54 congresspeople who penned brave Gaza letter may be only 53 now

on 17 Comments

Israel lobbyists are calling the 54 brave congresspeople who signed the letter to Obama against the Gaza blockade "the gang of 54," and trying to light a fire under em. One of them has cold feet. From Arutz Sheva wire:

At least one of the signatories to the letter, U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY), has apparently withdrawn her signature, change her political attitude when the issue hit a little closer to home. A long-standing representative of the Brooklyn community of Crown Heights, Clarke recently joined a photo-op snapped with Brooklyn Jewish community leaders who had gathered donations for the earthquake-stricken people of Haiti. 

“We all see the swift and expert work of Israeli doctors and rescue teams on the ground almost immediately following the 7.0 earthquake,” she told reporters covering the event at the time. “The Jewish response to the pain of others is legendary — and today’s gathering is a continuation of the special heart the Jewish community always shows in times of crisis.”

Is this a story in the US? No one seems to be covering this climbdown, if that’s what it is. And here in the New Jersey Jewish News, pressure on three congresspeople from Jersey who took a stand.

17 Responses

  1. Citizen
    February 4, 2010, 1:38 am

    The Israelis helped out for two weeks. Who’s still there besides the USA?

  2. Citizen
    February 4, 2010, 1:53 am

    Well, progress comes slowly; 53 now, was only 3 in the early 1970’s. Hopefully a few
    Palestinians will still be alive when a majority of the US congress wake up or simply stand on principle and refuse to be a whore for AIPAC:
    link to wallwritings.wordpress.com

  3. Citizen
    February 4, 2010, 2:06 am

    Looks like it will soon be 52:
    link to israelmatzav.blogspot.com

    BTW, I think Clarke has also backed off her support of the Goldstone Report. A group of honcho Jews convinced her she was not presenting a balanced view of the situation. Heh.

  4. Cliff
    February 4, 2010, 4:19 am

    The Jewish response to the pain of others is legendary

    Pandering hack.

    • Chu
      February 4, 2010, 10:03 am

      That comment can be read for good or bad.

  5. Richard Parker
    February 4, 2010, 5:47 am

    Paul Findley was a classic case of the destruction of a career by AIPAC.

    Findley lost his House seat as a member of the Illinois delegation in 1982, abruptly rejected by the voters after serving his district for 22 years.
    Findley’s defeat came when AIPAC supported Dick Durbin, a young Springfield Democratic attorney running against him after Findley openly called on then-President Ronald Reagan to open relations with the Palestine Libration Organization.

    link to acjna.org
    But Clarke still has her signature on the letter, which is out in the open. She can’t withdraw that.
    link to pulsemedia.org
    So this news has not made it into the US MSM. Well, read some other sources -although they also may ignore petty US congresswomen’s turnabouts – that’s hardly a publishable fact to the rest of the world, who know that Congress is wholly owned by AIPAC

    • Cliff
      February 4, 2010, 5:53 am

      How did Findley get the boot, instantly? Who didn’t vote for him?

      • homingpigeon
        February 4, 2010, 8:41 am

        In these situations it may not necessarily be a local Zionist constituency that gives the politician the boot. The district might be Cornfield, Midwest, and the people scarcely aware of where Israel is. When the politician fails to toe the line, the AIPAC apparatus sends money to the opponent. By and large the candidate who raises the most money wins. The candidate who disobeys Israel would then be defeated for issues that on the surface have nothing to do with the Middle East. The sharmoot who promises to obey the Lobby gets the campaign financing and wins.

      • Richard Parker
        February 4, 2010, 9:13 am

        homingpigeon You are quite right. It is the Israeli money going to the opponent that counts. The one who doesn’t get that help, for advertising costs, etc, loses.
        By the way, the word is spelled ‘sharmuta’ which means ‘whore’ in Arabic.

