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GOP lawmaker calls for U.S. to pull funding if UN recognizes Palestine

by Madeleine Morgenstern, JTA

June 7, 2011 | 2:58 pm

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced a resolution calling for the withholding of U.N. funding if the General Assembly recognizes a Palestinian state.

Chabot said Tuesday that he hopes to dissuade any effort by the Palestinians to circumvent peace negotiations by going directly to the United Nations for statehood recognition when the General Assembly convenes in September. Chabot is chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.

“I felt it was important to set down a marker to be very clear that there are those of us in Congress who are very concerned about this,” Chabot told JTA.

The non-binding resolution is a call for U.S. funding to the U.N. General Assembly to be withheld if the General Assembly adopts any resolution recognizing a Palestinian state outside formal negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“You wouldn’t truly have a state, you’d just have one more irritant, one more thing that’s going to cause disruption in that important part of the world,” Chabot said. “The goal is to not have to take this measure by having the Palestinians backing down or the General Assembly indicating they don’t want to take the risk of having U.S. dollars cut off.”

The measure does not currently have any co-sponsors, but Chabot said he feels confident he’ll be able to recruit support among his colleagues when Congress is back in session next week.

“I have no concern that we won’t be able to attain a significant number,” Chabot said.

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