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Congressmen Decry Helen Thomas Award

The award given to controversial journalist Helen Thomas by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sparked anger not only in Israel, but in the U.S. Congress as well. Two senior congressmen sent Abbas a letter denouncing the award and hinting that such a move may hurt U.S. assistance to the P.A.

The congressmen — Republican Steve Chabot, Chairman of the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, and Democrat Eliot Engel, senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — wrote in the letter that “last year, the Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted an amendment entitled the Preparing the Palestinian People for Peace Act. This legislation conditioned U.S. assistance on whether the PA was actively preparing its people for peace through compromise with messages of tolerance, understanding, and reconciliation.”

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, Chabot and Engel expressed concern over the award given to Thomas, and said that it is “tantamount to accepting and agreeing with her call for Jews in Palestine to go back to Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.’”

The congressmen added that “Thomas’ words and beliefs have been anything but supportive of a settlement where two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, would live side-by-side, in peace and security.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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