Action Alert:

The Mask Drops … Congress Must Not Remain Silent!

Yesterday, President Obama admitted:

BibiBarackWe can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years.”  And he repeated his earlier stated intent “to evaluate what other options are available” which is widely understood to include a new willingness to expose Israel to world public opinion as manifest at the UN Security Council.

The push-back to this reckoning with the obvious was immediate, the New York Times helping to publicize a thinly-veiled threat from a Netanyahu confederate:

“We certainly will have to make a major effort, including through our friends in the Democratic Party… taking into consideration that they still have to run for election, while the president doesn’t.” (former Ambassador to the US Zalman Shoval)

And there were like statements from his predecessor, Itamar Rabinovich: “If Obama doesn’t want to make amends, the fight will continue.”

Reaction from Republicans in Congress… 

LindsayJohn2Lindsey Graham: (addressing President Obama) “Wake up and change your policies before you set the whole world on fire. Please watch your language. … You’re making everything worse, and now, you’ve added fuel to the fire.”

John McCain: Obama should “get over [his] temper tantrum …The president has his priorities so screwed up that it’s unbelievable.”

And from Congressional Democrats?  An appalling silence.

No doubt they were taken by surprise when the President didn’t simply thank the Prime Minister for his welcome clarification and pretend once more that it was the Israelis, not the Palestinians who lacked a credible “partner for peace.“  And surely they need no reminders from Likud politicians that “they still have to run for election.” 

ICC2They must not remain silent. 

Next month, the newly admitted State of Palestine will present to the International Criminal Court a formal request for an investigation of Israeli violations of international humanitarian law.  The US Congress will certainly react with rage and insist that US law requires the termination of funding to the Palestinian Authority. 

Senate Republicans are also promising “a bipartisan, violent backlash in this body if the Obama administration does not veto a U.N. resolution defining the peace process in the Security Council.”

Which is why your calls and emails to Congress
are so critically needed.

MarkeySenator Ed Markey went on record in January when he wrote to Secretary Kerry

“to oppose imbalanced, unilateral solutions outside the context of direct negotiations.  We urge you to make clear… that the United States will veto any unilateral resolutions brought before the UN Security Council related to Palestinian statehood.  …We will not support assistance to the Palestinian Authority while you undertake a review of this matter [possible ICC action].”

Please let Ed Markey know that his stance has become totally untenable given there is no “context of direct negotiations.”

Benjamin Netanyahu blew the cover on a 40 year peace process that has done nothing to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine. 

Barack Obama has signaled his refusal to resume the charade, and we need the Massachusetts delegation to reinforce this position!

Ask our lawmakers to:

  • Publicly support the President’s decision to reject another, bankrupt round of a “peace process” that deepens the occupation of Palestinian land.
  • Listen to the rest of the world when the Security Council next addresses the future path to peace and justice for Israel and Palestine.
  • Reject legislation that will punish Palestinians for seeking the formal protection of International Humanitarian Law.
  • Stand up to the intimidation of Israel’s right wing and their backers in pro-Netanyahu funding circles here in the US.

form letters

[1]

Dear Member of Congress,

Since assuming office, President Obama has been painstaking in his pursuit of a negotiated settlement to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.  And, as you know, the premise of these negotiations – establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state – has now been explicitly rejected by the newly reconstituted Israeli government.

The President has been forced to abandon a patently dishonest “peace process” long exploited by those in Israel whose unspoken intent is to broaden and deepen the settlement movement and to deny Palestinians the universally recognized right of self-determination.

President Obama’s mere acknowledgement of the changed situation has generated vitriolic attacks from many of your Republican colleagues. 

I ask you to speak out in support of the President’s decision to reevaluate a now unworkable policy.  More than ever we need to attend to the will of the international community and to respect the authority of the UN Security Council to reestablish a basis for a just peace. 

Please refrain from joining in any new threats to punish Palestinians for seeking the protection of international law when there is no longer any real prospect for bi-lateral “peace” negotiations.  Do not embolden the recent Republican-led UN-bashing, or efforts to undermine the workings of the ICC.

If provisions of the “Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015” reach the floor, vote against them (H.R. 277 and H.R. 364)

Similarly, I ask that you not cosponsor or vote for H.R. 825, the “United States-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act” – a bill that would dictate a policy of compulsory cooperation with businesses that help underwrite the Israeli occupation.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

——————————————————–

[2]

Dear Senator Markey,

Since assuming office, President Obama has been painstaking in his pursuit of a negotiated settlement to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.  And, as you know, the premise of these negotiations – establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state – has now been explicitly rejected by the newly reconstituted Israeli government.

The President has been forced to abandon a patently dishonest “peace process” long exploited by those in Israel whose unspoken intent is to broaden and deepen the settlement movement and to deny Palestinians the universally recognized right of self-determination.

President Obama’s mere acknowledgement of the changed situation has generated vitriolic attacks from many of your Republican colleagues. 

I ask you to speak out in support of the President’s decision to reevaluate a now unworkable policy.  More than ever we need to attend to the will of the international community and to respect the authority of the UN Security Council to reestablish a basis for a just peace. 

In a January letter to Secretary Kerry, you characterized as “imbalanced, unilateral solutions outside the context of direct negotiations” the very policies that the Administration is now obliged to consider.  Since there is no longer any “context of direct negotiations”, it is time for your own reevaluations.

Please refrain from joining in any new threats to punish Palestinians for seeking the protection of international law when there is no longer any real prospect for bi-lateral “peace” negotiations.  Do not embolden the recent Republican-led UN-bashing, or efforts to undermine the workings of the ICC.

If provisions of the “Stand with Israel Act of 2015” (S.633) reach the floor, vote against them.

Similarly, I ask that you not cosponsor or vote for S.619, the “United States-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act” – a bill that would dictate a policy of compulsory cooperation with businesses that help underwrite the Israeli occupation.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,