U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on the statement issued by the Middle East Quartet (consisting of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) regarding the Middle East peace process. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Even as the Quartet statement included platitudes about the need for the Palestinians to act more responsibly, it called for more than a billion dollars in further international assistance to the West Bank and Gaza. This comes as the Obama Administration recently chose, over Congressional objections, to reward the Palestinian leadership's bad behavior by providing even more funding to the West Bank and Gaza. Why are the Administration and international actors continuing the same failed policies and expecting different results, instead of holding the Palestinian leadership accountable?
"It is also deeply disappointing that the Quartet failed to directly condemn the Palestinian leadership's scheme to win statehood at the UN, which directly undermines the prospects for a true, lasting peace. Instead, the only "unilateral' measures that the Quartet specifically attacked were Israeli construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem, following up on the UN Human Rights Council's recent move to launch a "Goldstone II' mission on that very subject. Why are the Administration and the world focused on criticizing Israel's behavior instead of pointing their finger at what's really responsible for the absence of peace: the Palestinian leadership's failure to meet its commitments?"