Lawlessness and the White House

by Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz

Given the direction our President is taking with regard to the Middle East, it would be a propitious time to remind members of Congress that our system of government is based upon separation of powers between the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature.

Dear Member of Congress,

On December 21, 2006, The Palestinian Anti-Terrorist Act, S. 2370, became Public Law No: 109-446, At that time I received a written response from then Illinois’ Junior Senator, Barack Obama, concerning the threat of continued Palestinian terrorism rained upon the civilian population of Israel. Senator Obama wrote that he was in full support of S2370. The record shows that then Senator Bidden, now our Vice-President, also supported this legislation. Let me review some of the points of this ant-terrorist law.

…it shall be U.S. policy to: (1) support a peaceful, two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in accordance with the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Roadmap), and oppose those organizations, individuals, and countries that support terrorism and violently reject such two-state solution; (2) promote democracy and the cessation of terrorism and incitement in institutions and territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA); and (3) urge members of the international community to avoid contact with and refrain from financially supporting the terrorist organization Hamas until it agrees to recognize Israel, renounce violence, disarm, and accept prior agreements, including the Roadmap… no PA ministry, agency, or instrumentality is controlled by Hamas unless the Hamas-controlled PA has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist and is adhering to all previous agreements and understandings with the United States, Israel and the international community, including agreements and understandings pursuant to the Roadmap; and (2) the Hamas-controlled PA has made demonstrable progress toward purging from its security services individuals with ties to terrorism, dismantling all terrorist infrastructure and cooperating with Israel’s security services, halting anti-American and anti-Israel incitement, and ensuring democracy and financial transparency.

Is not the Executive branch of our government required to conduct all affairs of State, domestic and international, in accordance with the laws of the United States? Have the regulations regarding the Executive branch inscribed in our Constitution come to naught? Why is our President embarking upon a path which is in direct violation of the law of the land which he himself supported as a member of the Senate? Petulance is a human trait which does not auger well for positive resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.