OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

House to Vote on Pro-Israel Resolution

January 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The office of Howard Berman (D-CA), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, whipped together a non-binding resolution in support of Israel’s military operation in Gaza this week, and it’s going to be voted on by the full House tomorrow. The Senate passed a very similar resolution by unanimous voice vote this afternoon.

The resolution is pretty difficult to track down online (at 8pm on the night before the vote, it hasn’t been posted on, so here is a pdf of the draft text. After a lengthy findings section (“Whereas Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying the State of Israel;” “Whereas Hamas has been designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization;” etc.), it proposes the following for the House’s endorsement:

>Resolved, That the House of Representatives-
>(1) Expresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against Hamas’s unceasing aggression, as enshrined in the UN Charter;
>(2) Reiterates that Hamas must end the rocket and mortar attacks against Israel, recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence, agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, and verifiably dismantle its terrorist infrastructure;
>(3) Encourages the Administration to work actively to support a durable and sustainable cease-fire in Gaza , as soon as possible, that prevents Hamas from retaining or rebuilding its terrorist infrastructure, including the capability to launch rockets and mortars against Israel, and thereby allowing for the long-term improvement of daily living conditions for the ordinary people of Gaza;
>(4) Believes strongly that the lives of innocent civilians must be protected to the maximum extent possible, expresses condolences to innocent Palestinian and Israeli victims and their families, and reiterates that humanitarian needs in Gaza should be addressed promptly and responsibly;
>(5) Calls on all nations
>(a) to condemn Hamas for deliberately embedding its fighters, leaders, and weapons in private homes, schools, mosques, hospitals, and otherwise using Palestinian civilians as human shields, while simultaneously targeting Israeli civilians; and
>(b) to lay blame both for the breaking of the “calm” and for subsequent civilian casualties in Gaza precisely where blame belongs, that is, on Hamas;
>(6) Supports and encourages efforts to diminish the appeal and influence of extremists in the Palestinian territories, and strengthen moderate Palestinians who are committed to a secure and lasting peace with Israel;
>(7) Calls on Egypt to intensify its efforts to halt smuggling between Gaza and Egypt and affirms the willingness of the United States to continue to assist Egypt in these efforts;
>(8) Calls for the immediate release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been illegally held in Gaza since June 2006
>(9) Reiterates its strong support for a just and sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict achieved through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in order to ensure the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and a viable, independent and democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel.

Several commentators have noted that the resolution comes just as France and Egypt have begun to make progress on negotiating a cease-fire proposal. The resolution is expected to pass the House with very little opposition.

UPDATE: The bill is up now on OpenCongress, here. And here are the roll call details.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.


Anonymous 01/08/2009 4:24pm

Spectacular destruction of the weak by the powerful. How many planes? How many bombs? Where are the ground troops? They’ve killed over 700 people for 2 or 3? Berman needs to worry bout his seat’s inheritance.

Anonymous 01/09/2009 7:37am

Anyone out there know how many CONgresspeople have dual citizenship with Israel?

Anonymous 01/09/2009 10:54am

It is as though the US needs and is timid of Israel more than anything. The Palastinians never breached the calm. It was Israel who never respected it or complied with it. Why do we turn a blind eye to atrocities committed by Israel but keep our eyes peeled when it comes to the Palastinians?

Anonymous 01/09/2009 2:17pm

The children on both sides are learning to hate each other, making peace an illusive dream and helping violence continue. What a waste of human talent. Our cousin who is an American Jew and has visited both Israel and Palestine, no longer goes to temple because of the injustice with which the Israelis treat the Palestinians. Gaza has become the world’s largest prison, trapping Palestinians with no recourse, not enough food and sometimes not enough drinking water. Peoples’ inhumanity to each other is mind-boggling.

Anonymous 01/09/2009 6:08pm

We can expect the same blind loyal support from Obama. As a man of African descent, one would expect him to sympathize with the Palestinians. I guess his Christian belief’s trumphs the oppression and colonization of his African ancestors, who identify with the Palestinians.

