Wednesday, June 30, 6:00 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota, East Bank,
300 Oak Street Southeast, Minneapolis (map)
Without debate or hearings, and with only one principled objection, AIPAC has pushed a libelous resolution through the US Senate, Cornyn's S. Res. 548, which branded the flotilla participants as "extremists". In reality, the flotilla represented the mainstream view of the UN and European Union, that the siege of Gaza must be lifted immediately. A growing number of Americans and their representatives in Congress have come to that position as well. AIPAC's position does not support the peace process. Sen. Bingaman stated in his opposition to the Cornyn resolution:
This resolution speaks to this so-called 'flotilla incident' that occurred a few weeks ago near Gaza. I am concerned that this resolution does not help either the United States or Israel. I support Israel. I have done so during all my years here in the Senate. But I also believe that the only way to ensure Israel's long-term security is to have a genuine peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. This resolution does not bring us closer to that peace.
No one questions Israel's right to defend itself. I know that questions have been raised about the relationship between the Humanitarian Relief Foundation and Hamas, and I am concerned about those questions and they need to be answered.
But I am also concerned that Israel's response to the flotilla and the deaths onboard the Mavi Marmara once again shows to Israel's enemies that they can provoke Israel into taking actions that undermine international support for Israel.
Nor does this resolution talk about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Israel has allowed humanitarian supplies into Gaza, but it is evident from the conditions in Gaza that those supplies have not been sufficient. One U.S. charity estimates that 400 trucks of basic food supplies are needed in Gaza every day, but on average only 171 trucks of basic nutritional aid enter Gaza each week.
One more obvious point is the Senate has not fully debated this resolution. There have been no hearings on the flotilla incident or any version of this resolution in either the Senate or in the House. To my knowledge, the administration has not expressed its views on this resolution either. I believe with regard to foreign policy matters, the administration should always be consulted.
The AIPAC-sponsored letters and resolutions do not serve the US, Israel or the Middle East Peace Process.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), describes itself as the most important organization affecting the U.S. relationship with Israel. AIPAC has only one objective: strengthening American support for the state of Israel through creation of a "special relationship" between the two countries. Because Congress and the White House are fearful of confronting AIPAC, they give in to AIPAC’s demands no matter what the impact on the U.S. or the Mideast might be, enabling Israel to commit flagrant human rights abuses and violations of international law. AIPAC supports endless conflict in the Middle East by lobbying for billions of dollars in U.S. Military Aid to Israel and continued occupation of Palestinian land. AIPAC works to insure that Israel is provided with U.S. military aid and weapons at the cost of more than $3 billion each year. Our helicopters, bullets and bombs are killing Palestinians. Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” attack on
Gaza, which killed 1400 civilians including 352 children, was carried out with U.S.-funded and manufactured helicopters, tanks, rockets and phosphorus bombs. AIPAC also regularly provides a platform for Christian Zionist extremists to foment their anti-Muslim/Arab racism and their call to unbridled militarism. If you would like to be a peace marshal, please arrive at 5:15 p.m. Sponsored by: The Coalition for Palestinian Rights (CPR). Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) is a member of CPR.