UN Security Council: Right Venue for Iran Deal, Right Venue for Israel-Palestine

In the wake of the Israeli election -- in which now re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spectacularly unmasked himself and his supporters as diehard opponents of a diplomatic resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and in which Netanyahu engaged, as the New York Times put it, in a "racist rant" against the Palestinian citizens of Israel -- the Obama Administration is talking about taking steps to move the venue of diplomacy to reso

Opposing Two States, Netanyahu Unmasks GOP-Likud Agenda of Fake Diplomacy

Congressional Republicans who are trying to blow up U.S.-European diplomacy with Iran would desperately like Americans to believe that they have some alternative besides war to the administration's multilateral efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement with Iran.

If any fair-minded man or woman who reads newspapers retains any doubt that this claim is fraudulent, let incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- whom Congressional Republicans constantly invoke as their Supreme Guide on diplomacy with Iran -- put these doubts to rest. (If the Jewish Daily Forward's JJ Goldberg is correct in his handicapping of the Israeli election Tuesday, Netanyahu may not be Israeli Prime Minster for much longer.)

Call your Dem Senator: Don't help Republicans kill the Iran talks

The country is abuzz over the open letter 47 Republican Senators sent to Iranian leadership on Monday warning them that they will try to reverse any deal after Obama leaves office. President Obama accused the signers of making "common cause with the hard-liners in Iran", while Sen. Dick Durbin said Republicans should "think twice about whether their political stunt is worth the threat of another war in the Middle East." Major media outlets that just a few years ago rattled their rhetorical saber at Iran are now calling out Republicans for trying to derail the talks and push us toward war.

Democrats can no longer claim ignorance of Republican intentions. Any Democrat who supports legislation such as the Corker-Graham (S. 615) and Kirk-Menendez (S. 269) bills needs to know that such support is equivalent to supporting Republicans in undermining President Obama and killing the Iran deal. As Sen. Tom Cotton, the originator of the incendiary letter, told a Heritage Action event in January, "the end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of congressional action. It is very much an intended consequence."

But Republicans can't kill the Iran deal without the help of Democrats. In order to secure a veto-proof majority on any of the bills before the Senate, Republicans need to recruit at least 13 Democratic supporters.

Call your Senators NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say

"I urge Sen. _________ to OPPOSE S. 269 and S. 615, which would have dangerous consequences for the ongoing negotiations with Iran. The letter 47 Republican Senators sent to Iranian leaders on Monday makes clear that Republicans do not intend for these bills to support diplomacy, but to kill it. Please don't help Republicans sabotage these talks and push us closer to war."

When you're done, report your call using the form below.

Petition: Senators: Menendez Should Resign From Leadership While Facing Charges (Spanish.)

 The English version is here. To sign, go here

Senadores: Menéndez debe dimitir del liderazgo mientras enfrenta cargos

Los senadores –especialmente el líder de la minoría, Harry Reid– deberían instar al senador de Nueva Jersey, Robert Menéndez, a retirarse del liderazgo demócrata hasta que se resuelvan las acusaciones de corrupción en su contra.

El Departamento de Justicia está preparando presentar cargos de corrupción contra el senador de Nueva Jersey, Robert Menéndez, tras una investigación de 2 años basada en acusaciones por supuestamente haber aceptado regalos y vacaciones lujosas a cambio de favores políticos. [1] Este es un proceso por el que se ha esperado durante mucho tiempo. En 2013, Menéndez y el senador Mitch McConnell fueron considerados los  dos senadores más corruptos por la  organización Ciudadanos por la Responsabilidad y la Ética en Washington (CREW). [2]

Who is skipping Bibi's speech?

Latest Update: March 3 12:30 AM

If your rep is undeclared or on the fence, give them a call at 1-202-224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

I urge Rep./Sen. ___________ to join 60 other Democrats in skipping Netanyahu's March 3 speech. Please stand with Democrats who support President Obama's Iran diplomacy, not with Republicans who want to tear President Obama down.

Find out where your reps stand below.

Skipping (61—Includes 1 Republican)


Bass, Karen (CA-37) — “My support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship has been consistent during my entire time in elected office, and that support will only continue in the years to come. Support for Israel has traditionally been a non-partisan issue, and I want it to remain so,” she said. "Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner mishandled inviting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is now marred with controversy. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been provided with other options to talk with members of Congress, but he has turned them down to do the public speech. It is truly sad that Speaker Boehner and Prime Minister Netanyahu have chosen to play partisan and divisive politics.”

