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Congresswoman Buerkle Hosts Palestinian Statehood Briefing

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle joined House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in hosting a Member's briefing on Palestine entitled, "How to Stop the Palestinian Statehood Scheme at the UN: UNESCO and Beyond."

"Recent approval of Palestine's Membership to UNESCO and the continued efforts to circumvent the peace process made today's briefing all the more timely," Buerkle commented.

"It is critical that as Members of Congress we have up-to-date information on the dangerous maneuverings by Palestine to further weaken efforts toward peace in the Middle East."

"Israel is the only stable democracy in the Middle East. They are an ally and friend. Palestinian efforts to bypass negotiations and their continued refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist cannot be tolerated," she continued.

Members and staff were briefed by:

*Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, the Heritage Foundation;
*Anne Bayefsky, Director, Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute;
*Benny Avni, columnist, the New York Post; and
* Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs, the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Pending legislation, H.R. 2829 United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011, sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen and cosponsored by Buerkle would reform the U.N. and would, "Direct(s) the Secretary to withhold U.S. contributions from any U.N. entity that recognizes a Palestinian state or upgrades the status of the Palestinian observer mission at the U.N., the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), or any other Palestinian administrative organization or governing entity prior to the achievement of a final peace agreement with Israel."

Note: Rep. Buerkle is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a Congressional Representative to the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

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