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Ear to the Ground

Dead Gazans Missing From Senate Endorsement of Israeli Invasion

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Posted on Jul 20, 2014

Photo by gregw66 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Update: Truthdig reader Richard Pilkington pointed out by email that there were no formal votes cast for or against Resolution 498. The resolution was passed by “unanimous consent,” meaning apparently that no senator objected. Progressive senators Al Franken and Sherrod Brown co-sponsored the resolution. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren did not. The language of this article was changed to reflect this clarification.

On Thursday, all 100 U.S. senators—including progressives Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken and Sherrod Brown—passed an AIPAC-drafted resolution supporting the Netanyahu government’s military invasion of the Gaza Strip.

AIPAC stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It lobbies Congress and the White House in the interests of Israel and is a source of campaign funds for both Democrats and Republicans.

M.J. Rosenberg, a former senior foreign policy fellow at Media Matters Action Network, wrote of the agreement in a mass email: “There is not one word of compassion for Palestinians killed or injured, not a word calling for peace, not a word indicating that the Senate would perhaps prefer to see the invasion end. On the other hand, it calls for dissolution of the Palestinian unity government which has been Netanyahu’s goal since it was established.”

The “simple resolution,”—S.Res. 498—which does not have the force of law, reads:

Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding United States support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization.
Whereas Hamas is a United States-designated terrorist organization whose charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel;
Whereas Hamas continues to reject the core principles of the Middle East Quartet (the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia)—recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence, and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements;
Whereas Hamas has killed hundreds of Israelis and dozens of Americans in rocket attacks and suicide bombings;
Whereas, since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas and other terrorist groups have fired thousands of rockets at Israel;
Whereas Hamas has entered into a unity governing arrangement with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority;
Whereas the unity governing agreement implies Fatah’s and the Palestinian Authority’s support for Hamas’ belligerent actions against Israel, potentially contributing to a false perception of legitimacy for Hamas’ belligerent actions;
Whereas, since June 2014, Hamas has fired nearly 300 rockets at Israel;
Whereas Hamas’ weapons arsenal includes approximately 12,000 rockets that vary in range;
Whereas innocent Israeli civilians are indiscriminately targeted by Hamas rocket attacks; and
Whereas 5,000,000 Israelis are currently living under the threat of rocket attacks from Gaza: Now, therefore, be it

• Resolved, That the Senate—
           (1) reaffirms its support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel;
           (2) condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel;
           (3) calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel; and
           (4) calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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