Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ohio Congressman Boehner proposes resolution endorsing murder of civilians in Lebanon


(Washington, DC - 7/19/06) -- The Muslim Public Affairs Council calls on all people of conscience to contact their local representatives and urge them to vote against resolution House Resolution 921, which calls for the House of Representatives to "reaffirm its steadfast support for the state of Israel" and "supports Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it."

The resolution, introduced by Congressman John Boehner (R-Ohio) yesterday, is a one-sided distortion of recent events that commends "Israel's longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss". H. Res. 921 makes no mention of the more than 200 Lebanese killed or the devastation wrought against a country destroyed again after so many years rebuilding from its civil war. Nor does it mention the 85 Palestinians killed in Gaza in recent weeks or the crippled Palestinian Authority which is struggling to rebound yet again (See below for full text of resolution).

As American Muslims, it is our civic duty to reach out to our respective representatives to express the need for Congress and the administration to demonstrate an even-handed approach to the crisis, and to demand an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and condemn the continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian and Lebanese people.
"We must make our voices heard in order to do all that we can to bring an end to this merciless round of violence, and to restore the sanctity of all civilian life," said MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati. "Silence at this time is detrimental to our nation's interests."

1. Click here to find the name, phone number and email address of your members of Congress.

2. Write a letter, make a phone call or send a fax to your elected official using the following talking points and URGE them to oppose H. Res. 921:

It is in America's best interest to demand an immediate, unconditional ceasefire to halt the violence and demonstrate its commitment to acting as a fair and honest broker for peace in the region. Congress should call on President Bush to immediately appoint and dispatch a Middle East envoy with the full authority of the President to lead US diplomatic efforts. Media reports indicate that the Administration will wait another week to allow Israel to accomplish its mission before getting involved. Violence is intensifying and the opportunity to reduce the loss of civilian life is in the hands of the U.S.

In an attempt to weaken Hezbollah, Israel is subjecting the Palestinian and Lebanese people to collective punishment. It is a violation of international law to subject Palestinians and Lebanese to collective punishment as a result of Hezbollah and Hamas' actions.

A massive humanitarian crisis is developing in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip. Nearly 500,000 Lebanese have been displaced from their homes, major roads and power plants have been destroyed, and more than 440 injured civilians have no access to medical treatment. The United States has a long and well-regarded record of humanitarian assistance and Congress must work with the Administration to maintain US support for Palestinian and Lebanese civil society. Humanitarian and economic relief are desperately needed in order to foster any hope that a diplomatic resolution to the conflict is possible.

Starving the Lebanese and Palestinians will not increase Israel's security. Remaining positively engaged with the region is in the national security interest of the United States. America's involvement in the on-going conflict is a main factor in determining our image throughout the Arab and Muslim world. The establishment of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is in the best interest of our country as well as Palestinians and Israelis.

[CONTACT: Edina Lekovic, 213-383-3443,]

9th CONGRESS 2d Session H. RES. 921
Condemning the recent attacks against the State of Israel, holding terrorists and their state-sponsors accountable for such attacks, supporting Israel's right to defend itself, and for other purposes.

Mr. JOHN BOEHNER (for himself, Mr. HENRY HYDE, and Mr. TOM LANTOS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations


Condemning the recent attacks against the State of Israel, holding terrorists and their state-sponsors accountable for such attacks, supporting Israel's right to defend itself, and for other purposes.

Whereas on September 12, 2005, Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, demonstrating its willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of peace;

Whereas more than 1,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since Israel's disengagement;

Whereas in a completely unprovoked attack that occurred in undisputed Israeli territory on June 25, 2006, Israeli Defense Forces Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and is being held hostage in Gaza by a Palestinian terrorist group which includes members of Hamas; Whereas Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, in Damascus, Syria, has acknowledged the role of Hamas in holding Corporal Shalit hostage;

Whereas in a completely unprovoked attack that occurred in undisputed Israeli territory on July 12, 2006, operatives of the terrorist group Hezbollah operating out of southern Lebanon killed three Israeli soldiers and took two others hostage;

