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July 20, 2006

Crisis Update

The Israeli lobby has struck again. Congress overwhelming passed H Res 921, which basically gives Israel carte blanche to murder its neighbors. The Congressman representing my district spoke in support of the horrific legislation. Here is my response to him -

Dear Congressman Emanual:

As a Jewish constituent and Program Chair of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section (WILPF US), I am disheartened by your misunderstanding of the current war in Lebanon / Palestine / Israel. In particular, your comments supporting H Res 921 deeply saddened me.

Nothing that militant groups in Gaza or Lebanon have done in recent weeks can justify Israel's use of collective punishment, murder of civilians, and bombing of civilian infrastructure. I believe that the US government's unconditional support of Israel's occupation of Palestine and aggression against its neighbors seriously weakens this country's effectiveness as a global leader for human rights and democracy.

On a separate note, I am disturbed that you insist I post my address information through a non-secure internet site. You are exposing my personal information to identity theft and I hope you will rectify this problem soon.

Below is a copy of WILPF's Statement Denouncing Escalation of Military Aggression in Lebanon, Gaza, and Israel. I realize that we completely disagree on this issue; but I ask that you take the time to read the words of the oldest women's peace organization. We have 37 sections around the world, including sisters in Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon.

With hope for a cease fire,
Cynthia J. Minster

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Denounces Escalation of Military Aggression in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom deplores the escalation of violence in Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially Gaza, and in Israel.

We condemn the targeting of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure by all parties and, in particular, the excessive disproportionate military retaliation by Israel as violations of international law. The widespread bombing in Gaza and Lebanon; the air, sea and land blockade of Lebanon; the destruction of electricity and water supplies in Gaza; and the missile attacks on Israeli cities make the possibility for solutions more difficult as hostilities spiral out of control. We denounce the use of force. There is no military solution to the problems in the region.

We recognize that the current dangerous and volatile situation is the direct result of Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian lands and its relentless destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, particularly in Gaza where a humanitarian crisis is growing among the 1.4 million inhabitants.

Therefore, we call upon the United States to join the rest of the international community in denouncing Israel's escalation of this conflict.

We call for an immediate ceasefire and halt to the retaliatory bombing, killing and destruction. We appeal to all parties to return to the political process and earnestly negotiate permanent solutions.

We appeal for cooperation with the UN special Advisors team sent to the region by the UN Secretary General and for adherence to UN Resolutions and international and humanitarian law especially relating to the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom appeals to Israel to cease the military stranglehold on Gaza and to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, to end the blockade and stop the siege of Lebanon and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. We appeal to all parties to accept a ceasefire, to release illegally held Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners and Israeli soldiers, and to begin negotiating a just and lasting peace that will bring safety to the civilian populations of Lebanon, Palestine and Israel.

We call for an international peace conference convened by the United Nations and that is based on the recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine within the pre-1967 borders established by the 1949 cease fire agreements with eventually mutually agreed adjustments.

We call on the Palestinian National Authority, the United States, the British, Israeli, Iranian and Syrian governments, the Arab League, and the European Union to search for peaceful solutions that protect the lives of all people in the Middle East Region and world-wide.

"House Overwhelmingly Backs Israel in Votes," by Anne Plummer Flaherty via AP / Yahoo News
Final Roll Call Results for H Res 921

Posted by cj at July 20, 2006 10:26 PM


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