Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Protest Siege of Gaza, Flotilla Attack at AIPAC MN 2010 event

Protest AIPAC at AIPAC’s 2010 Minnesota Annual Event

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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Obama must respond to Israeli attack on humanitarian flotilla

President Obama faces his first real challenge today after Israel attacked a humanitarian relief convoy in International waters, including 2 ships registered and flying the US flag, and killed more than a dozen civilians on a ship flying the Turkish flag. Turkey is a NATO member, and an attack on a ship of a NATO member country in the Mediterranean Sea is explicitly a trigger for a unified NATO response.

An early press release of the Turkish Foreign Ministry is reposted here: Press Release from Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs re: Flotilla Massacre

Please consider taking action to encourage Obama to end the siege and naval blockade of Gaza, to protect the lives of passengers and the badly needed humanitarian cargo of U.S. and NATO flagged ships in the flotilla. Obama must severely sanction Israel for this aggressive violation of International Law, which is essentially an act of war against the community of nations.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pelosi issues statement on Weiner Amendment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on Representative Anthony Weiner's single payer substitute amendment:

Within the next few days, the House will vote on the most comprehensive health care legislation in our history. Our bill will provide affordability to the middle class, security to our seniors, and responsibility to our children by not adding a dime to the deficit. While our bill contains unprecedented reforms, including an end to discrimination for pre-existing conditions and a prohibition on raising rates or dropping coverage if you become ill, our bill cannot include provisions some strongly advocated. The single payer alternative is one of those provisions that could not be included in H.R. 3962, but which has generated support within the Congress and throughout the country.

Congressman Anthony Weiner has been a forceful and articulate advocate for the single payer approach and our legislation. His decision not to offer a single payer amendment during consideration of H.R. 3962 is a correct one, and helps advance the passage of important health reforms by this Congress. While single payer, like other popular proposals, is not included in the consensus bill we will vote on this week, Congressman Weiner has been a tireless and effective advocate for progress on health care, and his work has been a vital part of achieving health care reform.

Released by the Speaker of the House on 11/06/2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Capitalism - A Love Story, trailer and review

Michael Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story" includes timeless and timely film footage of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's final State of the Union address where he introduced the idea of a Second Bill of Rights. Among those rights was "The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health".

On the eve of the release of the film, Michael Moore posted a critique of the current health care reform effort in Congress: Why the Current Bills Don't Solve Our Health Care Crisis. This article urged support for the Weiner Amendment - that Michael Moore's fans contact their member of Congress and ask them to vote for Representative Weiner's substitute amendment to transform the flawed HR 3200 into a Medicare for All solution.

The film depicts the successes and failures of America's political system under enormous financial pressures, perks like preferred loans and threats like 2008's financial meltdown right before an important election. The film is both shocking and necessarily inspiring. Michael Moore says he can't do it alone. He needs us to take action on the moral outrage he causes us to experience.

Take some positive action to help realize FDR's vision of a Second Bill of Rights. Take some affirmative step to further embolden and protect the progressive truth tellers in Congress he interviews on TARP. Encourage them to pass Medicare for All by voting for the Weiner Amendment. The Congressional switchboard number is: (202)224-3121

Friday, September 25, 2009

Petition calling on Obama to support progressive Rep. Keith Ellison

Here is a link to the google document version of the petition calling on Obama and his healthcare campaign OFA (the DNC really) to support Representative Keith Ellison on healthcare reform and issues of war and peace.

Please print out a few copies and collect signatures and send them in to the address of the Ellison campaign.

The Ellison campaign has held a few healthcare events, and OFA brought a petition to Ellison's annual Labor Day BBQ asking Keith to support the president's plan.

Keith Ellison has historically been a champion for the Conyers bill, HR 676, which is also supported by the Minnesota State Democratic-Farmer-Labor platform.

We need Keith to see that he has nationwide support for his faithful representation of the progressive, pro-peace political aspirations of Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District (Minneapolis and suburbs).

We need Keith to stand up to the ressure been imposed on him from those in the White House who have cut bad deals with PhRMA, etc.

We need a champion for the Weiner Amendment, and we need a champion for peace. Once, we had that in Keith Ellison.