House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Introduces Legislation to Combat Palestinian Incitement
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) has introduced legislation to curb anti-Israeli incitement to violence via Palestinian Authority-controlled media outlets.
In a statement, Chairman Royce said, “As Secretary of State John Kerry engages in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Congress will make it clear to the Palestinian Authority that continuing anti-Israel incitement to violence through PA-controlled media outlets must cease.”
“No more Palestinian Authority-funded Facebook pages or children’s magazines holding up Hitler as a positive role model. Not only must the PA cease incitement, it should engage in a clear, conclusive and deliberate effort to officially and publicly repudiate the providers of such hatred. The prospect of a real, lasting peace can only be built on the foundation of a culture of tolerance — one that renders such rhetoric politically unacceptable,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was amended to include a line that requires the Obama Administration to certify that the Palestinian Authority is “acting to counter incitement of violence against Israelis and is supporting activities aimed at promoting peace, coexistence, and security cooperation with Israel.”
On Tuesday, Chairman Royce introduced the related H.R. 3868, the Palestinian Peace Promotion and Anti-Incitement Act. In a statement, his office said “this legislation expresses the sense of the Congress that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not live up to its agreements with Israel to end incitement and should do more to prepare the Palestinian people for peace with Israel.”
H.R. 3868 also amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to prohibit Economic Support Fund assistance to the PA. To qualify for the aid, it requires a certification that the PA is no longer engaging in a pattern of incitement against the U.S. or Israel and is engaged in peace preparation activities to promote peace with Israel. If the President makes the certification, it requires a re-certification every six months thereafter.
In the statement, his office said, “Chairman Royce has long been focused on this issue. For example, he introduced nearly identical legislation in the 112th Congress (H.R. 5303) with then-Ranking Member Howard Berman.”