US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, April 22, 2008
Today the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.Con.Res.322, "recognizing the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and reaffirming the bonds of close friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel ."
In addition, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has reserved time each week through June for Representatives to make statements on the floor of Congress on the occasion of Israel 's 60th anniversary.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation urges all of its member groups and individual supporters to contact their Representative in Congress and ask him/her not to vote for resolutions or make statements that recognize Israel's 60th anniversary but fail to recognize the historic injustices that Israel has inflicted on the Palestinian people and the injustices that it continues to inflict daily. To send your message today, please click here.
Below is a copy of talking points which the US Campaign faxed to each Representative yesterday.
Talking Points on H. Con. Res. 322 and Israel 's 60th Anniversary
On Tuesday, April 22, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote under suspension on H. Con. Res. 322, "recognizing the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and reaffirming the bonds of close friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel ." In addition, Speaker Pelosi has reserved floor time each week through June for Representatives to make statements on Israel 's 60th anniversary.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 250 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law and equality for all, has prepared the following talking points for the consideration of Representatives voting on resolutions and making statements on the occasion of Israel's 60th anniversary.
* The establishment of the State of Israel was accompanied by the widespread ethnic cleansing and dispossession of indigenous Palestinians from their homes and lands. Israel destroyed at least 418 Palestinian villages and towns and caused to flee or forcibly exiled at least 711,000 Palestinians. Palestinians recall this record of destruction, dispossession, and ethnic cleansing as the Nakba, or "catastrophe", in Arabic.
* To this day, Israel has prevented these Palestinian refugees and their descendants, who now number nearly 4.5 million people, from exercising their right to return despite the fact that this right is guaranteed generally under international humanitarian law and specifically by UN General Assembly Resolution 194. Meanwhile, Israel adopted a law of return which guarantees Israeli citizenship to Jewish people worldwide. By treating people differently based on ethnicity or religion, Israel 's differential treatment of Palestinian refugees and Jewish immigrants is one manifestation of its apartheid policies.
* Palestinians who were not ethnically cleansed from their homes and lands in 1948 were given Israeli citizenship but remain subject to discriminatory policies. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship were forced to live under military occupation until 1966. The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel today counts more than 20 Israeli laws that explicitly discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel who comprise approximately 20% of Israel 's population. Palestinian citizens of Israel are also discriminated against in land use policies and Palestinian communities in Israel receive disproportionately less government funding than Jewish communities. The second-class citizenship of Palestinians in Israel and the discrimination they are subjected to are another manifestation of Israel 's apartheid policies.
* Since 1967, Israel has illegally occupied the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem , and Gaza Strip. Israel's brutal record of collective punishment, torture, killing of civilians, building illegal Israeli settlements, walls, barriers, and checkpoints is well-documented by Israeli, Palestinian, and international human rights organizations. The fact that Palestinians are subjected to military laws under perpetual military occupation while Israeli settlers are subjected to civil law and can drive on Israeli-only roads in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is yet another manifestation of Israel 's apartheid policies.
Given Israel 's 60-year record of ethnic cleansing, dispossession, discrimination, military occupation, and apartheid against Palestinians, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation urges Representatives not to vote for resolutions or make statements that fail to recognize the historic injustices that Israel has inflicted on the Palestinian people and the injustices that it continues to inflict daily. Members of Congress have an obligation to pass resolutions and make statements that accurately reflect the historical record and not unambiguously applaud the anniversary of countries such as Israel with such dismal human rights records.
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