The nation's leading pro-Israel lobbying group will not support new legislation that would cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinians, according to multiple sources tracking the debate.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the country's top pro-Israel outfit, is not supporting new legislation by Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) that would cut off aid to the Palestinian government following its decision to form a unity government with the terror group Hamas.
Paul brought his Stand with Israel Act to the Senate floor this afternoon to ask for a unanimous consent vote aimed at expediting action on the measure, according to sources tracking the bill.
While the legislation is expected to garner widespread backing in Congress, AIPAC is quietly expressing reservations about it, according to those familiar with the group's position.
"We are not supporting the Paul bill," said one AIPAC insider. "We believe the law currently on the books is strong and ensures that aid is contingent on key conditions that help maintain America's influence, keep Israel secure, and advance the peace process."
"I want to be very clear, AIPAC supports a cut off of aid to any Palestinian government that includes an unreformed Hamas, and this is what is provided for in current law," the AIPAC insider said.
Paul's team argues that U.S. law, as currently written, is not strong enough and could be exploited by the Obama administration in order to continue giving aid to the P.A.