Monday, June 21, 2010

U.S. Congress, Israeli occupied territory

No matter how you feel about Pat Buchanan, he was right on the money when he commented that the U.S. Congress is the Israeli occupied territory. Witness this AIPAC-sponsored letter, signed by 85 out of 100 of our Senators to President Obama. The letter reads:
We write to affirm our support for our strategic partnership with Israel, and encourage you to continue to do so before international organizations such as the United Nations. The United States has traditionally stood with Israel because it is in our national security interest and must continue to do so.

Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and a vibrant democracy. Israel is also a partner to the United States on military and intelligence issues in this critical region. That is why it is our national interest to support Israel at a moment when Israel faces multiple threats from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the current regime in Iran. Israel’s opponents have developed clever diplomatic and tactical ploys to challenge its international standing, whether the effort to isolate Israel at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference or the recent effort to breach the naval blockade around Gaza.

We fully support Israel’s right to self-defense. In response to thousands of rocket attacks on Israel from Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Israel took steps to prevent items which could be used to support these attacks from reaching Gaza. Israel’s naval blockade, which is legal under international law, allows Israel to keep dangerous goods from entering Gaza by sea. The intent of the measures is to protect Israel, while allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Late last month when Israel learned that groups operating in Turkey wanted to challenge its blockade of Gaza, Israel made every effort to ensure that all humanitarian aid reached Gaza without needlessly precipitating a confrontation. Israeli forces were able to safely divert five of the six ships challenging the blockade. However, video footage shows that the Israeli commandos who arrived on the sixth ship, which was owned by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (the IHH), were brutally attacked with iron rods, knives, and broken glass. They were forced to respond to that attack and we regret the loss of life that resulted.

We are deeply concerned about the IHH’s role in this incident and have additional questions about Turkey and any connections to Hamas. The IHH is a member of a group of Muslim charities, the Union of Good, which was designated by the US Treasury Department as a terrorist organization. The Union of Good was created by and strongly supports Hamas, which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department. We recommend that your administration consider whether the IHH should be put on the list of foreign terrorist organizations, after an examination by the intelligence community, the State Department, and the Treasury Department.

We commend the action you took to prevent the adoption of an unfair United Nations Security Council resolution, which would have represented a rush to judgment by the international community. We also deplore the actions of the United Nations Human Rights Council which, once again, singled out Israel. Israel has announced its intention to promptly carry out a thorough investigation of this incident and has the right to determine how its investigation is conducted. In the meantime, we ask you to stand firm in the future at the United Nations Security Council and to use your veto power, if necessary, to prevent any similar biased or one-sided resolutions from passing.

Finally, we believe that this incident should not derail the current proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. We hope that these talks will move quickly to direct negotiations and ultimately, to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

These are the 85 Israel-first U.S. Senators who have sworn their allegiance to Israel:
Alexander, Lamar
Barrasso, John
Baucus, Max
Bayh, Evan
Begich, Mark
Bennet, Michael
Bennett, Robert
Bond, Christopher
Boxer, Barbara
Brown, Scott
Brown, Sherrod
Brownback, Sam
Burr, Richard
Burris, Roland W.
Cantwell, Maria
Cardin, Ben
Carper, Tom
Casey Jr., Bob
Chambliss, Saxby
Coburn, Tom
Cochran, Thad
Collins, Susan
Conrad, Kent
Corker, Bob
Cornyn, John
Crapo, Mike
DeMint, Jim
Dorgan, Byron
Durbin, Richard
Ensign, John
Enzi, Mike
Feinstein, Dianne
Franken, Al
Gillibrand, Kirsten
Graham, Lindsey
Grassley, Charles
Hagan, Kay
Hatch, Orrin
Hutchinson, Kay Bailey
Inhofe, Jim
Inouye, Daniel
Isakson, Johnny
Johanns, Mike
Johnson, Tim
Kaufman, Ted
Klobuchar, Amy
Kohl, Herbert
Kyl, Jon
Landrieu, Mary
Lautenberg, Frank
LeMieux, George
Levin, Carl
Lieberman, Joseph
Lincoln, Blanche
Lugar, Richard
McCain, John
McCaskill, Claire
McConnell, Mitch
Menendez, Bob
Mikulski, Barbara
Murkowski, Lisa
Murray, Patty
Nelson, Ben
Nelson, Bill
Pryor, Mark
Reed, Jack
Reid, Harry
Risch, Jim
Roberts, Pat
Schumer, Charles
Sessions, Jeff
Shaheen, Jeanne
Shelby, Richard
Snowe, Olympia
Specter, Arlen
Stabenow, Debbie
Tester, John
Thune, John
Udall, Mark
Vitter, David
Voinovich, George
Warner, Mark
Whitehouse, Sheldon
Wicker, Roger
Wyden, Ron

The following U.S. Senators did not swear their allegiance to Israel (Click on the names to thank them for at least not swearing their allegiance to Israel this time round):
Akaka, Daniel
Bingaman, Jeff
Bunning, Jim
Byrd, Robert C.
Crapo, Mike
Dodd, Chris
Feingold, Russell
Gregg, Judd
Kerry, John
Leahy, Patrick
Merkley, Jeff
Rockefeller, John D.
Sanders, Bernie
Udall, Tom
Webb, Jim

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