Updated: 1.9.09 see below
From an email from the Shalom Center (Rabbi Arthur Waskow)
Peace for Gaza, Israel, & the broader Middle East
Letters to Members of Congress calling urgently for US action to secure Gaza-Israel ceasefire and move quickly for regional peace. Please use FAX for strongest impact.
Out of my very strong ethical, moral, and religious commitments and strong emotional connections with the peoples of the Middle East, I urge you to press for a US commitment to achieve an immediate cease-fire in the war between Gaza and Israel, enforced if necessary by a peacekeeping body.
I also urge you to voice support now for a broader peacemaking insistence by the US on a regional peace settlement among all the Arab states, Israel, a viable Palestinian state with a freely elected government of national unity, and Iran.
Thank you for turning away from casting blame for the past, toward instead securing peace for the future.
With blessings of great success for this session of Congress, and of shalom, salaam, peace —
From an email from Just Foreign Policy:
Call Congress in Support of Gaza Ceasefire and Report the Result
Call during business hours, eastern time. AIPAC is reportedly preparing a Congressional resolution endorsing continuation of the military assault. Ask your represenatives instead to support an immediate ceasefire and lifting the blockade. You can find contact info, talking points, and a way to report results at the link that follows. So far, several offices say they are receiving many calls, and some offices are pledging that they will work for an immediate ceasefire.
Write Now to Save Lives in Gaza
Urge US officials to support an immediate ceasefire and lifting the blockade on Gaza –
Write to President Bush and Congress:
Write to President-elect Obama:
Can Congress Speak Out Against Gaza Violence? Yes, They Can!
Several have done so.
from an email from US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Call Congress NOW!
The Senate has just made a grave mistake and we need your help to stop the House from repeating it. The Senate just unanimously voted on a resolution that essentially pats Israel on the back for “defending itself” from Hamas, and the House will likely follow their lead tomorrow (Friday).
Call your Representative NOW to tell them to vote “NO” on any resolution which fails to call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, and for unimpeded access for humanitarian aid into Gaza. and a lifting of Israel ‘s illegal siege
There are several biased resolutions on the table, most of which applaud Israel for being a strong ally in the “Global War on Terror;” falsely blame Hamas for breaking the cease-fire; fail to recognize the legitimacy of Palestinian elections; and say absolutely nothing about Israel’s responsibility for the killing and injuring of Palestinians and imposing collective punishment on them through a brutal siege-all with U.S. weapons.
If you don’t know who represents you in Congress, then you can find out at Congress.org (enter your zip code in the upper right corner of the website). Once you know who represents you call 202.224.3121 and the operator will connect you to your Representative.
When you are connected to your Representative’s office, keep your message short and to the point. Tell them:
· We need an immediate, unconditional cease-fire. Biased resolutions that enable Israel to continue killing and injuring Palestinians are unacceptable. Israel has killed more than an estimated 700 Palestinians and injured more than 3,000 since Dec. 27. Resolutions
that condition a cease-fire will only lead to more needless death and destruction.
· Demand unrestricted access for humanitarian aid. Israel is allowing through only a trickle of humanitarian aid into Gaza . As the Occupying Power of the Gaza Strip, Israel is legally obligated by the 4th Geneva Convention to ensure that Palestinians receive adequate supplies of food, medical supplies, and other necessities of life. Israel ‘s siege on the Gaza Strip imposes an illegal collective punishment on 1.5 million civilians by denying them access to these vital supplies in violation of international law. Israel must lift its siege of the Gaza Strip to comply with its Geneva Convention obligations and humanitarian aid deliveries must be allowed to enter without restrictions.
· Israel is misusing U.S. weapons to attack a civilian population. Instead of placing blame for Israel’s war on and siege of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on the victims, Members of CongressRep. Dennis Kucinich in demanding from the Secretary of State an investigation into Israel’s violations of the Arms Export Control Act. Members of Congress must hold Israel accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons to kill Palestinian civilians in violation of U.S. and international law, not vote for resolutions which justify these illegal killings. should join with
We’ve heard from sources in Congressional offices that 20 phone calls from each district can prevent Representatives from supporting these atrocious resolutions cheerleading Israel on as they collectively punish the people of Gaza AND we are partnering with CodePink, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, Progressive Democrats of America, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and other national groups to make our voices heard in the House – Your call WILL make a difference – call 202.224.3121 NOW to join our national movement.
After asking your Representative to vote NO on these bad resolutions, we also encourage you to call your Senators at 202.224.3121 and register your displeasure with their abhorrant unanimous vote to blame Gazans for Israel’s siege and assault.
Don’t forget to amplify our voice in Congress by having your friends call in. Click here to send your friends an email asking them to call their Representative.
Find more info on Israel ‘s misuse of U.S. weapons by clicking here. For more tips on what you can do to help end Israel’s war on Gaza, join our facebook group, click here to check out the action page on our website, click here for a list of protests and vigils across the U.S., or click here for more news and analysis from GazaSiege.org.
Also, remember that every tax-deductible donation to the U.S. Campaign helps us to reach our goal of changing U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law and equality, and lowers the taxes you pay toward Israel ‘s war machine. Click here to make a generous contribution now.
