August 2006 Postcard
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It is time to call on both sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to negotiate a just peace. Since Palestine’s Hamas government has implicitly recognized Israel, Israel and the United States should recognize a viable Palestinian state. In order for both sides to live in peace and security, Israel must withdraw from all the territory it has occupied since 1967.
Instead, an Israeli navy gunboat fired shells onto a northern Gaza beach on June 9, killing civilian picnickers and provoking an end to the 16-month cease-fire that only Hamas had honored. In response to the abduction of an Israeli soldier, Israel Defense Forces kidnapped a third of Palestine’s cabinet and dozens of lawmakers, and used U.S.-supplied F-16s to destroy bridges and the main power station in Gaza. Yet our lawmakers remained silent.
The most effective action Congress can take is to insist that the two sides reach an equitable agreement, before even more lives are lost.
City, State, Zip:
One of several Israeli activists at a June 28 protest against their government’s attack on the Gaza Strip. (Photo Gali Tibbon AFP).
In the guise of expressing concern for Christian Palestinians, legislation proposed by Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who received $12,000 in pro-Israel PAC contributions in 2005-2006, and Joseph Crowley (D-NY), who received $24,000 (for a career total of $76,157) distorted the facts.
Palestinian Christians are emigrating because of the terrible economic and political crisis created by Israel’s occupation, not because of Palestinian Authority persecution. Instead of consulting a Christian Palestinian, however—such as PLO Ambassador Afif Safieh, who works right across town—aides Ari Stein and Gregg Sheiowitz, who drafted the resolution, sought advice from an Israeli attorney. Could it be they were more interested in helping Israel than in saving Palestinian Christians?