Call Your Senator to Oppose the U.S. Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013
If passed, the Senate version of the US Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 would codify Israel's discrimination against U.S. citizens, particularly Arab-Americans and people who work in support of Palestinian human rights. It would also give Israel additional access to weapons stockpiles and designate Israel a 'major strategic partner,' Sen. Wyden is currently 1 of 20 co-sponsors of this legislation - please call his office and urge him to withdraw his co-sponsorship. Please also call Sen. Merkley and thank him for not cosponsoring.
Sen. Merkley DC Office # -- 202-224-3753 -- Message: Thank you for not co-sponsoring the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (S. 462). I urge you to publicly oppose any effort to codify Israel's discriminatory practic es into U.S. law.
Sen. Wyden DC Office # -- 202-224-5244 -- Talking points below.
Talking points for Sen. Wyden:
1. American citizens deserve to travel without fear of being turned away based on their race, religion, or the countries they've visited.
2. I strongly oppose any legislation that would codify Israel's systematic discrimination against Arab Americans and Americans working for Palestinian human rights.
3. This legislation could violate U.S. laws barring discrimination based on race, religion and ethnicity, and it would fundamentally undermine the U.S. government's call for the protection of all its citizens traveling abroad.
Letters to the editor and op-eds mentioning the Senator Wyden's name will also get the office's add pressure to withdraw support and be a shot acr oss the bow for Merkley and other senators in case they're considering co-sponrship.
The Guardian article is the best resource for people interested in more information: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/13/barbara-boxer-aipac-israel-discrimination
Here is a link to the action alert we sent when the legislation was introduced in case people also want to send emails: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/641/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12849
In Their Shoes
OBAMA IN ISRAEL: Every word right. Every gesture genuine. Every detail in its place. Perfect.
Obama in Palestine: Every word wrong. Every gesture inappropriate. Every single detail misplaced. Perfect.
IT STARTED from the first moment. The President of the United States came to Ramallah. He visited the Mukata’a, the “compound” which serves as the office of the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.
One cannot enter the Mukata’a without noticing the grave of Yasser Arafat, just a few paces from the entrance.
It is quite impossible to ignore this landmark while passing it. However, Obama succeeded in doing just that.
Read more: Uri Avnery on Obama in Palestine: In Their Shoes
How to move forward from Obama’s Jerusalem Speech: Three Proposals for Renewed Work
(An action link to a “signon” petition appears at the end of this article and here: http://signon.org/sign/a-petition-to-president?source=c.em.mt&r_by=5439069)
By Gilbert Schramm, March 24, 2013
This week saw a courageous speech by President Obama in Israel. In it he said many things that, as a historian and a longtime student of the problem of Palestine, I take serious issue with. These issues are important and will doubtless be revisited along the way, but now is not the time to get sidetracked by them. Now is a time for renewed action.
Leaving all of its faults aside, I believe that Obama’s speech can be a new starting point towards a just and comprehensive peace in Palestine. I believe that all of us who are concerned with US security, with Israeli security and with security, human rights, and peace and justice for the people of Palestine, should now come together and use this moment (that President Obama has taken great political risk to create) to rethink our strategy and try to re-energize ourselves to help finally achieve a viable Palestinian state. To simply attack the weak points of his presentation would be immature and a waste of time. Let’s try to see what we can build on.
The point is not so much that Obama took the risk of bringing the imperatives of peace and justice up in such a pointed way and before such an unpredictable audience. The real point is the overwhelmingly positive response he received from the Israeli audience—an audience that has lived with the obsolete, confrontational, dead-end rhetoric of Benjamin Netanyahu and other “hardliners” for so long. Clearly these people are tired of the policies of Likud and their allies. So, Obama’s speech clearly suggests that there is an opening for rebuilding a seriously viable Israeli peace movement. We, in America, should try to open channels through which can communicate our support for them.
Read more: How to move forward from Obama’s Jerusalem Speech: Three Proposals for Renewed Work
Here are links to the audio of Ramzy Baroud and Phyllis Bennis speaking in Olympia for the 10th anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death. Both talks are excellent.
The audio starts part way into Ramzy's talk. The second audio is the Q&A session.
The article that follows is a point by point commentary on S. RES 65, an initiative put forth by AIPAC which has already garnered more than 40 co-sponsors in the US Senate. The resolution is not just a show of force by AIPAC; it also makes a US war with Iran (at a time and place of Israel’s choosing) much more likely. A show of legislative support like this, even if it does not ostensibly commit the US to war with Iran, certainly makes such a commitment in the future much more likely.
The dynamics are simple: with such a show of US Senate support for US action in the case of a confrontation between Israel and Iran, it will become much easier for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to convince his cabinet that a pre-emptive strike by Israel will actually receive US support in the event that Israel decides to exercise its military options.
Let us be clear. The position of the US President, under advisement from US intelligence, is that such an Israel first strike is not only unnecessary, but that even the threat of it undermines the administration’s already robust efforts to discourage Iran from weaponizing its still peaceful nuclear program.
Another point should be well understood. If Israel were to stage a pre-emptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, even using only conventional weapons, it would still, arguably, be a case of using nuclear weapons in a “first strike” capacity. An attack with conventional weapons on a functioning nuclear facility has enormous consequences. Since it would likely release highly radioactive materials over a wide area, it would be, for all practical purposes, the equivalent of a terrorist group detonating a “dirty bomb” in a populated civilian area.
Since, after the fact, it would be almost impossible to sort out whether Israel had used a nuclear weapon in the initial strike, or whether the resulting radiation were the result of radioactive material from the facility itself, the Israeli military, doing a simple cost/benefit analysis, might well be tempted to use a nuclear weapon in the initial attack and then make excuses later. Tragically, the results for civilians in the area would still be devastating…
In any case, as I hope readers will see, reasonable assessments conclude that S. RES 65 is another step closer to a US war with Iran. As such I hope readers of this document will reject it utterly, and communicate their views to their various representatives as quickly and forcefully as possible.Read more: A Deconstruction of S.RES 65
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