Dangerous Moves on the Hill — Grassroots Action Needed

From the Churches for Middle East Peace, Americans for Peace Now, and Brit Tzedek

Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and John Ensign (R-NV) are currently circulating a sign-on letter to Secretary Rice. The letter expands sanctions against the Palestinian Authority by urging a ban on US contact with ALL members of the PA, if the unity government doesn’t meet the Quartet’s demands.

The letter seeks to block constructive US diplomacy with Palestinian moderates and severely undermines US efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

The Nelson-Ensign letter’s main request is that the US “continue to hold firm and insist that these very basic international principles do not change — no direct aid and no contacts with any members of a Palestinian Authority that does not explicitly and unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terror, and accept previous agreements.” This letter goes beyond current US policy and law by urging no contact with the entire Palestinian Authority, which would prevent diplomatic engagement with Palestinian moderates who seek peace with Israel, such as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and independent Salam Fayyad (likely to become the next Minister of Finance).

As Sec. Rice tries to reinvigorate the peace process, Palestinian political dynamics are continuing to unfold and the Palestinian economic situation remains dire. At this critical time when the US should be working with Palestinian moderates to influence the new government’s conduct, the Nelson-Ensign letter is promoting an approach that is counterproductive to US national security interests.

Call the Senate switchboard now to tell your member not to sign on to this letter:
(202) 224-3121

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

5 Comments on “Dangerous Moves on the Hill — Grassroots Action Needed”

  1. symphonyofdissent Says:

    As a floridian, I am personally ashamed that my senator, whom I thought was advocating broad dialog and discussion in the region due to his trip to Syria, would be sponsoring and advocating for such legislation. I will most certainly be making calls in condemnation

  2. Robert Gutman Says:

    Urging Israel to talk with an enemy that has sworn to kill it is not useful or safe. There is no precedent that such a thing has ever proven effective. The heartfelt desire of this and other organizations for an immediate peace is understandable. At the same time, it is potentially disruptive to a longer term peace. The underlying assumption that if only the Palestinians were “given” more that they would come to terms is belied by everything that has come before in this long struggle. Most recently, they have shown themselves more willing to attack, more willing to teach hatred, more willing to destroy their own possessions and people when Gaza was returned. Patience, dear friends, is a difficult but more endearing and enduring virtue.

    Robert Gutman

  3. Mary E. Graham Says:

    To counter the commeents by Robert Gutman, I suggest he read the article by Jame M. Well in the Christian Century, July 10, Gaza Showdown. Any effort to bring about an end to ALL the years of opresssion will do wonders to lead toward a more peaceful and secure life for both Palestinians and Israelis. Who will be couragous enought ot stand up for such justice, as Desmon Tutu did after South Africa’s apartheid? I doubt Sec. of State Rice has any such plans in her agenda, I wish I were wrong. There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.

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