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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Democrats, Republicans line up to back Israeli war crimes
Last week, both the US House of Representatives and Senate overwhelmingly passed resolutions praising the Bush administration for its full support of Israel’s military campaign in Lebanon. Democrats joined with Republicans to endorse Israel’s bombing campaign, which has led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.
The House resolution passed by a vote of 410-8 on July 20, while the Senate passed its resolution by unanimous consent on July 18. On Sunday, leading Democrats, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Chris Dodd and the minority leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman, reiterated their support for Israel’s assault on Lebanon.
The congressional resolutions place full responsibility for the current violence in the Middle East on Hamas and Hezbollah. The House resolution denounces them for “engaging in unprovoked and reprehensible armed attacks against Israel.” The organizations are condemned for “continuing to indiscriminately target Israeli civilian populations with their rockets and missiles.”
The resolutions say nothing of the far greater civilian casualties inflicted by Israeli rockets, which have been deliberately targeted at civilian infrastructure, particularly in southern Lebanon. Instead, the resolutions repeat the pretext given by Israel for its policy of targeting civilians—that Hamas and Hezbollah are “cynically exploiting civilian populations as shields.” Israel, which has killed at least 380 people in Lebanon, overwhelmingly civilian, is praised for its “longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss.”
Particularly noteworthy is the bipartisan support for the Bush administration’s efforts to heighten pressure on Syria and Iran. The House resolution “commends the President... for fully supporting Israel as it responds to these armed attacks by terrorist organizations and their state sponsors” and “urges the President... to bring the full force of political, diplomatic, and economic sanctions available... against the governments of Syria and Iran.”