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No DeLay: Gary Ackerman

It’s official: New York Rep. Gary Ackerman is now the chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East. Judging from recent history, Ackerman will speak out strongly against any administration effor to pressure Israel; but, unlike Republican leaders in the last Congress, the New York Democrat is likely to support White House efforts to use U.S. assistance to boost the standing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (see this article). When Tom DeLay moved in 2005 to block assistance to the P.A. (before Hamas took control), Ackerman told the Forward:

“If you want to ensure that there will not be a peace process, then you attach enough strings [to the aid package] that you strangle the process.”

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