country voting for the status change.
Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are co-sponsors of Barrasso's amendment.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has circulated a draft resolution granting them non-member observer state status at the U.N. General Assembly. The PA is currently an observer entity. There is a vote anticipated at the United Nations on Thursday, November 29, 2012. The PA is considered an observer entity at the U.N. but passage of the resolution would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood. The Palestinian Authority is attempting to circumvent the peace process and seek a change in status at the U.N.