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Oppose House Resolution on Israel’s Wall

March 5th, 2004


US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Members of Congress are considering a resolution supporting Israel’s wall and condemning the International Court of Justice for offering an advisory opinion on it. Act now to educate your Representative about the realities of the wall and stop this resolution from passing.

ISSUE & LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Rep. Mike Pence (IN-6) introduced on February 26 House Concurrent Resolution 371, “Supporting the construction by Israel of a security fence to prevent Palestinian terrorist attacks and condemning the decision by the United Nations General Assembly to request the International Court of Justice to render an opinion on the legality of the security fence.”

H.Con.Res.371 was referred to the House International Relations Committee. As of March 5, the resolution had 90 cosponsors. To see if your Representative has cosponsored the resolution, see the US Campaign’s Congressional Report Card at: http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=59. Cosponsors of this resolution have received a -1 in column 7.

The full text of the resolution can be read at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_bills&docid=f:hc371ih.txt.pdf.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Fax, call, and/or email your Representative and ask him/her not to cosponsor House Concurrent Resolution 371 (H.Con.Res.371). If your Representative has already cosponsored this resolution, ask him/her to withdraw his/her support for it.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Phone and fax numbers for your Members of Congress can be found on the US Campaign’s Congressional Report Card at: http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=59.

TALKING POINTS:

* This resolution does not present an accurate picture of the barrier that Israel is building in the West Bank. The resolution makes no mention of the fact that the barrier is being built overwhelmingly on illegally expropriated Palestinian land deep within the West Bank. Once completed, the barrier in the West Bank will de facto annex 45% of the West Bank to Israel, including some of the most fertile land and water resources of the Palestinians.

* This resolution also makes no mention of the human rights violations stemming from this barrier and the humanitarian catastrophe that it is engendering. Under international law, the Occupying Power cannot confiscate land or inflict collective punishment on the civilian population it is occupying. Israel also has an obligation to ensure the rights to freedom of movement and access to health, education, work, food and water. The barrier deprives the Palestinian civilian population of these internationally recognized rights. Israel’s legitimate right to security cannot come at the expense of the human rights of Palestinians living under its military occupation.

* This resolution fails to mention the fact that the international community has already decided that the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank is illegal. On October 21, 2003, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution (ES 10/13) demanding “that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure of the Armistice Line of 1949 and is in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law.” By supporting H.Con.Res.371, the House of Representatives would be defying the consensus of the international community on the illegality of the barrier Israel is building.

* This resolution attempts to subvert the functioning of the institutions of the international community. The resolution condemns the International Court of Justice for ruling on the legal consequences of Israel’s barrier even though the case was properly referred to it by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 3, 2003 (ES 10/14). The United States should not undermine the credibility of the International Court of Justice by condemning it for doing its job of offering legal advisories when requested by the General Assembly.

HOW CAN CONGRESS GET AWAY WITH RESOLUTIONS LIKE THESE?:

Congress can seriously consider such unproductive and unbalanced resolutions on Israel/Palestine policy because the vast majority of U.S. citizens who want a foreign policy based on peace, justice, human rights, and international law are silent while those who push extremist agendas are vocal. We can’t create political change if we don’t engage the political system. Join forces with the US Campaign to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine. We are coordinating political efforts in more than 130 congressional districts through our Congressional District Coordinator network. Get involved and coordinate your political efforts with ours. Together we can mobilize enough grassroots pressure to change policy. For more information, please contact us at congress@endtheoccupation.org.


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