close
114th Congress: We're updating with new data as it becomes available.

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 thomas.gov), 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.