Friday, June 8, 2007

House resolution generates positive remarks on peacemaking & Jerusalem

Churches for Middle East Peace provides this report on
passage of H. Con. Res. 152.

Resolution Generates Positive Remarks on Peacemaking & Jerusalem

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Julie Schumacher Cohen, Legislative Coordinator
June 7, 2007

The passage on Tuesday of H. Con. Res. 152 (, a non-binding resolution commemorating the "40th anniversary of the Six Day War and the reunification of the city of Jerusalem," was not marked by the usual overwhelming yeah votes.

Instead, the resolution passed by voice vote, with no roll call vote taken and only four additional co-sponsors added to make the final total a meager fourteen. It is not yet clear why the vote took place in this way-it may reflect a lack of confidence in the outcome of such a vote and Congressional weariness with resolutions like these that do not help move the peace process forward and undermine U.S. diplomatic efforts. Keep in mind that H. Con. Res. 152 is virtually identical to resolutions passed by Congress in 1997 and other years and is primarily symbolic. (President Bush waived the provisions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act on Friday, June 1st, only four days prior to the House vote, just as he and Pres. Clinton before him have always done.)

Several Members made excellent remarks for the record, marking the first constructive Congressional debate on the issue of Jerusalem. Rep. David Price (D-NC) concluded his remarks with a remarkable statement on the need for Jerusalem to be shared: "It is my great hope to one day visit a revitalized Jerusalem, undivided and shared as the capital of Israel and an independent Palestinian state, where Jews, Muslims, and Christians live together in peace and mutually honor the sites sacred to all of us. I can only wish that the resolution before us more adequately expressed this aspiration." The statements by Reps. Price (D-NC), Blumenauer (D-OR), Capps (D-CA) and Farr (D-CA) are included below.

The debate can be viewed in full on the THOMAS Congressional website - If your Representative is among those who made a positive statement, please send them a note thanking them for their efforts.

In the Senate, a resolution similar to H. Con. Res. 152 has been expected. So far, it has not been introduced, but it is still possible. A positive resolution in support of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking is expected to be introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) today (more details to come).


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