  6. Richard Parker
    February 4, 2010, 6:04 am

    The report from Arutz Sheva, cited by Philip, is a nonsense:

    (IsraelNN.com) An American-Israeli action group has strongly criticized a group of 54 U.S. Congress members for accusing Israel of inflicting “collective punishment” on the residents of Gaza.
    Harvey Schwartz, chairman of the nonprofit American Israeli Action Coalition (AIAC), called the Congress members’ charge “preposterous,” and said it “amounts to nothing more than outright, outrageous Israel-bashing.”
    The AIAC is a nonprofit organization
    based in Jerusalem that represents the more than 250,000 U.S. citizens living in Israel.

    If I was to write a cartoon series depicting Israeli influence on US politicians, then I would name the main protagonist ‘Harvey Schwartz’. I’m working on it.

    The 54 lawmakers, all Democrats, called on President Barack Obama in a recent letter to pressure Israel into lifting its blockade on Gaza. The letter charged that “the blockade imposed by Israel… following Hamas’ coup and particularly following Operation Cast Lead [imposed a] de facto collective punishment… of the residents of the Gaza Strip.”

    Which was no more than the genuine truth.

  7. Cliff
    February 4, 2010, 6:11 am

    “Israel bashing”

    The same old bullshit. Zionists always try to emotionally blackmail people.

  8. Richard Parker
    February 4, 2010, 6:14 am

    If a quarter-million Americans living in Israel, that shitty, piddling little Levantine country want to get out of it at some time, who is going to rescue them?

  9. Rehmat
    February 4, 2010, 7:02 am

    Cynthia McKinney is another example that no resident of the White House could speak the truth. Chaim Weisman was very honest when he said: “Let the British or anyone talk about Zionism and they can use our terminolgy, but we know what the meaning of it is. It has one meaning to us, one meaning to Gentiles”.

    How the West got fooled
    link to rehmat1.wordpress.com

  10. Oscar
    February 4, 2010, 9:07 am

    Too late for AIPAC to try to put the genie back in the bottle. A weakened Obama is going through backchannels to respond to the Gaza letter, and though Ethan Bronner will never report on it in the Times, here’s Haaretz:

    The United States has suggested to Israel that easing the Gaza blockade would help counter the fallout from the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead a year ago . . . The U.S. message on the blockade was relayed last week when a Foreign Ministry delegation met in Washington with senior officials from the State Department and the White House. Much of the meeting dealt with steps that Israel could take to help the United States and others block the Goldstone report and prevent it from reaching the International Criminal Court in The Hague . . . The delegation met with officials including the U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, Michael Posner, and President Barack Obama’s adviser on human rights, Samantha Power. [emphasis mine]

    . . . A main message of the U.S. officials was that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was directly linked to the ability of Israel’s critics to push the Goldstone report forward and the ability to block the report’s consequences.

    Posner, . . stressed that the document has two angles: “one humanitarian the other multilateral. Improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza may be an important component of the change in the attitude of the international community toward Israel and will be very helpful against the Goldstone report.”

    The Americans said they do not believe in the policy of preventing goods from reaching the Gaza population because of the political situation there. “We do not accept the current situation at the Gaza crossings,” one of them said.

    link to haaretz.com

    Reading between the lines: Israel expects the US to veto any further action on the Goldstone Report at the UN. The rest of the world will respond angrily, noting that the US is once again a Pavlovian stooge protecting Israel’s transgressions, but this time, the Ugly Americans are covering up war crimes. The US, to avoid a complete meltdown in its role as an “honest broker” in the M/E, has to demonstrate that Israel is cognizant of the human suffering after Operation Cast Lead, and has to couple the veto with an easing of the blockade. Or at least the illusion of it.

    The noose is tightening. You wouldn’t know it from reading the NYT and Ethan Bronner, but there’s a tectonic shift happening in the rest of the non-USA world.

  11. potsherd
    February 4, 2010, 9:36 am

    Even more seriously, the AIPACniks are targeting Ellison.

    This is where the torpor of the Congressional Black Caucus becomes more dangerous. They won’t stand up for their own, and they’ll go down, one by one.

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