Friday, July 8, 2011

an emergency for Americans

Here's a letter I've sent to everyone on my contact list...

Please bear with me and read what follows - I am frightened of the immediate danger of another war. You and every ordinary American are needed to act because in one critical area we have lost control of our Congress and because of this we may shortly be committed to a new war that Americans do not want.

Consider the following facts.

>Never in the history of the United States has there been any topic not open to debate in Congress until now - on one topic.

>Not one Democrat, not one Republican will raise any question on this topic. Even the Tea Party is silent. Senator Rand Paul made a single comment about the money involved and immediately went silent earlier this year.

>In a time of economic stress that questions even Social Security and Medicare, funding on this topic is off limits unless it is a vote to increase the amount granted.

>The NRA, AARP, agribusiness, the unions, the oil companies, the banking industry - the issues of all these groups are debated. On this one topic - no debate.

Standing alone, unquestioned, beyond debate, is Israel.

Yet, the height of irony, in the Israeli Knesset debate is completely open on policies that, once determined, the United States rubber-stamps without question.

The world's superpower is captive to the government of a tiny foreign country on the other side of the world. This is a recipe for disaster. You must act.

Not one of the 435 Representatives and 100 Senators in Congress will question any aspect of U.S. policy toward Israel. President Obama is extremely careful in what he says as well.

Instead, the Prime Minister of Israel dictates what he will and will not do - and U.S. support will be continued no matter what he does.

When Israel takes any action in foreign affairs that calls for debate, instead the U.S. House or Senate will within 24 hours have a resolution of support ready, often initiated by Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, with many eager co-sponsors not even needing to be asked to do so, because this is evidence at election time of support for Israel.

Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to Congress. He could hardly get out a sentence without a standing ovation. Every member of Congress was eager to be seen cheering vigorously. The sight of this should have been disquieting at the least to anyone who loves democracy, as this was evidence that we the people are no longer running our Congress when it comes to Israel.

The funding that backers of Israel can put into election campaigns has muted all debate. Anyone who questions unlimited support for Israel knows he/she will be marked for defeat and the process is so effective that all are now silent and obedient. Standing always ready for use against legislators who raise questions is the accusation of anti-Semitism. Our legislators are completely intimidated.

In races for office, when the subject of Israel comes up there is a contest for who can speak more loudly in support of that tiny foreign country with a population about that of the Chicago area. In the last election for U.S. Representative from my district, Jan Schakowsky, a veteran supporter of Israel, was challenged by an even more fierce advocate, Joel Pollack. This is typical.

Israel is guaranteed over $3.5 billion minimum every year, the number one recipient of our foreign aide, yet a thriving economy. This is augmented by additional funds voted throughout the year by Congress. The base amount is pledged over ten year periods and has only increased each time it comes up for renewal. Our current economic crisis has had no effect on this. We can cut back spending on Americans but we can't do enough for Israelis.

This email is a plea to you to not maintain silence. Now is the time to make your voice heard for a very serious reason. In September the United Nations is likely to vote on a Palestinian state. Israel is determined, no matter what it takes, to defeat this effort.

There is good reason to believe that it may attack Iran to divert attention from the vote on Palestine, since it knows the U.S. would automatically come into the war on its side. Please read this excellent article for the evidence that this might happen.

Can we possibly get into another war just as we are eager to get out of Afghanistan? Yes, because of the subservience of Congress. Any impulsive act by Israel would automatically bring U.S. support. Congress has no idea how to act in relation to Israel other than in the robotic manner it does now. Israel has been continually threatening a pre-emptive attack on Iran.

It is imperative that you write your representatives and senators now. The Israel lobby relies on citizen indifference, ignorance and apathy so that the wealth and power of a relative few Americans can exert the control it does. You as an American citizen must make a showing of your independence and demand Congress do likewise. Let Congress know that you are watching them too. There is absolutely no topic that should be beyond debate in Congress. Most Americans never write (or email) their people in Congress. Please do so to demand that there must be debate and no automatic joining of an Israeli-initiated war with Iran.

Here are some useful links

Write your representative
Senators of the 112th Congress

Council for the National Interest (a group dedicated to freeing Congress from the Israel lobby - started by IL Rep Paul Findlay in the 1980's)
AIPAC - the unrivaled lobby (written by former AIPAC employee M.J. Rosenberg)
Jewish Voice for Peace (Jews who object to Israeli policies)
If Americans Knew (started by a reporter, Alison Weir, with the goal of informing Americans about what they are supporting in Israel)

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