A letter from 18 Congressmen to President Clinton
"The 18, who identify themselves as "strong supporters of the peace process," include 16 Democrats and two Republicans. They are opposing the contravertial Har Homa Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem because it will "make negotiations on the final status of Jerusalem difficult, if not impossible. Never before have so many Congressmen expressed such strong oppistion against Israel, and their action certainly stands as a milestone in U.S. Israeli relations....AIPAC memebers were on the phone immedialtely calling influencial money-givers and having them flood Congressional offices with a simple, but threatening message " you should not have signed the letter". The inference is daunting "you signed the letter and now you are going to pay because we will withdraw our financial support and destroy your career" (from a special message from Paul Findley, Ex-Congressman, for more information CNI, Council for National Interest, 1511 K street, N.W., suite 1043, Washington, DC 20005)
Dear Mr. President:
We are deeply concerned at the increading enmity and violence that is threatening to derail and even reverse the Middle East peace process. It is Imperative that the United States government encourage all parties in the peace process to live up to their commmitments and to refrain from violating the letter or the spirit of the agrements that have already been reached.
As we are witnessing, the situadon in the region is spiraling dangerously out of control. The hope we all had that a final peace could be established are now fading.The substantial investment your administration has made to bring about this peace is at stake. We therefore urge you to act to stem the violence and restore necessary confidence to the peace process.
First and formost, we commend your call to the Palestinian Authority to spare no effort to prevent terrorist attacks on Israeli civiliatans and to severely punish those attacks that have already taken innocent lives. The wanton targetting of innocent civilians by those who oppose the peace process is intolerable. The apprehension and punishment of those responsible for the recent bombing of a restaurant in Tel Aviv are no less vital to the reestablishement of momentum in the peace process than are the prosecution and punishment of the Jordanian soldier who massacred Israeli school girls at the Israeli-Jordanian border and the Israeli soldier who murdered innocent Palestinians in Hebron. These tragic and outrageous acts of violence and counterviolence must not be allowed to claim the peace process as their ultimate victim.
As strong supporters of the peace process, we urge you to prevail upon Israel l to refrain from undertaking the construction of the Har Homa settlement on Jabal Abu Ghnaim is until the status of Jerusalem is resolved through negotiations. The planned construction of a housing settlement for Jews in East Jerusalem seriously undermines the permanent status negotiations that Israel and the Palestinians have already agreed to undertake. Jabal Abu Ghnaim was not considered part of Jerusalem until after 1967, when the Israeli government redrew the municipal boundaries of Jerusalern and incorporated surrounding areas into Jerusalem that had not previously beem considered part of the dty. The construction of the Har Homa settlement will make negotiations on the final status of Jerusalem difficult if not impossible.
Mr. President, a strong and stable Middle East that provides peace and security for both Israelis and Arabs is in the national interest of the United states. We urge you to use your good offices to convince all parties to refrain from provocative acts that will undermine the peace process and to return instead to the spirit of compromise and reconciliation that has characterized the negotiations of the past few years.
Members of Congress that signed on to the Rahall letter to President Regarding the Middle East Peace process, dated May 7, 1997
1. David Bonior (D-10, MI) 2. John Conyers (D-14, MI) 3. Pat Danner (D-6, MO) 4. John Dingell (D-16, MI) 5. Mike Doyle (D-18, PA) 6. Elizabeth Fruse (D-1, OR) 7. Earl Hilliard (D-7, AL) 8. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2, JL) 9. Ray LaHood (R-18, IL) 10. William Lipinski (D-3, IL) 11. Cynthia McKinney (D-4, GA) 12. George Miller (D-7th, CA) 13. James Moran (D-8, VA) 14. Nick Rahall (D-3, WV) 15. Ralph Regula (R-16, OH) 16. James Traficant (D-17, OH) 17. Melvin Watt (D-12, NC) 18. Senator Paul Wellstone ([)-MN)
(Please call or write these members of Congress immediatly. They need your support. If they do not know the American people are behind them. I am afraid that they will never speak out again" (Paul Findley)
Senate:United Sates Senate, Washigton, DC 20515/Phone: 202-224-3121
House of Representatives: House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515/ Phone 202-224-3121
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