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For Immediate Release: March 3rd, 2015

National Coalition Thanks Members of Congress Who Will #SkipTheSpeech of Netanyahu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC (March 3)—The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 organizations working to change US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians to support human rights, international law and equality, thanked today the more than 60 Members of Congress who have pledged to #SkipTheSpeech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

According to The Hill, as of this morning, 56 Democrats are skipping the speech.  GOP Rep. Walter Jones (NC-3) told C-SPAN that he will skip the speech as well. Several other Members of Congress have privately confirmed to constituents that they will not attend the speech either. 

More than 10 percent of Congress, and more than 25 percent of the Democratic caucus, has opted to skip Netanyahu’s speech, an unprecedented breach in the historically bipartisan US-Israel relationship. 

Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director, stated: “The many Representatives and Senators who took the decision to skip the speech should be applauded. Just a few years ago, it would be unthinkable that even a few Members would take such a stand with a visiting Israeli prime minister. The message they are sending to the Israeli prime minister is that they will not stand for his shenanigans. And the message that they are sending to their constituents is that they hear their concerns about it.”

According to Josh Ruebner, Policy Director, “The more than 60 Members of Congress who are skipping Netanyahu’s speech are to be commended for not going along with the Boehner-Israel ploy to undermine President Obama’s negotiations with Iran. Although no Members of Congress are boycotting Netanyahu’s speech in protest of Israel’s horrible human rights record toward Palestinians, the growing partisan divide around US-Israel relations should and must open a much-needed debate about our how our country’s unconditional diplomatic and military support of Israel denies Palestinians self-determination.”

For additional quotations and expert availability for media, please see yesterday’s media advisory

The US Campaign, in coordination with partner organizations such as Roots Action, Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink and American Muslims for Palestine, has been running the #SkipTheSpeech campaign. More than 40,000 constituents have sent a total of more than 110,000 letters to their Members of Congress calling on them not to attend Netanyahu’s speech. An additional 20,000 people have signed a similar petition.

For videos, memes, and other materials related to this campaign, please see http://www.endtheoccupation.org/skipthespeech