What the Connecticut Senators Wrote about Gaza and Palestine

Aug. 1. After rally after rally calling for senators to demand a end to the aid to Israel this is how they responded

Analysis follows each letter



Senator Richard Blumenthal

July 31

Dear ******

Thank you for your message regarding recent violence in Israel. I am very troubled by these distressing developments and I appreciate hearing from you. I have heard from constituents on this issue with varying opinions, experiences, and viewpoints, and I deeply value these conversations.

I am deeply saddened by the deaths of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach, whose bodies were found north of the city of Hebron after these young boys were kidnapped in June. This despicable act of terrorism is devastating, and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these young boys. I also mourn the young Americans Sean Carmeli and Max Steinberg, who fought bravely with the Israeli Defense Forces, and the tragic civilian casualties.

The United States must stand with Israel as it conducts Operation Protective Edge. I have faith that Operation Protective Edge will help Israel to protect its people and its borders, constrict and stop Hamasí terrorist activity, and affirm Israelís right to a secure existence. I was proud to join with my colleagues in co-sponsoring and passing S. Res. 498, reaffirming the Senateís support for Israelís right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel. The resolution additionally calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel and urges Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.

Once this operation concludes, Hamas will be left with the same choice it had before Ė either recognizing Israelís right to exist or remaining an internationally condemned terrorist organization. I signed a letter circulated by Senators Cardin and Collins that urges President Obama to compel Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cease the alliance with Hamas. The letter also urges President Obama to continue to actively oppose Palestinian efforts to upgrade their status within the United Nations or the International Criminal Court Ė any such upgrade would only circumvent direct negotiations between the parties. I further support the United Statesí opposition to attacks on Israelís legitimacy and to efforts to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.

I will continue to do all I can in the Senate to support Israelís self-defense, and I will continue to express my commitment to a more peaceful future in the Middle East. Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to contact me in the future with any additional questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senate



Analysis

The letter is stunning, frightening. Look at the first sentence. The senator thinks all "the recent violence" is in Israel. Blumenthal expresses sympathy by name for three Israelis, and for two American Jews who went over to join in the killing. Nowhere does he talk about any Palestinian (unless the words "civilian casualties"). He doesn't even talk about the American, Tarek abu Khdeir from Tampa, who was severely beaten by masked Israelis for no reason. Whole Palestinian families are slaughtered. Every kind of civilian utility from hospital to college is targeted and the senator prattles on about "terrorism".



Senator Chris Murphy

Aug 1

Thank you for contacting me about Israel and Operation Protective Edge. I appreciate your correspondence and hope that you find this response helpful.

Like you, I am concerned by the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. On July 8, 2014 -- amidst the collapse of peace talks, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and increasing rocket attacks from Hamas -- Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Since that time, violence has raged between Israel and Hamas, with more than 1,000 Palestinian civilians killed and 2,700 rockets shot at Israel's population.

I have consistently supported Israel's right to defend itself. No country can be expected to do nothing when its population is threatened, and I have supported the Iron Dome program as a purely defensive shield against missile attacks. Meanwhile, Hamas purposefully places its weapons and launching equipment in densely populated civilian areas, forcing Israel into an impossible position between avoiding Palestinian civilian casualties or eliminating the threat to its own civilians. Hamas does not give Gaza's citizens a choice in this matter, and, in fact, opinion polls from earlier this year show that Hamas is deeply unpopular among Palestinians due to its brutal and ineffective governance. Hamas is a proven terrorist organization and I emphatically oppose its ideology and tactics.

However, I worry nonetheless that the widespread suffering in Gaza will radicalize a new generation of Palestinian and Arab youth against Israel and its backers, including the United States. I am deeply saddened by the loss of life in this conflict, and support an immediate ceasefire to negotiate a political solution to Israel's legitimate concerns about Hamas's weapons and tunnels into Israel, as well as the humanitarian concerns of the Palestinian people.

Time and time again, Israel is targeted by terrorist attacks against its civilian population, and is threatened by surrounding countries that oppose its existence. Meanwhile, the Palestinians live under an occupation and blockade that involves daily misery and humiliation. The only way to end this war and prevent another one is for Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table and work with Secretary Kerry to achieve a lasting solution that results in two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security.

Thank you again for contacting me about this matter. I appreciate hearing from you and assure you that I will always do my best to represent the views of my constituents in the Senate. In the future, please do not hesitate to call me in my Connecticut office at (860) 549-8463 or in my Washington office at (202) 224-4041.

Every Best Wish,

Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator



Analysis

On the surface this letter seems better. The senator has noticed that 1,000 Palestinians had been killed. He mentions the words "occupation" and "blockade". However, otherwise Murphy just gives us the Netanyahu line. "No country can be expected to do nothing when its population is threatened," he says. Did he not know that when the three Israeli youths were grabbed and killed, far from "doing nothing" the IDF did widespread raids all over the West Bank, arresting hundreds, killing at least six all in a supposed search for the youths that it knew had already been murdered. It's not our place to defend the missiles from the armed resistance in Gaza (and the armed resistance is many groups, not just Hamas), but the senator should know that Israel has been shooting and killing Palestinians in Gaza for over a decade, every few days.

Senator Murphy says the only solution is to go "back to the negotiating table". It's the old "peace process" scam. Talk, talk, talk. The Palestinians and Israeli will talk about how to divide up the pizza while the Israelis gobble up piece after piece. Nowhere does the senator denounce any single Israeli action, not even the deliberate shelling of the UN schools, or of hospitals or of mosques. He says Israel has a "right to defend itself" and in effect he backs the IDF and Netanyahu in every one of its actions, no matter how astoudingly cruel. He repeats the Netanyahu "human shield" talking point that Hamas "purposely" puts its weapons in densely populated civilian areas. So that evidently justifies Israeli shelling of homes, schools, hospitals, etc. In fact in the last few weeks we've learned the obvious, that the armed resistance has a web of tunnels all under Gaza and that's where they store their weapons and that the pop out from them here and there and shoot rockets or fight Israeli soldiers. This is no surprise. Hizbollah did that in Lebanon. The Vietnamese did that in Vietnam and Polish Jews did that in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Like the senior CT senator Murphy doesn't even take Israel to task for beating an American citizen.

Like Blumenthal he doesn't even bother to refute or even mention our demand, "No More Money for Israel's Crimes".




By the way what are CT's Five Members of the House of Representatives Saying about Gaza?

All co-sponsored this resolution that gives Israel the same "green light" that the Senate did. The resolution passed the House UNANIMOUSLY on July 11

We see here that Rosa DeLauro is co-sponsor of a bill H. Con Res. 107 that passed the House which denounces Hamas for using human shields.
The resolution passed the House on July 30 on a voice vote. That may mean it was either unanimous or it gives members of Congress cover as their vote is not written down. CT residents might ask "their representatives" how they voted on this "green light" to the IDF.