The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation revealed today the text of a secret anti-Palestinian resolution to be voted on by the House of Representatives later in the day. The full text of the draft resolution, not yet made public officially, is reprinted below.*
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Howard Berman, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, condemns Palestinian efforts to establish an independent state.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” that the worst stumbling block to freedom’s advance is the person who “paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s [or woman’s] freedom.”
This is exactly what Rep. Berman’s resolution seeks to do: subjugate Palestinian freedom and self-determination to Israel’s indefinite timeline. As MLK said, “‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.'”
According to Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director, “Palestinians have waited patiently for an independent state since the UN recommended the establishment of it in 1947. Over many decades, Israel has shown repeatedly that it prefers to colonize and occupy Palestinian land, rather than see the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. Rep. Berman should be ashamed of pushing through Congress a secret resolution that seeks to further delay Palestinian freedom and self-determination.”
According to Rob Mosrie, Executive Director, “The Palestinian people have a right to self-determination and they are right in exercising that right through the United Nations. The United States has neither the moral authority nor the mandate of the American people to try to block that right. Once again, we see the United States government proving that it is an obstacle to a legitimate peace process, and a dishonest broker that only supports one side in one of the world’s last remaining situations of occupation and disenfranchisement. Our forbears and champions of civil rights would be outraged, were they to witness Congressman Berman’s complete disregard for the democratic process and for inalienable rights.”
Supporting a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state, and for other purposes.
Whereas a true and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties;
Whereas Palestinian leaders have repeatedly threatened to declare unilaterally a Palestinian state and to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations and other international forums;
Whereas Palestinian leaders are reportedly pursuing a coordinated strategy of seeking recognition of a Palestinian state within the United Nations, in other international forums, and from a number of foreign governments;
Whereas on November 24, 2010, Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, wrote to the President of Brazil, requesting that the Government of Brazil recognize a Palestinian state, with the hope that such an action would encourage other countries likewise to recognize a Palestinian state;
Whereas on December 1, 2010, in response to Abbas’s letter, the Government of Brazil unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state;
Whereas on December 6, 2010, the Government of Argentina announced its decision to recognize unilaterally a Palestinian state, and the Government of Uruguay announced that it would unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state in 2011;
Whereas, on March 11, 1999, the Senate adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 5, and on March 16, 1999, the House of Representatives adopted House Concurrent Resolution 24, both of which resolved that ”any attempt to establish Palestinian statehood outside the negotiating process will invoke the strongest congressional opposition”;
Whereas Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stated on October 20, 2010, that ”There is no substitute for face-to-face discussion and, ultimately, for an agreement that leads to a just and lasting peace.”;
Whereas, on November 5, 2010, United States Department of State Spokesman Mark Toner, responding to a questions about the Palestinians possibly taking action to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations, said, ”[T]he only way that we’re going to get a comprehensive peace is through direct negotiations, and anything that might affect those direct negotiations we feel is not helpful and not constructive”;
Whereas Secretary Clinton stated on November 10, 2010, that ”we have always said and I continue to say that negotiations between the parties is the only means by which all of the outstanding claims arising out of the conflict can be resolved. . . There can be no progress until they actually come together and explore where areas of agreement are and how to narrow areas of disagreement. So we do not support unilateral steps by either party that could prejudge the outcome of such negotiations.”;
Whereas on December 7, 2010, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley stated, ”We don’t think that we should be distracted from the fact that the only way to resolve the core issues within the process is through direct negotiations.”;
Whereas Secretary Clinton state on December 10, 2010, that “it is only a negotiated agreement between the parties that will be sustainable”;
Whereas the Government of Israel has made clear that it would reject a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence, has repeatedly affirmed that the conflict should be resolved through direct negotiations with the Palestinians, and has repeatedly called on the Palestinian leadership to return to direct negotiations; and
Whereas efforts to bypass negotiations and to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state, or to appeal to the United Nations or other international forums or to foreign governments for recognition of a Palestinian state, would violate the underlying principles of the Oslo Accords, the Road Map, and other relevant Middle East peace process efforts;
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives —
(1) Reaffirms its strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states, a democratic, Jewish state of Israel and a viable, democratic Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition;
(2) reaffirms its strong opposition to any attempt to establish or seek recognition of a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians;
(3) urges Palestinian leaders to —
(A) cease all efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including efforts to gain recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and calls upon foreign governments not to extend such recognition; and
(B) resume direct negotiations with Israel immediately;
(4) supports the Obama Administration’s opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state;
(5) Calls upon the Administration to:
(a) lead a diplomatic effort to persuade other nations to oppose a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and to oppose recognition of a Palestinian state by other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians; and
(b) affirm that the United States would (i) deny recognition to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state and (ii) veto any resolution by the United Nations Security Council to establish or recognize a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated by the two parties.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 325 organizations working to end Israeli apartheid and Israel’s illegal 43-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and to change US policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. For additional information, please see: <www.endtheoccupation.org>.