CALL YOUR REPS NOW!
On Wednesday, June 25, the House of Representatives is scheduled to take up House Resolution 294, introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos (D CA-12). The resolution is being taken up under "suspension," meaning that the normal committee process was bypassed and the House Leadership allowed it to go directly to the Floor of the House. Resolutions taken up under "suspension" cannot be amended and need a 2/3 majority to pass. The resolution is entitled:
"Condemning the terrorism inflicted on Israel since the Aqaba Summit and expressing solidarity with the Israeli people in their fight against terrorism..."
Call and fax your Representative today and urge him or her to vote against H.Res. 294. Contact information for your Representative can be found at http://www.house.gov
• This resolution is biased and one-sided because it fails to mention violence directed against the Palestinians by Israel‚s military occupation. This resolution is not productive for advancing efforts toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
• Since the Aqaba summit, 55 Palestinians have been killed and 258 have been injured in acts related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution claims falsely that "Palestinians are also victims of these [Palestinian] terrorists," rather than victims of Israel‚s military occupation.
• This resolution fails to mention Israel‚s 36 year-old military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, which is the primary cause of conflict.
• This resolution appears to justify Israel‚s policy of extra-judicial killings, a policy that contravenes international law by denying the accused the right to a fair trial.
(Please be sure to personalize it)
The Honorable _________
United States House of Representatives
June 25, 2003,
Dear Representative __________________,
It has come to my attention that the House will consider today under "suspension" House Resolution 294, introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos "condemning the terrorism inflicted on Israel since the Aqaba summit, [and] expressing solidarity with the Israeli people." Although I too condemn acts of terrorism, I strongly urge you to vote against this resolution.
As written, this resolution is biased and one-sided because it fails to mention violence directed against the Palestinians by Israel‚s military occupation. Since the Aqaba summit, 55 Palestinians have been killed and 258 have been injured in acts related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution claims falsely that "Palestinians are also victims of these [Palestinian] terrorists," rather than victims of Israel‚s military occupation.
Moreover, this resolution fails to mention Israel‚s 36 year-old military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, which is the primary cause of conflict. In addition, it appears to justify Israel‚s policy of extra-judicial killings, a policy that contravenes international law by denying the accused the right to a fair trial.
I look forward to receiving a letter from you on your position on this resolution.
Dear Colleague Letter and Text of House Resolution 294
One Hundred Eighth Congress
Congress of the United States
Committee on International Relations
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
June 24, 2003
Attached is a Leg Counsel version of H. Res.294, which was noticed earlier for consideration under suspension of the rules tomorrow. In the schedule released earlier, this resolution was identified as:
9) H.Res. ___ - Condemning the terrorism inflicted on Israel since the Aqaba summit, expressing solidarity with the Israeli people, and calling on the Palestinian Authority to take immediate and effective steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on the West Bank and Gaza (Lantos - International Relations)
The resolution was introduced by myself with Mr. Delay, Ms. Pelosi, and Mr. Hyde as cosponsors.
If you have any questions, please call the Democratic Staff of the International Relations Committee at 5-6735.
(Original Signature of Member)
H. RES. __
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
M. __________ submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on _______________
Condemning the terrorism inflicted on Israel since the Aqaba Summit and expressing solidarity with the Israeli people in their fight against terrorism.
Whereas Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) announced at the June 4, 2003, Aqaba Summit, "Our goal is clear, and we will implement it firmly and without compromise: a complete end to violence and terrorism";
Whereas Prime Minister Abbas also pledged at the Aqaba Summit to establish a system based on "rule of law, [a] single political authority, [and] weapons only in the hands of those who are in charge of upholding the law and order...";
Whereas the Middle East roadmap begins with the assertion that "A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism (when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty)";
Whereas 22 innocent Israelis nevertheless were murdered and scores wounded in three separate suicide bombings within less than a week after the Aqaba Summit, and the death toll from these terrorist actions is the equivalent of 1,100 on the basis of the United States population, nearly ten times the number of battle deaths the United States suffered in the recent Iraq War;
Whereas Palestinians are also victims of these terrorists, who undermine prospects for a just and lasting peace;
Whereas Islamic fundamentalist Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad consistently make clear their opposition to Israel‚s existence in any form and within any borders and their determination to use violence and terrorism to achieve their anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic goals, and Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi vowed "not to leave one Jew in Palestine‚‚;
Whereas experience with terrorism demonstrates that there can be no productive negotiations or dialogue with terrorists and that a policy based on compromise with terrorists can only be doomed to failure;
Whereas the concept of "cycle of violence," which implies moral equivalence between terrorists and their victims, should be rejected as a description of Israeli-Palestinian dynamics, since Palestinian terrorism justifies Israeli counterterrorist operations as the response of a legitimate government defending its citizens;
Whereas Israeli counterterrorist operations would cease entirely were Palestinian terrorism to cease; and
Whereas Israel has no choice but to use its own measures to fight terrorism if the Palestinians are unwilling to do so:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives˜
(1) condemns in the harshest terms the recent terrorist actions that victimized innocent Israelis;
(2) expresses solidarity with the Israeli people as they respond to ongoing terrorist attacks;
(3) expresses sympathy to the families of innocent Israelis and Palestinians who have lost their lives;
(4) commends the President of the United States for his vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security;
(5) affirms that this vision can be fully realized only once terrorism is defeated, so that a new state may be created based on rule of law and respect for human rights;
(6) recognizes and respects Israel‚s right to fight terrorism and acknowledges Israel's fight against terrorism as part of the global war against terrorism;
(7) calls on all states to cease recognition of and political and material support for any Palestinian and other terrorist groups;
(8) calls on all states immediately to establish effective mechanisms to ensure that funding from private citizens cannot be directed to terrorist groups for any purpose whatsoever, including ostensible humanitarian purposes;
(9) calls on all states to provide support to the Palestinian Authority in its effort to confront and fight terror; and
(10) calls on all states to assist the Palestinian people in creating the institutions of a democratic state that will respect the rule of law and live in peace with its neighbors.
[DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE RESOLUTION]