Members of Congress heed grassroots pressure to #SkiptheSpeech

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Contact: Naomi Dann 845-377-5745 media@jvp.org

Members of Congress heed grassroots pressure to #SkiptheSpeech

Jewish Voice for Peace and partner groups call on members of  Congress to Skip Prime Minister NetanyahuŠ__s Speech

February 4, 2015– On January 27, Jewish Voice for Peace, along with our partners at the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Roots Action and CodePink, launched an online campaign calling on elected officials to skip Prime Minister NetanyahuŠ__s March 3 speech before a joint session of Congress.

Thus far over 40,000 people have taken action, and headlines are reporting that many Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Vice President Joe Biden, are leaving the door open to skip the speech.

The online campaign tells says: Š__Netanyahu does not speak about peace in good faithŠ_”illegal settlements and human rights violations against Palestinians have only increased under his leadershipŠ__ and warns that Š__He will advocate for additional harsh sanctions on Iran that will undermine the diplomatic process and possibly lead to war.Š__

JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson stated Š__This could be a historic turning point. We are seeing signs that the unprecedented crisis over NetanyahuŠ__s speech may mean an end to the era of virtually unanimous bipartisan support for IsraelŠ__s harmful policies. This is a critical step towards achieving a more even-handed U.S. policy, which is what most U.S. voters want.Š__

Thus far:

  • Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) is circulating a Š__Dear ColleagueŠ__ letter calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to delay the speech.

  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) publicly pledged to boycott NetanyahuŠ__s speech, calling it “a reckless act of political grandstanding,” and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) called the invitation Š__close to subversion.Š__  

  • Democrat minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to rule out the possibility that Democrats would skip the speech.

  • Politico reported that Vice President Joe Biden will not commit to attending the speech.

  • Buzzfeed News reported that Senate Democrats, including Senators Tim Kaine, Chris Murphy, Bill Nelson, and Chris Coons, are leaving the door open to skip the speech.

Follow along at #SkiptheSpeech and skipthespeech.org.

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Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 190,000 online supporters, over 65 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

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