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Meet with Your Members of Congress during the Winter Recess

December 8th, 2009

Congress is scheduled to adjourn for its winter recess on December 18 and Members of Congress are expected to be in their home districts until January 11

The Congressional winter recess coincides with the one-year anniversary of Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" against the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip, its 22-day assault that killed about 1,400 Palestinians, injured thousands more, and destroyed billions of dollars worth of Palestinian civilian infrastructure.

During this Congressional winter recess, we're asking our Congressional District Coordinators (CDC's) to set up meetings with their Members of Congress asking them to end U.S. support for Israel's ongoing siege of the occupied Gaza Strip and to hold Israel accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons before, during, and after "Operation Cast Lead."

We'll be having a telephone conference call on Tuesday, December 15, at 9PM Eastern to brief interested people on how to set up meetings with their Members of Congress and on the substantive policy issues to raise with them.  To listen to a recording of this conference call, please click here.

Here's how you can get involved in setting up a meeting:

1) Look on our Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) map below to find out who is coordinating efforts in your Congressional district and find contact info for them.  If no one is coordinating in your district or you would also like to help us coordinate in a district that has a CDC, please sign up to become a CDC by clicking here.  Read more about the roles and responsibilities of a CDC by clicking here.  

2) Assemble a delegation of constituents who are interested in joining you and fax your Members of Congress a constituent meeting request.  For a template meeting request, please click here. Use our CDC map above to find contact info for your Representative.  For tips on how to arrange and conduct your meeting, please click here.

3) Download resources, talking points, and educational materials below to use in your meeting.  We recommend discussing a maximum of three of the following policy issues with your Members of Congress:

* Discuss their vote on H.Res.867, which condemned the Goldstone Report as
“irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy.”  Read our analysis of this resolution and the vote count by clicking here.  Find out how your Representative voted on H.Res.867 by checking out our 111th Congressional Report Card by clicking here.  Download talking points on H.Res.867 that you can give to your Member of Congress explaining why we opposed this resolution by clicking here

* Discuss their positions on two "Dear Colleague" letters calling for the easing of Israel's illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip.  Find out if your Representative signed the Moran-Inglis "Dear Colleague" letter on Gaza education by clicking here.  Thank your Representative for signing this letter or express your disappointment if he/she didn't sign this letter.  Also, ask your Representative to sign on to the McDermott-Ellison "Dear Colleague" letter on humanitarian conditions in Gaza.  This letter is being held open for signatures until after the Congressional recess ends.  To read the text of the letter, please click here.   

* Ask your Members of Congress to send a letter to Secretary of State Clinton asking her to investigate whether Israel misused U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act during "Operation Cast Lead."  A State Department finding that Israel violated that law is the first step toward sanctions and cutting off military aid.  Download a draft letter to Secretary of State Clinton that you can give to your Representative by clicking here.

* Ask your Members of Congress to introduce a resolution calling on Israel to end its blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip.  To download a draft resolution you can give to your Representative, please click here.

* Ask your Members of Congress to condition military aid to Israel so that U.S. weapons cannot be used by Israel against Palestinian civilians.  President Obama is scheduled to deliver his FY2011 budget request to Congress in January, which is expected to include a request for $3 billion in military aid to Israel.  Download a memo with amendment language that your Representative can introduce in the FY2011 budget cycle to condition military aid to Israel by clicking here.

* Give a presentation to your Members of Congress documenting the effect of U.S. military aid to Israel on Palestinian civilians during the Bush Administration.  To download a PowerPoint presentation, please click here.

If you have any questions about joining the Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) network or setting up a winter recess meeting with your Members of Congress, please contact National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner at 202-332-0994 or by clicking here.