Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bipartisan US call to consider IHH for terror list

From JTA, June 14, 2010:

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of both parties in the U.S. Senate are urging President Obama to consider placing the Turkish charity involved in the Gaza flotilla incident on the terrorism list.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), its minority leader, circulated a letter last Friday among their colleagues that would press Obama to investigate the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation.

..."Israeli forces were able to safely divert five of the six ships challenging the blockage," the letter says. "However, video footage shows that the Israeli commandos who arrived on the sixth ship, which was owned by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (the IHH), were brutally attacked with iron rods, knives, and broken glass. They were forced to respond to that attack and we regret the loss of life that resulted."

...The letter alleges that IHH is affiliated with Hamas.

"We recommend that your administration consider whether the IHH should be put on the list of foreign terrorist organizations, after an examination by the intelligence community, the State Department, and the Treasury Department," it says. Placement on the list makes it a crime to fund-raise for the cited group.

The letter also encourages Obama to continue to support Israel "before international organizations such as the United Nations."

 ..."We ask you to stand firm in the future at the United Nations Security Council and to use your veto power, if necessary, to prevent any similar biased or one-sided resolutions from passing," the letter says.

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