Can Congress Speak Out Against Gaza Violence? Yes, They Can!

If you're a Member of Congress, and your name doesn't happen to be
Dennis J. Kucinich, can you still speak out in opposition to the
carnage that President Bush and Secretary of State Rice are actively
promoting in Gaza?

Yes, you can!

There are two key issues. Should the U.S. support an immediate
(international opinion) or should the U.S. insist
that the violence continue (Bush Administration position.) Should the
blockade on Gaza end (international opinion) or
should it continue (Bush Administration position.) Of course,
the blockade is also an act of war.

J Street reports
(emphasis mine):

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (Jan. 2): "the United States must work
actively for an immediate ceasefire that ends the
violence, stops the rockets, and removes the blockade of

Congressman Joe Sestak (Jan. 2):

"...beginning with bringing a swift end to this
ongoing conflict..."

Congresswoman Lois Capps (Dec. 29):

"...the current military operation in Gaza represents a vastly
disproportionate response
that will further destabilize the
region... The numbers of dead and injured in Gaza, and the televised
images of the humanitarian crisis now unfolding are truly shocking...
I believe an immediate ceasefire is necessary."

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Dec. 30):

"I was particularly discouraged that the U.S. did not try to broker an
extension of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas
or improve the humanitarian situation on the ground... I strongly urge
all parties to usher in the New Year with a renewed

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (Dec. 31):

"The time has come for both sides to end the rockets, end the
bombings, and end the restrictions on food, medicine and
- all of which inflict intolerable harm on innocent
civilians on both sides."

Congressman Keith Ellison (Dec. 31):

"I believe the following actions must be taken at
... restore the ceasefire... The
Israeli and Egyptian borders must be opened at once to allow the
innocent civilians caught in this violence to seek refuge, and for the
flow of food, water and medical supplies into Gaza
.... I
agree with those who demand strict observance of international
humanitarian law
, which must be observed immediately and
without exception."

What about Dennis J. Kucinich? Dec. 29:

"The attacks on civilians represent collective
, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth
Geneva Convention... Israel is leveling Gaza to strike at Hamas, just
as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike at Hezbollah. Yet in both
cases civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed
or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law
enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate,
indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international
... The attack aggravated a humanitarian
wrought by the Israeli-imposed
blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies."

Can Congress speak out against the Gaza violence? Yes, they can!

But Brit Tzedek v'Shalom reports that AIPAC is preparing a
Congressional resolution that would endorse the continuation of the
Israeli assault. Don't whine that Congress is "Israeli-occupied
territory" if you haven't exerted the minimal effort to ask Congress
to behave differently. You can do so in 5 seconds here.

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