Whereas Israel fully complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (1978) by completely withdrawing its forces from Lebanon, as certified by the United Nations Security Council and affirmed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on June 16, 2000, when he said, 'Israel has withdrawn from [Lebanon] in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425.';

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (2004) calls for the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon and the dismantlement of all independent militias in Lebanon;

Whereas despite the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559, the Government of Lebanon has failed to disband and disarm Hezbollah, allowing Hezbollah instead to amass 13,000 rockets, including rockets that are more destructive, longer-range and more accurate than rockets previously used by Hezbollah, and has integrated Hezbollah into the Lebanese Government;

Whereas the Government of Israel has previously shown great restraint despite the fact that Hezbollah has launched at least four separate attacks into Israel using rockets and ground forces over the past year;

Whereas the failure of the Government of Lebanon to implement all aspects of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 and to extend its authority throughout its territory has enabled Hezbollah to launch armed attacks against Israel and recently to kidnap Israeli soldiers;
Whereas Hezbollah's strength derives significantly from the direct financial, military, and political support it receives from Syria and Iran, and Hezbollah also receives important support from sources within Lebanon;

Whereas Iranian Revolutionary Guards continue to operate in southern Lebanon, providing support to Hezbollah and reportedly controlling its operational activities;

Whereas the Government of the United States has enacted several laws, including the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-175) and the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172), which call for the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Iran for, among other things, their support for terrorism and terrorist organizations;

Whereas the House of Representatives has repeatedly called for full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559;

Whereas section 1224 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) withholds certain assistance to Lebanon contingent on the deployment of the Lebanese armed forces to the internationally recognized border between Lebanon and Israel and its effective assertion of authority in the border area in order, among other reasons, to prevent cross-border infiltration by terrorists, precisely the criminal activity that has provoked the current crisis;

Whereas President George W. Bush stated on July 12, 2006, `Hezbollah's terrorist operations threaten Lebanon's security and are an affront to the sovereignty of the Lebanese Government. Hezbollah's actions are not in the interest of the Lebanese people, whose welfare should not be held hostage to the interests of the Syrian and Iranian regimes.', and has repeatedly affirmed that Syria and Iran must be held to account for their shared responsibility in the recent attacks;

Whereas the United States recognizes that some members of the democratically-elected Lebanese parliament are working to build an autonomous and sovereign Lebanon and supports their efforts; and

Whereas both Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist and call for the destruction of Israel: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) reaffirms its steadfast support for the State of Israel;(2) condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for engaging in unprovoked and reprehensible armed attacks against Israel on undisputed Israeli territory, for taking hostages, for killing Israeli soldiers, and for continuing to indiscriminately target Israeli civilian populations with their rockets and missiles;(3) further condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for cynically exploiting civilian populations as shields, locating their equipment and bases of operation, including their rockets and other armaments, amidst civilian populations, including in homes and mosques;(4) recognizes Israel's longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss and welcomes Israel's continued efforts to prevent civilian casualties;(5) demands the Governments of Iran and Syria to direct Hamas and Hezbollah to immediately and unconditionally release Israeli soldiers which they hold captive;(6) affirms that all governments that have provided continued support to Hamas or Hezbollah share responsibility for the hostage-taking and attacks against Israel and, as such, should be held accountable for their actions;(7) condemns the Governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas in their armed attacks against Israelis and their other terrorist activities;(8) supports Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it, which is in accordance with international law, including Article 51 of the United Nations Charter;(9) commends the President of the United States for fully supporting Israel as it responds to these armed attacks by terrorist organizations and their state sponsors;(10) urges the President of the United States to bring the full force of political, diplomatic, and economic sanctions available to the Government of the United States against the Governments of Syria and Iran;(11) demands the Government of Lebanon to do everything in its power to find and free the kidnapped Israeli soldiers being held in the territory of Lebanon;(12) calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn these unprovoked acts and to take action to ensure full and immediate implementation of United Nations Security Council 1559 (2004), which requires Hezbollah to be dismantled and the departure of all Syrian personnel and Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Lebanon;(13) expresses its condolences to all families of innocent victims of recent violence; and(14) declares its continued commitment to working with Israel and other United States allies in combating terrorism worldwide.