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Cori Bush's H.Res 786-- A Reckoning For House Democrats?

Despite the fog of war and an atrocity propaganda machine that overwhelmingly favors Israel, the American public— regardless of political party— thinks the U.S. should be behind a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Among Democrats, that number is 80%. Only 12% of Democratic voters disagree. Democrats in Congress, however, are closer to Republicans in Congress than they are the the Democratic base. Ever since I was a child, I had heard that unofficial Israeli policy was that 10 Arabs would have to be killed for every Jew they killed. No one is ever going to admit this. But on October 7, Hamas savagely slaughtered 1,400 Israelis (and seized 240 hostages). So far the “best” estimates are that Israel has taken their retribution against something between 10 and 11,000 people in Gaza. About 4,000 more and Netanyahu will be ready to start talking about a ceasefire.

No one told Cori Bush (D-MO) that that’s the unspoken rule— 10 for 1. So she wrote H.Res 786:

Calling for an immediate deescalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine.

  • Whereas all human life is precious, and the targeting of civilians, no matter their faith or ethnicity, is a violation of international humanitarian law;

  • Whereas, between October 7 and October 16, 2023, armed violence has claimed the lives of over 2,700 Palestinians and over 1,400 Israelis, including Americans, and wounded thousands more;

  • Whereas hundreds of thousands of lives are at imminent risk if a cease-fire is not achieved and humanitarian aid is not delivered without delay; and

  • Whereas the Federal Government holds immense diplomatic power to save Israeli and Palestinian lives: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) urges the Biden administration to immediately call for and facilitate deescalation and a cease-fire to urgently end the current violence; and

(2) calls upon the Biden administration to promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

AIPAC instantly recruited a primary opponent to run against her, promising him millions of dollars for his campaign, dollars that are raised overwhelmingly from wealthy Republicans. It takes a very brave Democrat to go up against AIPAC. No one relishes it. But joining Cori Bush on the first day her resolution was announced were 17 Democrats who knew what they were risking:

  • AOC (D-NY)

  • Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)

  • Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

  • Nydia Velasquez (D-NY)

  • André Carson (D-IN)

  • Summer Lee (D-PA)

  • Delia Ramirez (D-IL)

  • Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)

  • Jonathan Jackson (D-IL)

  • Chuy Garcia (D-IL)

  • Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

  • Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)

In the days since 5 more Democrats have signed onto H.Res 786:

  • Barbara Lee (D-CA)

  • Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

  • Greg Casar (D-TX)

  • Alma Adams (D-NC)

  • Maxwell Frost (D-FL)

And aside from pressure from AIPAC, they are being pressured from the right-wing of their own party, particularly by Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (New Dem-FL) and, of course, from GOP leaders eager to score political points.

The situation— people demanding a ceasefire and governments adhering to the 10-1 “policy”— is similar in Canada, the U.K. and E.U. People want to see the slaughter over. Their governments agree with Netanyahu that Hamas needs to be wiped out and Palestinians need to learn a lesson they’re not going to forget. Israel is dropping almost as many bombs in Gaza per week as the U.S. was dropping in Afghanistan per year. Sentiment in Israel is that Netanyahu needs to go. The American response in endangering Biden’s reelection campaign— which means it’s endangering the future of American democracy.

Dozens more members of Congress have signed a letter from Pramila Jayapal, Jim McGovern, Mark Pocan and Jan Schakowsky that doesn’t used the forbidden “ceasefire” word but does explicitly oppose war crimes. No Republicans signed on, but these were the Democrats who did:

Becca Balint (VT), Donald Beyer (VA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Jamaal Bowman (NY), André Carson (IN), Greg Casar (TX\), Sean Casten (IL), Joaquin Castro (TX), Judy Chu (CA), Jasmine Crockett (TX), Danny Davis (IL), Madeleine Dean (PA), Mark DeSaulnier CA), Debbie Dingell (MI), Lloyd Doggett (TX), Veronica Escobar (TX), Anna Eshoo (CA), Dwight Evans (PA), Bill Foster (IL), Maxwell Frost (FL), Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL), Robert Garcia (CA), Sylvia Garcia (TX), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Val Hoyle (OR), Jared Huffman (CA), Sara Jacobs (CA), Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Dan Kildee (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), Summer Lee (PA), Zoe Lofgren (CA), Betty McCollum (MN), Gwen Moore (WI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), AOC (NY), Chellie Pingree (ME), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Delia Ramirez (IL), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA), Melanie Stansbury (NM), Mark Takano (CA), Jill Tokuda (HI), Paul Tonko (NY), Lauren Underwood (IL), Nydia Velázquez (NY), Maxine Waters (CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ) and Nikema Williams (GA).

