Keeping an Eye on Congress

In recent weeks, several Members of Congress have put forth a couple of resolutions that, at the least, draw attention back to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process amid the focus on myriad other important issues.  The first, a resolution put forth by Rep. Susan Davis, calls for the appointment of a special envoy to the Middle East peace process.  While it is unclear how far this resolution will move as Secretary Rice appears to have become herself reengaged, it is important to continue spurring the dialogue on how the U.S. can maximize its ability to move the peace process forward. 

The second, a resolution sponsored by House Committee on Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcomittee Chair Gary Ackerman, focuses on calling for the release of the captured Israeli soldiers from the hands of Hezbollah and Hamas, but importantly it also says that the “House of Representatives expresses” the following:  “its strong support and deep interest in achieving a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of a viable and independent Palestinian state living in peace alongside of the State of Israel.”  The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will consider that resolution Thursday morning.

The text of both resolutions follows the jump.

HRES 143 IH
110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 143
Urging the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 8, 2007
Mrs. DAVIS of California (for herself, Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Ms. MCCOLLUM of Minnesota, Mr. SNYDER, Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin, Mr. ELLISON, Mr. PRICE of North Carolina, Mr. SCHIFF, Mr. KLEIN of Florida, and Ms. SCHWARTZ) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
——————————————————————————–
RESOLUTION
Urging the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

Whereas peace and stability inside the Middle East have a direct and immediate impact on the national security of the United States and our allies around the world;

Whereas diplomacy must be made a central component of United States policy in the Middle East;

Whereas the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories has substantially deteriorated since 2000;

Whereas it is directly in the national interest of the United States to reengage both sides of this dispute in an urgent manner;

Whereas the creation of a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians will reduce tension in the region and help repair America’s image in the international community;

Whereas a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute will have a positive influence on the overall Arab-Israeli conflict and help reduce Iranian influence in the region;

Whereas if the United States is unwilling to take a lead in facilitating real sustained negotiations, powers hostile to the United States and our interests may seek to fill the leadership vacuum; and

Whereas the United States must be proactive in this endeavor: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the President should appoint a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

HRES 107 IH
110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 107
Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 30, 2007
Mr. ACKERMAN (for himself, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. PENCE, and Mr. HASTINGS of Florida) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
——————————————————————————–
RESOLUTION
Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah, and for other purposes.

Whereas Israel completed its withdrawal from southern Lebanon on May 24, 2000;

Whereas on June 18, 2000, the United Nations Security Council welcomed and endorsed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report that Israel had withdrawn completely from Lebanon under the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (1978);

Whereas Israel completed its withdrawal from Gaza on September 12, 2005;

Whereas on June 25, 2006, Hamas and allied terrorists crossed into Israel to attack a military post, killing two soldiers and wounding a third, Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped;

Whereas on July 12, 2006, Hezbollah terrorists crossed into Israel to attack Israeli troops patrolling the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon, killing three, wounding two, and kidnapping Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev;

Whereas Gilad Shalit has been held in captivity by Hamas for more than 7 months;

Whereas Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev have been held in captivity by Hezbollah for more than 6 months;

Whereas Hamas and Hezbollah have withheld all information on the health and welfare of the men they have kidnapped; and

Whereas, contrary to the most basic standards of humanitarian conduct, Hamas and Hezbollah have prevented access to the Israeli captives by competent medical personnel and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) demands that–

(A) Hamas immediately and unconditionally release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit;

(B) Hezbollah accept the mandate of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006) by immediately and unconditionally releasing Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev; and

(C) Hezbollah and Hamas accede to the most basic standards of humanitarian conduct and allow prompt access to the Israeli captives by competent medical personnel and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross;

(2) expresses–

(A) its vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders;

(B) its strong support and deep interest in achieving a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of a viable and independent Palestinian state living in peace alongside of the State of Israel;

(C) its ongoing concern and sympathy for the families of Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, and Eldad Regev; and

(D) its full commitment to seek the immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli captives; and

(3) condemns–

(A) Hamas and Hezbollah for the cross border attacks and kidnappings which precipitated weeks of intensive armed conflict between Israel, Hezbollah, and armed Palestinian groups; and

(B) Iran and Syria, the primary state sponsors of global terrorism and the patrons of Hezbollah and Hamas, for their ongoing support for international terrorism.

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Explore posts in the same categories: CALME Updates, Israel, Middle East, Middle East Peace, Palestinians, Two State Solution, U.S. Role

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