Yesterday, the United States Senate passed a resolution supporting Israel’s ongoing attack on Gaza. The resolution was described as “A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”
While no vote was record for the resolution–it was instead passed by a voice vote–Michigan Senator Carl Levin was a co-sponsor of the resolution. The resolution that was passed was largely the work of the “pro-Israel” group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who circulated a draft resolution that is quite similar to the final resolution. Following the resolution’s passage, AIPAC expressed strong support for the resolution.
The resolution gives lip service to promoting a “cease-fire in Gaza as soon as possible,” but it is clearly designed to encourage unquestioning support for Israel’s attack on Gaza. Following a long list of “whereas” statements supporting the Israeli version of what is happening now and what has happened over the past several years in Palestine, the resolution makes a number of demands of Hamas but says nothing about Israel’s actions. Instead, it begins by expressing support for Israel’s actions and makes demands that Hamas stop manufacturing rockets, that the Palestinians “diminish the appeal and influence of extremists in the Palestinian territories.” The resolution even goes so far as to praise Israel for its “humanitarian aid to Gaza” during the assault.
Perhaps the most telling words uttered by a Senator in relation to the resolution came from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who said, “The Israelis… are responding exactly how we would.”
A similar resolution is expected to be approved today in the House of Representatives.