Moderated Comment

Anonymous 01/10/2009 3:22am

You’re a bunch of rich. pampered, over-educated Anti-Semites that have never done a days physical labor in your lives.

Neither I, nor the hard working REAL people of Gaza and Israel, respect you.

Go ahead and drink your four dollar coffee and brag back and forth amonst each other about how educated you are of our fight, and how sympathetic you are to our cause.

At least Hamas and our enemy Israel have the stones to back up thier words with fists, rather than from safety across an ocean. Your sympathy does not endear you to us…it fills us with contempt.

Your soldiers are brave…YOU are not.

Pampered dogs in your golden kennel.

Anonymous 01/10/2009 7:13pm
in reply to Anonymous Jan 10, 2009 3:22am

Well said, we do have a bunch here who think they know what’s going on and for the most part haven’t got sense enough to check it out for themselves.
Most of these arm chair experts couldn’t tell you what it’s like to live like the folks do in Beersheba, Ashdod, or Ashkelon wondering if the next rocket is going to hit your school or your house or just land in your lap but would be the first one’s up in arms if it happened to them.
Keep your chin up and don’t let in!

Anonymous 01/10/2009 5:01am

Hey Mr/Mrs Anonymous,

If you were so brave, you wouldn’t being writing under the alibi “anonymous.”

So using stones and rockets (Hamas), or F-16’s and 2-ton bombs (Israel) is smarter and better than dialogue, diplomacy, and consensus-seeking?

We are not sympathetic with your cause to destroy each other (both Hamas and Israel). We are sympathetic for all the sane and innocent people who get caught in between your madness and bloodiness.

Anonymous 01/10/2009 7:20pm
in reply to Anonymous Jan 10, 2009 5:01am

Grad rockets and 122 mm mortars are not sticks and stones they are munitions that can do a lot of damage and kill you a lot more efficiently than a rock can. By the way, I noticed your also writing under “Anonymous” and it’s a pen name not an alibi.

Anonymous 01/10/2009 6:50pm
in reply to Anonymous Jan 09, 2009 11:27am

Rock throwing kids? Now that’s laughable. These are the same “rock throwing kids” who fire rockets with roughly 40 lbs of explosives in them into nearby communities of civilians, these “rock throwing kids” set off bombs in public places full of innocents, these “rock trowing kids” shoot members of political opposition in Gaza in the legs to keep them out of the way and failing that toss them alive off of tall buildings to make sure they stay out of the way.
Maybe these “rock throwing kids” are getting the spanking they earned.

Moderated Comment

Moderated Comment

Moderated Comment

Anonymous 01/12/2009 5:42am

Humans aren’t born as Christian, Muslims or Jews. They are socialized to be so.

Humans aren’t born to be hateful.
They are socialized to be so.

It is easier to not hate, when you have food to eat, water to drink, and medicine to cure. Hate is a relative feeling. How one feels depends on what you have, or have not. Who has, who has not….who is allowed to have, who taketh…who controlls resources, who doesnt. That is why hate exists and will forever grow.

Anonymous 01/12/2009 5:49am
in reply to Anonymous Jan 12, 2009 5:42am

True. If you threaten one’s physical existence, one is more apt to retaliate in kind. But as long as for every 1 that is killed on side, 10 are killed in return on the other, one can hope that eventually the first side will cease to exist. At the same time, killing is a hate multiplier…every time a hateful person dies, you can (and must) assume that several more (relatives and friends)will come to be.

Anonymous 01/10/2009 6:43pm
in reply to Anonymous Jan 09, 2009 10:54am

Lol! so those rockets Hamas has been lobbing into Israel for the last 8 years didn’t break the calm? (or the cease fire for that fact) Why do we turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Hamas but insist on putting Israel under the microscope?

Anonymous 01/10/2009 9:22am
in reply to Anonymous Jan 09, 2009 10:54am

my, so many people with the same screen name…a.non.y.mous. Guess I will put my “name” in there too. I find it sad that no one screams when the Israelis are bombed by air (thousands of rockets) and on the ground (suicide bombers) but the moment that Hamas(read Iran) is being hurt, along with innocent palestinians(among whom Hamas hide so there are innocent civilians killed), EVERYONE screams, Stop the Israelis, who are defending their right to exist.

