For the past week, I have been figuring out how to introduce the recently passed House Resolution 4681- The Palestinian Anti Terrorism Act- to this blog.
Since this blog actively called for action among its readers to contact the Egyptian Embassy against the arrest of an Egyptian Activist , I thought why not post an action alert that would serve as informative and is action oriented.
Below is an ADC action alert on HR 4681 and S2370. Though HR 4681 has already been passed, the Senate Resolution 2370- sponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - is still on its way.
I hope to update this blog on this subject whenever i can.
For now, enjoy reading the House debate, who voted for and against the resolution, Congresswoman Betty McCollum's letter and what S2370 entails.
For those who are U.S. citizens...take some action! :)
Palestinian Bill Passes House
HR 4681 Passes, S2370 Now Under Consideration
Legislative Update on Palestinian Sanctions Bill
Washington, DC May 24, 2006 Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed HR 4681, The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 by a vote of 361- 37, with 9 members voting present and 25 not voting on the bill. As HR 4681 had 295 cosponsors before it reached the floor, passage was certain; however, a tremendous grassroots campaign against the bill showed the bill’s sponsors the enormous amount of national opposition to their efforts. Your calls and letters also brought on an unprecedented frank debate about our nation’s policies concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lasting over three hours on the floor of the House of Representatives. To read the full transcript of the debate click here.
To find out how your Member of Congress voted, see the roll call vote for HR 4681. Please take a moment to contact your Representative to thank them for voting against or present on HR 4681 or tell them you were disappointed they supported the bill. Contact information can be found here.
Members of Congress face tremendous pressure when voting on legislation concerning Palestine. A staffer for a congressional member on the House International Relations Committee who during committee consideration voted against HR 4681, was told his boss’s ‘support for terrorists would not be tolerated,’ by one interest group. Read Congresswoman Betty McCollum’s (D-MN) letter to that organization at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/19063. ADC encourages our members to thank Congresswoman McCollum for her courageous stand at (202) 225-6631 and those like her who support a more balanced approach to our country’s relations with Israel and Palestine, one that is truly in America’s best interests.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is deeply disappointed with the House of Representatives for approaching this conflict with punitive one-sided legislation that will do nothing to further peace between Israelis and Palestinians, will further isolate Palestinian moderates, and enhance the power of extremists. Increasing the impending humanitarian disaster in the West Bank and Gaza by adding more restrictions to American and international humanitarian aid will not change the results of a democratic election. Passage of HR 4681 will only limit options for the Administration, sever contact with moderate Palestinians, solidify anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, and add to another growing chaotic situation in the region.
ADC and its coalition partners, working for a just and lasting peace to the ongoing conflict, met with dozens of offices on Capitol Hill and delivered a list of over 300 national organizations opposed to HR 4681. Thousands of you emailed and called your House representatives about your opposition to the affect the bill’s draconian measures would have upon the Palestinian people and how it would limit America’s diplomatic leverage in seeking a resolution to the conflict. Despite the bill’s passage your efforts made a tremendous difference. As more Members of Congress learned of constituent and organizational opposition to the Palestinian sanctions bill they were able to speak and vote against this measure.
Attention will now shift to the United States Senate as it considers S. 2370 sponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Although the Senate Palestinian Sanctions bill is not as draconian as the House bill, ADC still encourages our members to contact both of their senators asking them to oppose S 2370. Contact information can be found here.