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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wherefore art thou, Michigan Congressional Delegation?

"It has been reported that the United States Government will break with precedent and will not exercise its veto power on this biased resolution. Any action by the United States short of a veto is a dramatic and frightening shift in policy."  -- US Congressman Peter King

"For surely there must be something terribly wrong with a man who seems to be far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran."  -- Blogger/columnist Burt Prelutsky

Updated report: Jerusalem Post: Defying the US, PA pushes for UN anti-settlement vote

While several Members of Congress Thursday urged the Obama Administration to veto tomorrow's expected anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution, our Michigan delegation with the notable exception of Congressman Gary Peters, has been silent on the subject. It is especially disappointing that Jewish Senator Carl Levin and his brother, US Rep. Sander Levin have not seen fit to speak out.

Earlier this week, the Administration gestured that it would support a UN Security Council statement condemning Israel's settlement policies as a compromise to avoid the prospect of having to veto an even stronger resolution calling Israeli settlements illegal which is likely to be advanced today by the Palestinians.

We should not let our elected officials take our votes and our political donations for granted. Just as there has been an outpouring of support and sympathy for the oppressed masses now rising up in the Arab world, there should be an outpouring of solidarity with the beleaguered citizens of Israel, fighting for their very existence against terrorists, genocidal leaders and an increasingly, alarmingly hostile world that demonizes Israel as the "Little Satan" and America as the "Big Satan." And lest we forget, Israel is on the front lines of an epic battle against raging global anti-Semitism that if not vanquished, threatens Jews everywhere.  How is it that Israel's building policies rate UN condemnation, but human rights atrocities slip by unnoticed? How is it that the Administration politely declines to meddle in the internal affairs of Iran, but wields the sledgehammer on Israel?

Given what the upheaval and deadly reprisals in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Jordan and Bahrain have shown the world about the Arab autocracies that systematically repress their people, and given the desperate uprising and brutal crackdown AGAIN in Iran -- the leading global sponsor of terrorism racing to the finish line of nuclear weaponization -- a UN resolution singling out Israel, the only pluralistic democracy in the Mideast, lays bare the raw anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism that poisons this hopelessly harmful international body.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to be connected to the offices of Senators Levin and Stabenow and of US Reps Levin and Gary Peters, who represent Oakland County. Let them know you expect them to stand with Israel and to forcefully challenge any break by this Administration from longstanding US tradition to veto UN resolutions seeking to target and delegitimize Israel. And thank Rep. Peters for his statement:
"Since the beginning of the peace process, the issue of settlements has been one reserved for final status negotiations between the parties. The United States must stand by our ally Israel and use our veto power at the United Nations Security Council to make clear that the negotiating table is the only avenue to resolving the conflict, and that efforts to single Israel out for blame and criticism are unacceptable and unfounded."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer issued a joint statement:
Instead of negotiating directly with Israel to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, Palestinian leaders continue to seek to circumvent the negotiating process by advocating anti-Israel measures at the U.N. Security Council, U.N. General Assembly, and U.N. Human Rights Council. The U.S. should not condone or reward this behavior by supporting their resolutions. We strongly urge the Administration to veto this resolution and to uphold our longstanding commitment to Israel’s security.
Democrat Rep. Steve Rothman (NJ) said that "any failure to stand with Israel during these difficult times in the Middle East will only encourage the enemies of America and Israel."

Congresswoman Ileans Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), ,chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, NY Democrat Nita Lowey and NY Democrat Anthony Weiner also weighed in. Charged Weiner:
 "This is too clever by half. Instead of doing the correct and principled thing and vetoing an inappropriate and wrong resolution, they now have opened the door to more and more anti-Israeli efforts coming to the floor of the U.N."
New York Republican Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent the  letter below to Secretary of State Clinton urging the  Administration to "stand by our ally Israel" and veto the UN resolution condemning Israel. Anything short of such action against the "biased" resolution, King said, would signal a "dramatic and frightening shift in policy."

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