WASHINGTON – The Palestinian Authority's Washington office could also be shut down and its assets seized under the measure pushed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky..
"I think it is time for the United States, through its Congress, to indicate that unless Yasser Arafat is prepared to take the steps to stop the suicide bombing, we can't treat them in a normal way," McConnell said.
"That would include eliminating visas, potentially seizing whatever Palestinian assets there might be here in America, and other steps to hinder travel to the U.S.," he said Sunday.
McConnell termed such moves "a logical response to what's been perpetrated in the Middle East by these Palestinian extremists."
McConnell added that he and Feinstein had planned to push a similar punish-Arafat measure before Sept. 11 but held off "in deference" to the Bush administration after the terror attacks.
Their stances - and remarks by several other key lawmakers over the past few days - indicate widespread support in Congress for President Bush's view that Arafat hasn't done enough to stop the violence.
Over the past few days, Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., have both stressed that Arafat bears major responsibility for the latest Mideast bloodshed, while Israel is properly defending itself.
There also appears to be growing support in Congress for the view that Israel's war against terror is the same as America's.
"These terrorists . . . are cut from the same cloth as the 19 terrorists who flew those planes and killed more than 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11," Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., told Fox News Sunday.
For more news, entertainment and sports coverage, click here for NYPost.com.