US Senate supports Israel's Gaza incursion
Update 2:and the House passed a similar resolution Friday (see CQ, "House Adopts Measure Backing Israel on 'Durable' Gaza Truce"; the roll call is here. Members of Congress still need to hear from folks advocating for an immediate ceasefire and lifting the blockade on Gaza. You can use this alert to call the House and Senate and report your result. You can also write to them here. Thank you for taking action.
I am outraged. I just read the text of a bill being voted on in the Senate today - a bill we cannot let pass.*
The bill, introduced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), puts the all blame for the current violence between Israel and Gaza entirely on Hamas. It offers unconditional support to Israel, tacitly endorsing the raining down of bombs on the heads of Gazan civilians, a tactic which has led to the deaths of over 700 Palestinians in just a few weeks. In fact, it endorses continued bloodshed of both Israelis and Palestinians.
I am dumbstruck by how one-sided this bill is.The US should condemn Hamas. They are deliberately targeting civilians with Qassam rockets and 9 Israelis have died since Israel started bombing Gaza. But they should also hold Israel accountable. Accountable for denying Palestinians access to badly needed medicine, fuel and food through their year-long blockade of Gaza; accountable for endangering the lives of Israelis by repeatedly violating ceasefires and refusing to negotiate with Hamas, a group, which facts show, can maintain a ceasefire**; accountable for the destructive US-made weaponry they are using on dense population centers, which has now drawn rocket fire from southern Lebanon and threatens to enflame the rest of the Mideast; and accountable for Israel's illegal 40-year occupation.
But it does no such thing. Instead, it reads like a press release written by AIPAC, giving Israel carte blanche to do whatever it wants whenever it wants, without legal or moral restraint. It does not call for an immediate ceasefire, or an end to Gaza's blockade, which is also an act of war.
And after the Senate, its going to the House.
Write your representative now and tell her or him that you expect the United States to take a balanced approach. Tell them that it is in the best interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians for Israel to accept a ceasefire, end the blockade, and achieve peace through an end to Israel's 40-year old occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Jewish Voice for Peace
* Amnesty vs. AIPAC: Senate to Consider AIPAC Resolution Endorsing War in Gaza Huffington Post
**Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End? Huffington Post