Newsflash:
Lesli Messinger End Wars and Occupations Gaza Initiative - PDA End War & Occupation team
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 00:43

Gaza Initiative - PDA End War & Occupation team

Written by  Sandy Davies | PDA - End Wars and Occupations
Palestinian boys walk past a destroyed house in the north of Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip today. Palestinian boys walk past a destroyed house in the north of Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip today. Mohammed Saber/EPA

PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) shares the horror of the world at the slaughter of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We condemn violence against civilians by all sides.

We applaud efforts to secure a complete and lasting ceasefire. We support an immediate end to the Israeli-Egyptian military blockade of Gaza and a final end to the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in compliance with UNSCR 242 and other UN Security Council resolutions. The Israeli occupation has gone on far too long, in defiance of international law, without solutions, without hope. PDA's End War and Occupation team is committed to a future in which Israelis, Palestinians and people everywhere are free to thrive and prosper, free from war and occupation. Opinion polling during a crisis tends to reflect the passions of the moment, but Americans have told pollsters for decades that we want our government to take an unbiased position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A Chicago Council Global Views survey in 2012 found that 65% of Americans want the U.S. to "not take either side", while only 30% want it to "take Israel's side". That majority rose to 74% vs 17% at the height of the U.S. war in Iraq in 2004. There are three ways in which the U.S. effectively "takes Israel's side" in the conflict, and PDA's End War and Occupation team proposes significant changes in all three to reflect the even-handed approach that most Americans want. We believe that this is a critical moment, and that Members of Congress have a chance to play a vital role:

- Military aid. The U.S. has provided Israel with at least $73 billion in military aid and currently gives it $3.1 billion per year. Under the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act, the U.S. is obliged to suspend or terminate military aid when U.S. weapons are used against civilians or in other ways that violate international humanitarian law. These provisions have not been invoked or enforced in the case of Israel since 1982. (PDA's End War and Occupation team supports ending U.S. military aid to Israel until it withdraws from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).) U.S. law requires that military aid be suspended until alleged violations during the present crisis have been fully investigated.

- Diplomatic cover. Since 1966, the U.S. has used its UN Security Council veto 83 times, more than the other four Permanent Members combined. Forty-two of those vetoes have served to kill resolutions on Israel and Palestine, effectively shielding Israel from accountability under international law. Israel has taken advantage of this effective immunity from the rule of law to violate the Geneva Conventions and human rights laws, to continually expand its illegal settlements in the OPT and to ignore UN Security Council resolutions that require it to withdraw from the OPT. The U.S. also uses its diplomatic, military and economic power in other ways to shield Israel from international accountability. PDA's End War and Occupation team urges Members of Congress to challenge the use of our Security Council veto and American power to shield a foreign state from the rule of law.

- Moral support. Israel is now a wealthy, developed country with an advanced weapons industry. A cut-off of U.S. military aid would not in itself force the Israeli government to rethink its policy. But U.S. diplomatic and Congressional support is critical to the Israeli government's ability to ignore otherwise universal condemnation of its illegal settlement building, human rights abuses and failure to end the occupation. The UN General Assembly passed 21 resolutions on Israel-Palestine in 2013, mostly by at least 165-6, with the US and Israel in the minority. But the unconditional support of Congress confers a false sense of legitimacy on Israeli policies. It encourages the Israeli government to press ahead with an illegal territorial expansion that the world will never recognize, leading to endless conflict and growing international isolation. The role of Congress is therefore critical, and may even hold the key to a final resolution of this incredibly painful and long-running crisis.

PDA's End War and Occupation team urges Members of Congress and their staffs to educate themselves on the experiences and history of people on both sides of this conflict; to genuinely adopt the even-handed approach that most Americans want; to hold all sides accountable under U.S. and international law; and to stop supporting the continued occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Read 3977 times Last modified on Friday, 15 August 2014 13:23

Latest News from the Messinger Campaign

  • Savannah's Lesli Messinger gives Democrats best chance to beat Jack Kingston
    Savannah's Lesli Messinger gives Democrats best chance to beat Jack Kingston

    On Saturday, October 20, First Congressional District candidate Lesli Messinger visited Pin Point, Georgia and talked with locals about her candidacy and to listen to what issues those citizens believe are important.

    Messinger has traveled through her congressional district for months since her qualifying back in late May and has touted a strong progressive message and has been able to build grassroots coalitions.

    Written on Sunday, 21 October 2012 16:18 Read more...
  • Messinger Wins Race to Face Kingston
    Messinger Wins Race to Face Kingston

    Progressive Democrats say Congrats to U.S. Congressional GA District 1 Primary Winner Lesli Messinger. Lesli Messinger has claimed the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District Tuesday beating Nathan Russo in the Democratic Primary.  Unofficial results showed Messinger with 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Russo with 97 percent of the precincts reporting.

    Written on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 15:55 Read more...
  • Georgia’s Only Democratic Woman Candidate for Congress
    Georgia’s Only Democratic Woman Candidate for Congress

    Democrat Lesli Messinger seeks to end 20 years of Republican domination in coastal Georgia.  It’s a particularly difficult challenge to unseat an incumbent, and harder still for a Democrat in a Congressional District that’s been Republican-ruled for 20 years.

    Written on Friday, 27 July 2012 02:52 Read more...
  • Mickey Stephens backs Lesli Messinger for Congress
    Mickey Stephens backs Lesli Messinger for Congress

    State Rep. Mickey Stephens, D-Savannah, has endorsed Lesli Messinger for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

    Messinger, a Savannah businesswoman, is running against Nathan Russo, a retired St. Simons businessman, in Tuesday’s primary.

    The winner will face Republican incumbent Jack Kingston, who is seeking a 10th term.  Last year’s boundary changes left the district with a GOP tilt, but less pronounced than in the past.

    The endorsement apparently is intended to buttress Messinger’s claim to be a stauncher Democrat than Russo and a loyal supporter of  President Barack Obama.

    Russo has argued that, to beat Kingston in the district, a Democrat must make a strong appeal to many independents and at least some Republicans.

    Stephens prefaces his statement by saying he’s “a lifelong member of the Democratic Party for over 30 years.”  

    “Not only does Mrs. Messinger have fresh new ideas that I feel truly represent the people of our district, and the state of Georgia,” he said. “She is a proud supporter of President Obama’s policies. I know Messinger will stand with President Obama in Congress, on a true Democratic front with other members of Congress.”

    Written on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00
  • U.S. House District 1: Lesli Messinger says she speaks for middle class
    U.S. House District 1: Lesli Messinger says she speaks for middle class

    Lesli Messinger moved to Skidaway Island four years ago, she says, to escape the “dark and dreary” environs of New Jersey. But Messinger says she found darkness and dreariness near the tranquil community where she and her husband, Nathan, relocated. She says she met women who couldn’t afford cookies for their grandchildren and people whose jobless benefits were expiring.

    Written on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 00:00 Read more...

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

PDA Radio

Listen "Live" Wednesday, 9/17/2014 @ 8pm
RevYearwood

Rev. Lennox Yearwood
Special Guest Bill McKibben

Call In Number 347-202-0385

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

Like Lesli Messinger

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of