I just spoke to a fantastic progressive Democrat from a super-progressive district. There’s no doubt that his constituents favor a ceasefire— and so does he. But… he’s afraid of what AIPAC could do. He told me he may come out in favor of a ceasefire anyway but he’s trying to figure out the messaging. His likely primary opponent is a full-on AIPAC guy. “No one,” he told me, “wants to face an opponent with $3 or $4 million worth of independent expenditures from AIPAC and their allies, ads that may not even mention anything about the Middle East but are just meant to change voters’ minds.”

On Monday, Karoun Demirjian reported that [m]ost Democrats, including some of Congress’s most influential liberal leaders, have argued that a full cease-fire would give Hamas time to regroup and launch another assault on Israel.” And she quoted Bernie from State of the Union Sunday: “You’ve got to have a pause in the bombing. You’ve got to take care of the immediate disaster. Israel’s got to change its strategy. I don’t know how you can have a cease-fire— permanent cease-fire— with an organization like Hamas, which is dedicated to turmoil and chaos and destroying the state of Israel.” Dick Durbin (D-IL), usually thought of as an AIPAC shill is the only senator who has called for a ceasefire.

Last night, Maebe A. Girl, the Blue America-endorsed candidate for the L.A. area district Adam Schiff is giving up, told me that she's "the only major candidate in my race, out of 21 running for this open seat, to call for a ceasefire. Bombs will not bring peace; the friends and family members of over 10,000 innocent Palestinian civilians killed in this conflict are more, not less, likely to now see violence as an answer. Counterinsurgency mathematics is a widely documented phenomenon. The United States needs to stop its participation in creating terror groups through violence, Congressional representatives need to end their allegiance to weapons industry donors, and join 66% of Americans in calling for a ceasefire in the region, in addition to freedom and liberation for all Palestinians to finally bring peace to the area. From the IRA in Northern Ireland to the ETA in Spain's Basque country, the most successful solution for the destruction of radicalized nationalist groups is an increase in freedoms, providing a new generation with an outlet other than violence: optimism and prosperity."

Texan Pervez Agwan is another Blue America-endorsed congressional candidate who is strongly in favor of a ceasefire, despite rinning against a New Dem who's all in with AIPAC. "Americans agree that the violence in the Middle East requires ceasefire and de-escalation. But 194 Democrats in Congress, including my opponent, refuse to stand in the way of the US war machine and condemn this genocide. AIPAC proudly endorsed all 15 Republicans that ran for Speaker of the House, insurrectionists, and routinely target members of color and progressive Democrats that stand up for human rights. Their big-money influence explains why Congress lags behind the conscience of the people. The violence must end; our government must stop funding atrocity. If our politicians won't act, the voters will."

Blue America started running this Facebook ad this morning. If you support the idea of electing candidates who will fight for a ceasefire, please go to this page and contribute what you can to both of them, a Jewish American in California and a Muslim-American in Texas.


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Yesterday the Florida House voted 104 to 2 to reject a resolution supporting a ceasefire in Gaza. I am with the 2 - Angie Nixon and Anna Eskamani.

Israelis have killed 6541 Palestinians since 2008 up through Oct. 6, 2023. 309 Israelis have died in that time frame. A 21 to 1 kill ratio. That Israeli reign of terror took 5,365 in Gaza - including snipers murdering children doing cartwheels on the beach. Yet I read from all sources that "NOTHING could justify the Oct. 7th massacre by HAMAS". Now I in fact concur with that - but only when that clause is subordinate to the observation that "NOTHING could justify the 5000+ lynchings in Gaza since the IDF s…


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it's all pointless, except for "messaging" anyway.

1) biden shouldn't need a resolution to "call for him" to "call for" a ceasefire. Well, unless he's so far gone that he doesn't even know that there is a war going on over there. always a possibility.

2) "calling for" israel to cease fire is like me asking my dog to recite shakespear. just not gonna happen (unless someone's god performs a miracle). israel will stop killing only when they want to stop killing. and after they're done bombing and shooting, they'll probably occupy whatever part of gaza that they've plowed under and not let palestinians back in.

3) still no good guys in this. will there ever be?

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