Blumenauer, Earl (OR-03): Wrote a Jan. 29 column in The Huffington Post explaining his decision, saying the Constitution “vests the responsibility for foreign affairs in the president.”

Brown, Corrine (FL-05)

Butterfield, G.K. (NC-01): The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) focused on Boehner undermining Obama in a statement and emphasized he's not urging a boycott.

Capps, Lois (CA-24)

Carson, Andre (IN-07)

Castro, Joaquin (TX-20)

Clark, Katherine (MA-05):

Clay, William Lacy (MO-01)

Profiles in Courage: 38 Dems Publicly Break With Netanyahu's War Polemic

A recent CNN poll found that four out of five Democratic voters oppose the Israeli Prime Minister's planned March 3 tirade to Congress against diplomacy. Thursday morning, twenty-three House Democrats did something about it.

Rep. Hank Johnson: It's Not Just About Bibi Dissing Our Black President

When the 1% were plotting to overthrow the Roman republic, the great democratic orator Cicero gave a series of speeches in the Roman Senate, exposing the conspiracy. These speeches came to be known as the "Catilinarians" or the "Catiline Orations," after the principal target of the speeches, Lucius Sergius Catilina. For two thousand years, these speeches have been pored over by students of Latin and rhetoric as a canonical example of Roman oratory.

One of Cicero's rhetorical techniques that made a big impression on my high school Latin class was "praeteritio," "I will pass over." The orator mentions "in passing" some really damning thing done by the accused. "Quod ego praetermitto," "which [crime] I will pass over." By such "passing over" of the crime, the speaker calls attention to the crime.

I had the opportunity to interact at some length with Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson not so long ago. I'm going to hazard a guess that at some point in his life, Rep. Hank Johnson had the opportunity to study Cicero.

Bibi 3/3 Congress speech: won't attend/called for speech to be cancelled/postponed

Update #2: It's not 100% obvious how vigorously The Hill is now updating its tally. According to Poliitico, Hank Johnson and Donna Edwards are not going to attend. So, I'll start adding things here that appear in press that aren't yet reflected in The Hill's tally.

Hank Johnson
Donna Edwards

Update#1: The Hill is maintaining a tally, so I've stopped updating this one.


Have publicly said that they won’t go to Bibi’s proposed March 3 speech to Congress if it is not postponed/cancelled:

Call your Rep TODAY: Skip Bibi’s speech

We have a historic opportunity right now to help change the game in Washington on U.S. policy towards Israel.

Controversy is spreading around Speaker Boehner’s decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3, where Netanyahu is expected to trash Obama’s Iran diplomacy and try to persuade Congress to pass new sanctions. J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren have called for Netanyahu’s talk to be postponed. Netanyahu’s political opposition in Israel is also denouncing his plan to speak to Congress only weeks before the Israeli election.

Now, Reps. Keith Ellison, Steve Cohen, and Maxine Waters are circulating a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to postpone the invitation until after Congress has considered the issue of Iran sanctions.

Call your Rep NOW at 1-202-224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

I urge you to sign the Ellison letter calling on Speaker Boehner to postpone the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress until after Congress has concluded its consideration of new Iran sanctions.

UPDATE: The Ellison letter is now closed. The sample script now calls to skip the speech:

I urge Rep. ___________ to join Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, and 30 other Democrats in skipping Netanyahu's March 3 speech. Please stand with Democrats who support President Obama's Iran diplomacy, not with Republicans who want to tear President Obama down.

Report your call below.

Just Foreign Policy Welcomes CPC Call to Postpone Iran Sanctions Legislation

Just Foreign Policy welcomes the call of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee to postpone enacting new sanctions legislation against Iran.

As the CPC notes, enacting new sanctions on Iran now would undermine U.S. diplomats, derail U.S.-Iran talks and put the U.S. on a path towards war.

It’s become more obvious than ever in recent days that Republican efforts in Congress to undermine diplomacy cannot succeed without significant Democratic support. We particularly urge Senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, and Elliot Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to heed the CPC call.