US Dithers Over Israeli
Proposal For Treaty
Against Suicide Bombing

By Aluf Benn
Haaretz Correspondent

The U.S. administration has reservations about an Israeli proposal for an international treaty against suicide bombing. American officials believe the struggle against suicide bombing is covered by existing international anti-terrorism treaties, and the Israeli proposal imposes excessive restrictions on the freedom of expression.
Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker, who initiated drafting the new treaty, met American officials in Washington two weeks ago and was asked about the proposal. Jerusalem is waiting for the U.S.'s final answer, and meanwhile has postponed presenting the document to other governments who have expressed an interest in it, like Russia, Turkey, India, Australia and Norway.
The new treaty was intended to cover a "legal void" in current international anti-terrorist agreements that deal with the terrorists themselves, but not with their collaborators. The draft defines inciting suicide attacks or assisting the bombers as an international crime and forbids economic support to the suicide bombers' families.
The American administration had difficulty accepting the clauses regarding banning incitement and aggrandizing the names of the suicide bombers, since they clash with the U.S. Constitution's first amendment, which ensures freedom of expression.
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