As Israel’s assault on Gaza enters its seventh day, with more than 170 dead and over 1,000 injured, the national officeholders representing the Hudson Valley have nearly all chosen to defend Israel and put the onus of the escalating tragedy on the backs of Palestinians. Hudson Valley representatives Sean Patrick Maloney (NY’s 18th district) and Chris Gibson (NY’s 19th district) both sponsored House Resolution 657, which “reaffirms its [the House’s] support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel…” What’s shocking about H.R. 657 is not that it passed—it should no longer come as a surprise that the United States is willing to defend Israel, its imperial partner, at all costs—but that it passed “by unanimous consent, and without debate,” as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation wrote earlier today.
Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is currently one of 41 co-sponsors of Senate Resolution 498, which mostly has similar wording as the House document, with one important exception—it goes one step further by openly calling on “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas…” This is critical because it is precisely this unity government that Israel has been so fearful of ever since it was formed last month, so fearful in fact that it chose to use the deaths of three Israeli teenagers to target the entire Hamas organization and subsequently begin the bombing campaign that is assaulting Gaza at this very moment. If Israel is using bombs to convince Abbas to break the unity government, the US Senate would be adding to that salvo with this piece of legislation. It’s shameful that it already has 41 co-sponsors, including our very own senator from New York, and it would be even more shameful if it passes.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has a page outlining several actions you could take to voice your opposition to these resolutions, including signing their online petition,making phone calls, writing letters, and arranging a meeting with elected officials during their August recess. We all know that direct action gets the goods too, but given Israel’s reliance on US support in high places, dissent among members of congress could have a tangible positive impact for folks in Palestine.