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 H Res. 867 vote on Goldstone report 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:00 pm
Posts: 3
Post H Res. 867 vote on Goldstone report
Forwarded message from Gilbert Schramm: the vote on H Res. 867 is Tuesday!

Dear friends and neighbors,

If you are concerned as I am about the dangerous and deteriorating position of the US in the Middle East; if you are worried about the continued bloodshed and injustice in Palestine/Israel; if you would truly like to see peace in the region and a REAL victory in the so-called “war on terror,” then a defining moment is just days away. H. res 867 is due for a vote THIS TUESDAY!

The resolution is deeply flawed in 2 ways. It attempt to totally suppress the best facts available on a crucial issue in the Middle East and it provides Israel with virtual impunity from its responsibilities under international law—a position that clearly undermines any hope for a peaceful settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
H res 867:

calls on President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton" to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration" of the Goldstone report,dismissing it as "irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or egitimacy." (my italics)

H res 867 is politics of the worst kind—it is a crass attempt to suppress not only the truth of what Israelis and Palestinians did in Gaza, but any discussion of the issue at all. It is hard to believe that anyone in a Democratic nation such as ours could vote for a resolution this. Above all, few members of congress have been to Gaza. They are simply not in a position to make (or assess) the kinds of claims made in H res 867.

And not only does the resolution attempt to suppress any consideration of the Goldstone UN report on Gaza, it goes on to offer unequivocal support of Israel in the face of the report’s clear findings that Israel’s actions in Gaza constituted numerous war crimes. In other words, H res 867 comprises total prejudgment with total disregard to evidence.

Please be clear on two points:
1. A NO vote on this resolution is NOT a condemnation of Israel. It is NOT a prejudgment of the events the report describes. It is NOT an endorsement of the reports fairness and findings. A NO vote would merely allow an open debate where the fairness of the report could be fairly discussed. The American people are certainly entitled to have that debate. No foreign country, no matter how powerful its lobbyists, should be able to control what America talks about or thinks about—especially when the subject is central to our own national security.

2. And this issue is central to US security. In the context of all the other complex issues confronting us in the Middle East a yes vote on H res sends all the wrong messages. Make no mistake—the Arab/Muslim world watches our actions very closely. A yes vote on H res 867 will tell them that the US will not even look at the most impartial evidence available. It will tell them that President Obama’s inspiring and potentially transformative speech in Cairo meant nothing. It will tell them that the US is not, and will never be, a fair broker of disputes in the region, that international laws and bodies mean nothing, it will tell them that extremists have always been right about these things. It will fundamentally undermine the President’s absolutely crucial efforts to change the basic equation in the Middle East.

So I urge you to contact your representatives immediately. Please feel free to borrow any talking points or text from this letter that you find useful. A shorter letter on the following lines might be effective. (paragraph 2 could be dropped)

Dear Congressman_____________,

I strongly urge you to vote no on H. Res 867. This resolution is a blatant attempt to control what Americans know and think about the crucial issue of Middle East peace. The goal of the resolution is simply to silence open debate on a vital security issue. As such it is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. It directly undercuts our president’s foreign policy in the region and will place Americans (both military and civilians) across the region at serious risk. At a time when our nation is at a crossroads and public support for public policy is vital, H res 867 stands to deprive Americans of the facts they need to know.

The Goldstone report aside, even many Israelis believe their leaders are following a needlessly violent and counterproductive strategy. Their leaders seem to have become intoxicated with the belief that they are above all law and restraint. The impunity that comes with many successful attempts to suppress information like that in the Goldstone report, simply adds to their notion that they are above the law. It can only lead to more reprehensible abuses of Human Rights and International Law in the future. Powerful factions in the Israeli government have become like drunk drivers—intoxicated, invincible and operating with utter disregard for the lives they impact Israel’s supporters should remember this simple slogan—“friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”

Please be clear--a NO vote on this resolution is neither a condemnation of Israel or an endorsement of the Goldstone report, but will only lead to an open debate of the report’s facts, findings, and procedures. This being the case, I will watch closely to see how you act.



Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:40 pm

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:43 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: H Res. 867 vote on Goldstone report
Thanks for posting this. Here is more about it from B'Teslem! ... n_KEY=2205 ... report.asp

Dear Nadia,

Calls are mounting, both inside Israel and from the international community, for a credible, independent investigation into Israel's conduct in Operation Cast Lead. But a new resolution in Congress calls on President Obama to do everything he can to bury the Goldstone Report, while giving no support to the Obama Administration's repeated call for a domestic investigation by Israel. Click here to tell your Representative to vote "No" on H. Res. 867.

From day one, B'Tselem and the broader human rights community have been calling for a comprehensive domestic inquiry into Israeli behavior in Operation Cast Lead. Israelis across the political spectrum are now supporting this call. Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor (Likud), Minister of Improvement of Government Services Michael Eitan (Likud), Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman (Labor), and National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beiteinu) have all called for such an inquiry, as has Aryeh Deri, former leader of the Shas party.

Israelis are raising important questions about their country's conduct in Gaza, and they have a right to answers. The civilian population in Gaza has a right to have their claims heard and addressed.

The Obama administration also supports a credible Israeli investigation, as was repeated by National Security Advisor James Jones at the J Street conference.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has clearly been feeling the pressure, and if this momentum continues there is a real opportunity to ensure genuine Israeli accountability - and move beyond the polarized debate around the Goldstone report. This irresponsible bill in the House threatens to derail this momentum.

Click here to send an e-mail to your representative asking that they vote no on this bill.
H. Res. 867 is expected to come to the floor of the House next week. Please take action today, and spread the word as far as possible.

Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:50 pm
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