Before indicting the Israelis with rather spurious accusations, do a little history reading starting from Isaac and Ishmael; this conflict started a few thousand years ago. It is a religious conflict, one of the most difficult conflicts to resolve among men. There will be no peace there until Israel is able to have the right to exist alongside Arab nations. The Arabs have not recognized that right since 1948. (BTW, even if the US stops supporting Israel, Islam still considers us to be inimical to their beliefs; the enmity will still continue with us).

Anonymous 01/14/2009 5:33am
in reply to Anonymous Jan 09, 2009 6:03pm

I know what you are saying, but I don’t think that’s quite what it’s about personally. Israel is an output of the American Empire more than an independent nation. And an important part if imperial domination of the Middle-East is to be achieved. America has invested too much money and weapons into Isreal for this Imperial American Outpost to fail now. So every year, you American’s plough 3.5 billion dollars of your taxpayers money into paying for their weapons … hmm, America could save 3.5 billion per year and use it for the economy, hmm, sounds pretty smple really huh ! … but instead of saving the American economy they help Israel ??? nah, Israel is as much a prat of America as Texas is I reckon.

Spam Comment

Anonymous 01/09/2009 11:27am

Yeah any person in their sound mind can look at the statistics…we supply so much military aid to Israeal so they can fight against people with rocsk…its almost laughable! Israel with the most powerful weapons in the world is scared of rock throwing kids!

Anonymous 01/11/2009 6:08am
in reply to Anonymous Jan 10, 2009 6:50pm

Spanking they earned? Hmm. Careful now… Take a look over the history Europe and see who spanks who. Sometimes it is better to learn how to get along with your neighbors, lest they get tired of the constant nuisance and organize themselves to do something about it…doesn’t happen too often, but every once in a while there has been a reaction against those who get too pushy and just don’t want to get along… not a pretty picture when it happens either…take heed

those rockets the palestinians shoot are made in the back yard with whatever they can find and are not too reliable, although they can be deadly, the results have been more symbolic that effective. The smart bombs the Israelis are using with the f-16 jets we gave them are much more effective and more terrifying, so are the israelis terrorists?? come on, be honest now…

These palestinian people have been backed into a corner and poked with sticks. Try that with a mouse and the mouse will finally try to bite you if it can. If you show the mouse a way outside it will run for it rather than bite you. Why not try setting up a palestinian state where they can live normal lives with some hope for the future of their kids?

As far as this thing going back thousands of years is concerned, the Jews lived side by side and peacefully with the Christians and Muslims in Palestine for hundreds of years under the Ottomans. So too in Egypt and elsewhere. It was only when this idea of an exclusively Jewish state was introduced that there began to be trouble. That’s the fact of the matter. And even that could probably be tolerated if it were not for the constant illegal colonization of Palestinian land by Jewish “settlers” protected in their illegal expropriations by Israeli soldiers and American arms.

You just can’t get around that. Or the fact that the exclusively Jewish state discriminates against people on the basis of race, religion, national origin…in ways that would be illegal in any of the United States of America where in our quest for racial equality we have just elected a mixed race president whose father happens to be Muslim. So President Carter, a wise and thoughtful man by any account, wrote a book about it called Peace not Apartheid. Made the Pro-Israel crowd scream and try to smear him for telling the truth, but he commands too much respect for that to work. So when are we going to face the fact that the Jewish state is racist and we should not be supporting its apartheid and genocide? No time soon, it seems, and so we will have more and more of the world lose respect for us because we don’t practice what we preach, and little by little we will find ourselves very alone in the world with lots and lots of enemies we did not have to have if we had been true to our core set of values and beliefs about racial equality and social justice…

I don’t mean to offend anyone, but just take a look at the facts and think about it

