2 thoughts on “I am appalled………..and in shock over Sen. Resolution 498

  1. Outremer July 16, 2014 / 1:34 pm

    Paulette: Thanks for the “heads-up” on this. This sort of knee-jerk call for “support” for Israel — as if they needed it — is truly disgusting. I have sent the following message to both of my U.S. senators representing North Carolina. — TOM POWERS

    Sen. Hagan [and that other guy]:

    I am a North Carolina resident urging you to vote AGAINST the shameful S.Res.498 introduced by Sen. Graham on behalf of about 40 other senators. The resolution expresses unqualified support for the State of Israel in their current lopsided exchange of fire with Gaza militants.

    As you know, the targeted Israeli strikes are resulting in a heavy civilian death toll among Gaza’s 1.8 million residents, including many women and children. Hundreds of home and public/infrastructure facilities have been destroyed as well. As I write, the death toll (partly inflicted with U.S.-supplied weapons and munitions) has climbed to over 200, and the Israeli assault is even now intensifying. There has been one rocket-related death on the Israeli side. As I say, lopsided.

    Gaza for decades has been one of the most densely populated places on earth, and since 2007 it amounts to an open-air prison due to Israel’s perverse blockade.

    For one thing, the Israeli response does not conform to the demands of international law for “proportionality”. Since the sporadic rocket fire began about a dozen years ago, an average of 1 or 2 Israelis PER YEAR have been killed. However nasty and unjustifiable it may be, the rocket fire does not represent some existential threat to Israel. In its responses — collective punishment, really — Israel has inflicted many hundreds of deaths in Gaza: 200 so far this time, hundreds a couple of years ago, some 1400 in Cast Lead in 2008/9. These are not morally justifiable, proportionate responses by any stretch of the imagination. We don’t need to stand on the sidelines and applaud this.

    The Israeli response fails another test of international law, the required “distinction” between combatant and civilian, since the majority of deaths and injuries, by all credible accounts, have been among civilians. This is not acceptable. Even if, as Israel says, the militants intentionally “hide behind” the civilian populace, it is still incumbent upon Israel — who knows this! — to prevent civilian casualties. They don’t, and we should not support them in this egregious failure.

    Whatever else one might think, the State of Israel does not NEED U.S. support to “defend” itself. Our support turns up like clockwork to the tune of $8,000,000 A DAY in 100% military aid, more aid than goes to any other country in the world, for any purpose. That in itself is shameful — but that’s another issue.

    Disclosure: I have lived over there and I know what’s going on. America’s positions regarding Israel-Palestine, both now and in the future, call for far more nuance than is reflected in this mindless, knee-jerk resolution. For example, no one need wonder why U.S. “brokered” peace talks go nowhere: The mind-set behind this cynical resolution (designed primarily to curry votes come November) says it all: America has NEVER been an honest broker in that festering conflict, and CAN never be as long as it is so heavily aligned with one side.

    The proposed resolution deserves to die on the Senate floor, if not in committee. When you vote against the resolution, as I sincerely hope you will, you WILL take political flak from AIPAC, the ADL, Christian Zionists among your constituency, and other elements of the “Israel Lobby” (which is quite real, as you know). I am under no illusions as to the political realities — I mean, this is essentially the same Congress that — down to the last man (and woman) present — gave Netanyahu 27 standing ovations a few years ago. The only question is: Are you willing to do the right thing — and take the inevitable heat?


  2. Outremer July 16, 2014 / 2:08 pm

    UPDATE: From the original text of the resolution, submitted on 10 July, I counted about 40 “co-sponsors”. Now, after contacting my 2 senators, I see there are today actually 66 co-sponsors — including both of THEM! I just sent this follow-up message:

    I see now that you AND Sen. [Hagan and Burr] signed on as co-sponsors of S.Res. 498 two days ago, along with now 64 others. Shame on both of you! You can still vote against it, you know.

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