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August 12, 2005

US Evangelicals try to block aid for Gaza pull-out

From the Jerusalem Post...

A coalition of pro-Israel Evangelical groups is to meet in Washington in the near future to discuss whether to actively oppose US financial aid for Israel tied to disengagement, according to Richard Hellman, head of the Christians' Israeli Public Action Committee.

Israel and the US are currently talking about a $2.2 billion package, spread over four years, to offset disengagement costs and facilitate development of the Galilee and Negev.

Hellman, head of a small Christian-based pro-Israel lobbying group who brought a group of CIPAC members here this week, said he was not sure Evangelical groups could support such aid and may even actively oppose it.

If so, they would not be alone. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon charged that a leading member of the so-called Likud rebels opposed to disengagement went to Washington last week and lobbied an influential congressman against military aid for Israel tied to the plan.

Hellman said that there was opposition among Evangelicals to aid to the Palestinians "because they have not accounted for tens of billions of dollars they have already received," and opposition to disengagement-linked aid for Israel because it would mean the US is "inadvertently funding something that may be bad for US national security."

I don't know how much pressure can really be exerted and what affect it can have, but at least they're trying.

Hat tip: IsraPundit

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 12, 2005 09:33 AM

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