New Legislation in Congress Puts Palestinians in a Catch-22

New legislation introduced in Congress would potentially destroy the ability of the Palestinian leadership to engage in diplomatic and legal channels to support Palestinian national aspirations.

By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew  |  Sept 25, 2019

H.R.1837 (and its twin S.2132) is written in such a way that undermines ‘the ability of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to engage diplomatic and legal channels to support Palestinian national aspirations and to seek accountability through international mechanisms.’
— Zaha Hassan,  human rights attorney

In addition to the roughly two dozen Israel-related bills in various stages currently before Congress, new legislation would open the Palestinian Authority (PA) to disastrous lawsuits and quash any hopes of a negotiated settlement with Israel. The PA has its share of corruption, as it attempts the impossible task of ruling while under the thumb of Israeli occupation. Nevertheless, analysts say that a dissolution of the Palestinian government through U.S. legislation could be catastrophic.

Current legislation promoted by segments of the Israel lobby would do just that.

The latest bipartisan legislation would enable American victims of political violence in Israel to work through the American court system to collect damages from the Palestinian government. (Notably, it would not afford American victims of Israeli violence, such as this 16-year-old, the same opportunity.)

The legislation is the latest in a string of attempts to extract huge sums of money from the Palestinian government for violence perpetrated by individuals acting alone. Previous rulings declared such lawsuits outside US jurisdiction. (Iran has also been targeted.)

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