Moderated Comment

Anonymous 01/13/2009 1:00pm
in reply to Anonymous Jan 10, 2009 9:22am

Number of Israeli’s killed by Palestinian rockets since 2001 = 24
5x more Palestinian civilians have been killed than Israeli civilians.
Isreal have been illegally occupying Palestine for over 37 years.
Israel have built illegal settlements in DIRECT contravention of the Geneva convetion.

you say no one screams when Israeli’s are killed. this is simply a lie. I abhor the death of an Israeli as much as a Palestinian. It is disgusting when Israeli’s are killed … but I note that pro-Israeli racists always ignore the point that 5x more Palestinians are killed than Israeli’s. as you will.
Is a Palestinian child or toddler’s life worth less than that of an Israeli ? In your eyes, clearly yes, or you would condemn Israel.
The vast amount of humanitarian evidence showing torture. But you do not care about innocent Palestinian’s being tortured, because you feel they must be terrorists, and so what Israel is doing is right. Except the majority of them are just normal people trying to live their lives.

And for every single one of your quotes about Islam, there are 10 quotes from Jewish texts stating that non-Jews are animals or dogs to be treated like scum. So your argument there is fallacious and ridiculous.

Watch this. I used to believe that Israel were innocent until about 4 years ago when I started to educate myself. We all have to learn things in life … and before you say it, of course this does not tell the full story, but it is not propoganda. Every word of this is truth and documented by the UN and most humanitarian organisations. Illegal occupation, torture, human rights abuse.

Peace, Propoganda and the Promised Land – Israel and the Media:

Here’s a nice story from a year ago. IDF just shooting at ordinary people. oops, there was a Nobel Peace Laureate in the crowd. Kinda shows up the lie that the occupation is peaceful doesn’t it …

but you will dismiss all of the above won’t you … racist’s are very good at dismissing anything that goes against their racist mindset …

who broke the ceasefire on November 5 ?
Israel, and they killed people. Whether those people were terrorists or not is irrelevant. IT WAS A CEASEFIRE AND THEY BROKE IT … but yet, if you are an American, you will for sure believe that Hamas broke the ceasefire due to lies in the media. Please see here

why was the ceasefire not renewed by Hamas on December 19 ?
because Israel did not stop their blockade to Gaza. What a disgusting situation huh, Israel keep Gaza in a concentration camp, and yet … they are innocent ?

Anonymous 01/09/2009 6:26am

Why do our representative feel such a resolution is necessary? What a pathetic display of powerlessness and continued insensitivity to the cause of hostility towards Israel – the unrelenting pressure on Palestinians to live on their knees. The fact that some have chosen to die on their feet is why we are here today.

Moderated Comment

Moderated Comment

Anonymous 01/13/2009 1:04pm
Link Reply
+ -1
in reply to Anonymous Jan 10, 2009 6:43pm

Israel broke the ceasefire on November 5th. They killed 5. This is documented by every news agency on the planet. Interesting that you, an American of course, believe the lie spread by organisations like AIPAC

“LOL”, how dumb must a person be to talk about issues without having a clue

Please refer to this (unless you are a confirmed racist who wants all Palestinian people to genocidally killed)

Anonymous 01/13/2009 1:07pm
Link Reply
+ -1
in reply to Anonymous Jan 10, 2009 6:50pm

In 8 years, these rockets killed 24 people. TWENTY FOUR PEOPLE !!!
In 2 weeks, Israel have murdered 971 people, and maimed (missing limbs etc, you know, not a big deal to you, cos you are a racist, so don’t care about the suffering of an innocent Palestinian child with it’s arms blown off do you) in 2 weeks. 971 MURDERED IN 2 WEEKS !!!

wow, the sheer scale of your ignorance is incredible (are you American by any chance ??)

Anonymous 01/09/2009 6:03pm
Link Reply
+ -2

Damn, I wish I were a Jew. Never before have I witnessed the world’s purported superpower consistently kiss the ass of a small group of people whose military power is superior to all Arab nations combined. Throughout its history, Israel and its American servants have claimed that Israel’s security is threatened and yet it is the Palestinians and the Lebanese whose lives, homes and institutions that are destroyed. “God’s Chosen People,” what a joke? It’s more like America’s Chosen People.

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.