Thursday, July 7, 2011

Still Time to Oppose Sanctions Threat Against Palestinians

We wanted to give you a quick update on H.Res.268 and let you know that there is still time to mobilize phone calls to oppose this terrible resolution. It won’t be voted on until later today or, more likely, tomorrow. Yesterday afternoon, the House “debated” the resolution. You can read the transcript of it beginning on page H4625 of the Congressional Record. You can also view the proceedings on C-SPAN. We figured that most of the statements would be atrocious and they truly were. However, there were some great points made. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) said H.Res.268 “falls short of the kind of leadership that I believe is needed. This resolution chastises the Palestinians for seeking to bridge the divide in their own community and for pursuing recognition of their state at the United Nations.” Rep. David Price (D-NC) stated that “as usual, the resolution before us today tells only half the story. It says nothing about Israel’s responsibility to act as a serious negotiating partner and abide by its previous commitments under the Road Map and other agreements. It says nothing about Israel’s refusal to halt settlement construction in order to allow direct negotiations to resume—even when the Obama Administration offered a lavish package of aid and assurances for Israel to do something that was manifestly in its own interest to begin with. It condemns the Palestinian president for his unilateral actions while failing to comprehend that it has been Israel’s intransigence that has led him to view the United Nations as his only recourse. And as usual, the resolution has been rushed to the floor without any serious debate or any opportunity for input from the many members of this body who care about this critical issue.” Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) noted that “This resolution not only further entangles the U.S. in the Israeli/Palestinian dispute, but it sets out the kind of outcome the United States would accept in advance. While I prefer our disengagement from that conflict, I must wonder how the U.S. expects to be seen as an ‘‘honest broker’’ when it dictates the term of a solution in such a transparently one-sided manner. In the resolution before us, all demands are made of only one side in the conflict. Do supporters of this resolution really believe the actors in the Middle East and the rest of the world do not notice?” Please keep mobilizing people to make phone calls today (and possible tomorrow as well) to have Representatives vote no or abstain on H.Res.268. It’s clear that at least some of them are listening to us. Let’s keep up the pressure on them to vote the right way! Also, please don't forget to thank Representatives like Moran, Price, and Paul who have stood up against this resolution. Here is a link to the action alert we issued yesterday--please help us distribute it far and wide. Thanks for all you do! Be sure to let me know if I can help in any way and please update me on your efforts. Mike Coogan Legislative Coordinator