From an email from Jewish Voice for Peace:
Flood them with emails. It can work.
Go here to write your Congressional representative!
Tell everyone you know to write a letter now.
Live outside of the US? Call the US embassy and demand an immediate ceasefire and end to the blockade.
I am outraged. I just read the text of a bill being voted on in the Senate today – a bill we cannot let pass.*
The bill, introduced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), puts the all blame for the current violence between IsraelGaza entirely on Hamas. It offers unconditional support to Israel, tacitly endorsing the raining down of bombs on the heads of Gazan civilians, a tactic which has led to the deaths of over 700 Palestinians in just a few weeks. In fact, it endorses continued bloodshed of both Israelis and Palestinians.
I am dumbstruck by how one-sided this bill is. The US should condemn Hamas. They are deliberately targeting civilians with Qassam rockets and 9 Israelis have died since Israel started bombing Gaza. But they should also hold Israel accountable.southern Lebanon and threatens to enflame the rest of the Mideast; and accountable for Israel’s illegal 40-year occupation. Accountable for denying Palestinians access to badly needed medicine, fuel and food through their year-long blockade of Gaza; accountable for endangering the lives of Israelis by repeatedly violating ceasefires and refusing to negotiate with Hamas, a group, which facts show, can maintain a ceasefire**; accountable for the destructive US-made weaponry they are using on dense population centers, which has now drawn rocket fire from
But it does no such thing. Instead, it reads like a press release written by AIPAC, giving Israel carte blanche to do whatever it wants whenever it wants, without legal or moral restraint. It does not call for an immediate ceasefire, or an end to Gaza’s blockade, which is also an act of war.
And after the Senate, its going to the House.
Write your representative now and tell her or him that you expect the United States to take a balanced approach. Tell them that it is in the best interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians for Israel to accept a ceasefire, end the blockade, and achieve peace through an end to Israel’s 40-year old occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Jewish Voice for Peace
**Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End? Huffington Post
From an email from J Street:
Since we launched our “Gaza Ceasefire Now!” call-in campaign yesterday, people like you have already made over 3,000 phone calls to their representatives. Hillary Clinton’s office alone has received over 200 calls!
Our sources on Capitol Hill are telling us that the calls are making a difference. With resolutions on Gaza now surfacing on the Hill, we have to turn up the heat to ensure that – in addition to support for Israel – Congress calls for active American diplomacy to end the crisis and a ceasefire that promotes the interests of Israel, the Palestinian people, and the United States.
Thanks so much for your help at this critical moment. Together, we can demonstrate broad political support for strong American leadership to bring about an immediate ceasefire that permanently stops the rocket fire into Israel, ends the military operation, and eases the blockade of Gaza.
P.S. You can read my message from yesterday below.
|Congress is back at work. Your member of Congress needs to know you support a ceasefire right now!|
Dear J Street Member,
Over the last few days, you and thousands of J Street supporters have called for American leadership for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza that ends the violence, stops Hamas rocket attacks and opens the crossings into Gaza for food, fuel and commerce.
Now – with violence rising and the new Congress sworn in yesterday – it’s time to make our voices heard in Washington.
It’s no shock that President Bush is on the sidelines in his last weeks – that’s where he’s been for the last eight years. And President-elect Obama is sticking to his contention that there’s only one President at a time.
That’s why we need Congress to act – now.
This week, your Senators and Representatives will almost certainly consider statements and resolutions related to Gaza. Most will feel they have little choice other than to offer support and sympathy to Israel and its right to defend itself. We need Congress to know that many Americans want them to voice support for Israel’s right to defend itself AND for an immediate ceasefire.
Now is precisely the moment that Congress needs to know that there is real support for a pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-ceasefire position from our community. That’s why we’re joining together with Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, our partner in the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement, in making these calls.
J Street has unequivocally condemned Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel and its use of terror against civilians over the years. We are also deeply committed to Israel, its security and the safety of its citizens.
But it is in the best interests of the United States, Israel and the broader Middle East for the violence to end now.
An ongoing military campaign will only further isolate the U.S. and Israel internationally, deepen hatred among the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, undercut the positions of more moderate Arab governments, provide a potent recruiting tool to extremists, and hand a political and PR gift to Iran. Protests in Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Hamas also indicate that this conflict will be brought right to the American military’s doorstep.
Members of Congress who are with us but unsure about the political ramifications of coming out in support of a ceasefire should take note that US public opinion is evenly split on whether Israel should have taken military action or pursued further diplomacy – 44% for and 41% against according to a recent Rasmussen poll. There is room for leadership on this issue – but they need to hear that there is support from their constituents.
Will you call your Senators and Representative to ask that they issue a statement that respects Israel’s right to defend itself but support American leadership to achieve an immediate ceasefire that ends the Israeli military campaign, stops Hamas’ rockets, and eases the blockade of Gaza?
Thanks for everything you’ve done so far to advocate for an end to this round of violence.
January 7, 2009
ABOUT J STREET
J Street is the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. J Street was founded to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. We support a new direction for American policy in the and a broad public and policy debate about the U.S. role in the region. Learn more at our website by clicking one of the links above.
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