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Senator Schumer. 'Probe IHH ties to terror groups'
Photo: AP
Senator Kerry: Israel not liability for US
Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee tells ABC that despite policy-related tensions, Jewish state 'has every right in the world to make certain that weapons are not being smuggled into Gaza'
Israel gets PR from friends: American Senator John Kerry said Monday night that he does not believe Israel has become a strategic liability for the United States.

 

Kerry's remarks in an interview to the ABC network contradict what Mossad Director Meir Dagan told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, but are in line with US Vice President Joe Biden's defense of the deadly Navy raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

 

Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a key player in US President Barack Obama's foreign policy, said that "there are obviously tensions with respect to certain policies" but that Israel "has every right in the world to make certain that weapons are not being smuggled in after the thousands of rockets that have been fired on it from Gaza."


 

Kerry with Netanyahu at White House (Archive photo: AFP)

 

Kerry was asked about Centcom Commander General David Petraeus' remarks to the Senate Armed Services Committee that "Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples in Centcom's area of operations and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world."

 

The Democratic senator replied that "nothing would do more to address the concerns expressed by General Petraeus, to build trust and to diminish the ability of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and others to cause mischief than to get to the final status issues as fast as possible."

 

Demand to examine IHH's legitimacy

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Charles E. Schumer sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling for an immediate State Department investigation into the links between the Turkish-based organization behind the Gaza flotilla, IHH, and al-Qaeda and other terror organizations.

 

Schumer and Clinton are considered political allies, as they both represented the state of New York and because Schumer was one of the Clinton's biggest supporters during her presidential campaign.

 

non-governmental organization (NGO), Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), otherwise known as the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, has provided financial, logistical or material support to any terrorist organizations listed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).

 

Schumer demanded that the adminisration examine whether IHH provided financial, logistic and material support to any organization included the State Department's list of terror groups.

 

According to the senator, IHH funded terror organizations and send rebels to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. He also called for a probe into a French judge's claim that IHH was involved in an attempt to bomb the Los Angeles Airport in late 1999.

 

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