Palestinian Sanctions Bill Passes; Tell Bush: Don't Sign!

Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek,

Yesterday, the House of Representatives took up and passed, by voice vote, the Senate version of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (S. 2370). Though the final legislation is a more moderate version of the punitive House bill (which Brit Tzedek strongly opposed), recent events in the Middle East render it entirely obsolete and greatly damaging to Israel and the peace process.  Please tell President Bush NOT to sign the bill into law!

At this precarious moment in Israeli-Palestinian relations, there is clearly no need for legislation that can make U.S. diplomacy more encumbered and humanitarian aid more restricted.  In the ten months since the original legislation was introduced, the Administration and existing U.S. law have already ensured that no U.S. funds would be used to support terrorist activities.  Indeed, the U.S.-led international boycott and isolation of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority have resulted in the near complete collapse of the Palestinian economic and social systems and a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which only increases support for extremism and greatly endangers Israel.

The bill’s unexpected passage in the final days of the 109th Congress is untimely and an obvious retort to positive movement towards restarting the peace process, including the recent ceasefire in Gaza, progress being made on the establishment of a Palestinian unity government, and the Iraq Study Group report’s call for a renewed U.S. commitment to Arab-Israeli peace.

Signing this bill now sends the wrong message at the wrong time, risks deepening the Palestinian humanitarian crisis, and ties the President’s hands when renewed U.S. diplomacy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more critical than ever.  Tell President Bush NOT to sign the Palestinian sanctions bill into law!

L’shalom,

Diane Balser, Chair of Advocacy

Steve Masters, Co-Chair of Advocacy

Rob Levy, Washington Representative

PS. Please share this Action Alert with family, friends, and colleagues, and tell them about Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.


Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
President George W. Bush

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Please do NOT sign Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I urge you NOT to sign into law the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism of 2006 (S. 2370), which has now passed both the House and Senate. Though the final legislation is a more moderate version of the original House bill, it could severely curtail the diplomatic efforts of your Administration to support moderate Palestinian leaders and to funnel humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. More importantly, it sends the wrong message at the wrong time.

At this precarious moment in Middle East affairs, there is clearly no need for legislation that can tie your Administration's hands in pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace. And your Administration and existing U.S. law have already ensured that no U.S. funds would be used to support terrorist activities. Indeed, the international boycott and isolation of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority have resulted in the near complete collapse of the Palestinian economic and social systems and a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which only increases support for extremism and greatly endangers Israel.

With the recent ceasefire in Gaza between Israelis and Palestinians and a public recommitment to the peace process from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, signing this bill now, nearly ten months after its introduction, sends the message that those efforts are insignificant in the eyes of the United States. Such efforts for peace must be encouraged, not rebuked.

I urge you NOT to sign the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act into law.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Take Action!

Click here to ask President Bush NOT to sign the Palestinian Sanctions Bill!

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What's At Stake:

With the House’s passage, it is now up to the President to sign the bill, veto it, or allow the Congressional session to adjourn without signing the bill, known as a "pocket veto.”

President Bush needs to hear from American Jews who believe that legislation that restricts diplomacy and cuts humanitarian aid should not become U.S. law.

Contact President Bush today!

A Small Victory for Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace Advocates

Though still deeply problematic and counterproductive, the final version of the Palestinian sanctions bill contains a number of important improvements over the House bill that had been advocated for by Brit Tzedek activists.  The fact that the bill’s proponents could not push through harsher language represents a small but significant success for the pro-Israel, pro-peace community and demonstrates that your advocacy can make a huge difference!  Let’s keep it up!

Additional links:

U.S. House passes anti-terrorism bill, JTA, Dec 7, 2006.

US bill meant to twist Hamas's arm, Associated Press, Dec 8, 2006.

For pro-Israel crowd, Iraq report has some unwelcome proposals by Ron Kampeas, JTA. Dec 6, 2006.



Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

info@btvshalom.org
www.btvshalom.org


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