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Two More Responses to the Attempt To Introduce A Resolution in the Colorado State Senater In Support of Israel’s War Against Gaza

January 29, 2009

1. This one from Cindy Corrie, Rachel Corrie’s Mother from Washington State

Rob,

A resolution passed the Washington State Senate last week. I was watching and horrified. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble in Gaza—and this was purposely, I’m sure, placed on the WA Senate’s agenda on the Wednesday following the M.L.King long week-end and the Obama inauguration. We got word of it during the week-end and launched a call for emails and calls to State Senators’ offices. Though we were told by interns and staff taking the calls that they were getting many calls–all opposed–word did not seem to get through to the Senators—and there was a unanimous voice vote of approval. At least, a good number of the Senators voting had no idea what they were doing—and some were not on the floor. Craig and I went immediately after the vote to a couple of key offices and explained why the resolution applauding Israel’s democracy and honoring the anniversary of its elections was so problematic. Senate leadership has subsequently sent out statements about how this was a “mistake” and they are changing the rules for resolutions. We are still trying to determine how to respond. I haven’t yet read text for the Colorado resolution—but just wanted to let you know immediately that this is apparently a national effort. The approved resolution was to be forwarded to Obama, Clinton, and Israeli officials.

2. This one from companera Juliet Wittman of Boulder, writing her state senator

Nobody says it better than Juliet…

Dear Congresswoman Hullinghorst

I write to you as a constituent and as a Jewish American concerned about peace in the Middle East. Like many others, I have been shocked and appalled by the recent carnage in Gaza and by the almost-complete media silence on Palestinian death and suffering. President Obama has been reaching out to the Muslim world, and the appointment of Senator George Mitchell as a special envoy to the Middle East is a highly promising development. At the same time, Benjamin Netanyahu–ahead in Israeli polls–speaks freely of building new settlements in violation of international law. It is crucial at this point that the United States be seen as an honest broker. But State Senator Joyce Foster is proposing a bill in the Colorado Senate expressing unqualified support for Israel’s recent actions.

These actions include bombing schools, destroying infrastructure, using white phosphorus against civilians, firing on ambulances rushing to help the wounded, bulldozing homes, and setting ablaze tons of food and medicine in a United Nations compound. Many sober legal experts around the world are terming these acts “war crimes.” This bill–and actions like it around the country–seems to me a clear attempt to tie Mitchell’s hands and pre-empt a fair and genuine settlement.

Please look at the coverage of the invasion on such news sites as the BBC and the Guardian, UK–the dead, wounded, and traumatized children, people weeping over the rubble of their homes, the wounded in hospitals where there are no supplies to treat them, the bodies laid out in rows–and then prepare to oppose this bill if it should reach the House.

Foster’s bill makes no mention of the settlements in the West Bank, or of the long-term siege of Gaza, which caused widespread hunger and suffering even before the latest attack. Yet Israel could not continue its persecution of the Palestinians without the three to four billion it receives annually from the United States. It is time for the American Jewish community and all Americans who want to see peace to speak out. The best thing the Colorado State Legislature could do is to pass a bill supporting the fragile and hopeful peace process on which our country has finally embarked.

Juliet Wittman

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