Tell Congress: Don’t defend Israel’s illegal settlements with empty platitudes about peace
Congress is voting on legislation to defend Israeli settlements from international censure.
As one of its first acts, the new Congress is pushing through this legislation to defend Israel’s settlement expansion. This is the first of many fights ahead to protect civil and human rights in the U.S. and around the world in the Trump era.
On Thursday January 5, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 342-80 in favor of H.R. 11, condemning the United Nations Security Council resolution on the illegality of Israeli settlements. A companion resolution was introduced in the Senate, where efforts to include language criticizing settlements was rejected.
Ahead of the scheduled votes in the U.S. House (H.Res 11) and Senate (Rubio-Cardin Resolution) on resolutions expressing opposition to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, Jewish Voice for Peace issued the following statement from Rabbi Joseph Berman, manager of government affairs and grassroots advocacy:
“The UNSC resolution confirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements, in line with long-standing international consensus and US policy. The Congressional legislation rejecting the UNSC resolution falsely claims to support peace. In reality, these resolutions attempt to provide diplomatic cover to Israel’s illegal and unethical occupation and settlement expansion. Israel is on a path towards making the status quo of occupation, siege, discrimination and denial of Palestinian rights permanent.
Indefinite occupation and democracy are incompatible, and outside pressure is needed to force Israel to make the right choice. Instead, some Members of Congress are attempting to reject the international consensus and longstanding US policy that settlements are illegal. In so doing, these Members of Congress are aligning themselves with President-Elect Donald Trump and Israel’s right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu in support of Israel’s settlement expansion. Jewish Voice for Peace calls on Members of Congress to reject this legislation as an effort to undermine peace, and instead support equality, human rights, and dignity.”
Rabbi Joseph Berman and other Jewish Voice for Peace leaders are available for interviews. Please contact Naomi Dann | firstname.lastname@example.org | 845-377-5745.
What you can do:
Call your Representative and Senators:
During the first week of the new Congress a flood of constituent phone calls helped turn the tide against an effort to strip the power of the Congressional Ethics Committee. Calls work. Members of Congress need to hear from us.
Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Ask to speak to your Representative and your Senators.
Go here to find out your Representative, and here to find your Senators. If you want to know how your representative voted on H.R. 11 look here.
Talking Points on H. Res 11 & S. Res. 6 (Rubio-Cardin Resolution):
–I am a constituent and supporter of Jewish Voice for Peace.
–For Members of the House of Representatives – vote NO on H. Res 11.
–For Senators: vote NO on S. Res. 6
–This resolution falsely claims to support peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
–In reality, this legislation is intended to support Israel’s continued illegal and unethical settlement expansion, occupation, and denial of Palestinian rights.
–UNSC Resolution 2334 confirmed long-standing international law and US policy that Israeli settlements are illegal. This should be applauded, not undermined.
–I want my Member of Congress to support equality, dignity, and human rights for Palestinians and Israelis instead of providing cover for continued settlement expansion and human rights abuses.
Write a letter to the editor:
Letters to the editor are important ways to communicate our messages and demonstrate to news outlets and others that there is a strong readership that cares about Palestinian rights.
Key tips for writing letters to the editor:
- Respond directly to an article, op-ed or editorial
- Send ASAP: letters sent between 24-48 hours have the best chance of being published
- Keep it short: 150-200 words for most papers
- Make it personal: use I-statements, tell a (brief!) story
- Only try to get one (1!) point across
Find letter to the editor submission information for many mainstream national and local outlets here.