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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Norcross group praises assisted suicide bill; Isakson touts cooperation with Israel

Norcross-based Georgia Right to Life had praise Wednesday for a bill that outlaws assisted suicide.

The House of Representatives passed the measure by a vote of 124-45, in time for the bill to cross over to the Senate and remain alive in the current General Assembly session.

"Helping someone kill themselves because of a medical problem is morally wrong," GRTL President Dan Becker said in a press release. "A society that claims to value life cannot allow such a horrendous practice to continue."

Becker said he hopes the bill becomes a law.

"I urge the Senate to pass the same version as their colleagues in the House approved. The bill is well-written; any amendments would weaken it," Becker said.

Isakson boosts Israeli ties

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is working on a bipartisan bill to reaffirm the country's strong relationship with Israel.

With tensions mounting once again in the Middle East, Isakson introduced the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 Wednesday with California Democrat Barbara Boxer.

According to a press release, the legislation would reaffirm the United States' "unwavering commitment" to Israel's security and support for its right to self-defense. The measure would reiterate the United States' commitment to assisting Israel's efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security," while also encouraging Israel's neighbors to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

"There should not be one scintilla of light between the positions of Republicans and Democrats on the issue of the security of Israel," the Georgia senator said. "I am proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, in reaffirming the United States' commitment to Israel through this critically important legislation."

The bill also includes measures to strengthen economic and security cooperation between the two countries, the release said, including extending current loan guarantees to Israel, which are set to expire later this year, and authorizing an increase in the United States' stockpile of military equipment in Israel.

A similar measure has been introduced in the House.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/local/politics.