Congress demands Obama explain rumored sanctions against Israel

While he hands Iran approval for its nuclear program on a silver platter, Obama is apparently considering sanctions against Israel. He turns allies into enemies and enemies into allies — the latter in his eyes only, not theirs.

“Congress Demands Obama Explain Rumored Sanctions Against Israel,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, December 5, 2014 3:06 pm

Members of Congress are demanding that President Obama come clean about controversial reports that he is considering leveling sanctions on Israel, according to a letter sent Friday afternoon by lawmakers to the White House.

The Obama administration has found itself engulfed in controversy since reports emerged Thursday that the White House and State Department had met in secret to strategize about imposing sanctions on Israel for its continued building of houses in contested Jerusalem neighborhoods.

State Department and White House officials have continued to dodge questions from reporters on the matter, maintaining that they will neither confirm nor deny the reports.

The administration’s evasive position has prompted outrage among pro-Israel leaders and prompted Congress to demand that Obama start answering questions about the delicate issue.

“We urge you and your administration to clarify these reports immediately,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.) and nearly 50 other House lawmakers wrote Friday afternoon, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

“Israel is one of our strongest allies, and the mere notion that the administration would unilaterally impose sanctions against Israel is not only unwise, but is extremely worrisome,” they state. “Such reports send a clear message to our friends and enemies alike that such alliances with the United States government can no longer be unquestionably trusted.”

Congress, which traditionally has purview over such measures, has never given the White House permission to sanction Israel.

“At no point in time has Congress given the administration the authority to sanction Israel,” they wrote. “In fact, Congress has continued to show its unwavering support for Israel and has recently taken steps to increase our economic and military cooperation.”

As the White House leaves the door open to sanctions on Israel, it is lobbying Congress against leveling more sanctions on Iran.

“At a time when you have requested an additional seven months to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, any attempts to undermine the U.S.’s support of Israel will only further diminish the administration’s ability to get congressional support for any potential agreement with Iran,” the lawmakers wrote.

When faced with questions about these reports—which state that classified meetings were held between the White House and State Department about possibly sanctioning Israel over the settlement issue—Obama administration officials have refused to provide a clear answer.

“I’m not going to talk about any sort of internal deliberations inside the administration and certainly not inside the White House,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday, a refrain also echoed by State Department spokesmen….

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