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Tell Congress: Vote NO on the Syria War

It's a historic victory for peace, democracy and the rule of law that President Obama has agreed to seek Congressional authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in Syria. As a Just Foreign Policy supporter, you can take some credit for this: we helped get the ball rolling when we put out an alert last Monday morning calling for President Obama to seek authorization and for Congress to demand that he seek authorization, at a time when many were saying that trying to get Congress involved was futile.

But despite the President's promise that he only intends to conduct "limited strikes" in Syria, the AUMF he sent to Congress Saturday is a blank check for war.

Here's what you can do to pressure Congress to vote NO on the Syria AUMF:

  1. Call your representatives NOW. Many in Congress are undecided as to how to vote on the Syria AUMF. Taking two minutes out of your day could help prevent another US war. All the information you need to call your reps can be found here:
    http://fcnl.org/issues/middle_east/take_action_syria/

    You can get an idea about where your reps currently stand using this Washington Post graphic. Just scroll over the dots to find your rep.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/09/02/where-the-vote...

  2. Sign and share our petition. You can sign at MoveOn using the following link or via the action box below.
    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-vote-no-on-the?source=c.url&r_...

Congressional letter on Syria War Powers

The office of Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-02) is circulating the following letter on Congressional war powers. It closes at noon Wednesday, August 28. Urge your Representative to sign the Rigell letter by calling the Congressional switchboard, 202-225-3121. There is a Roll Call article about this letter here: Get Authorization for Syria, House Lawmakers Say

 Dear Mr. President,

 

We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria.  Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973. 

President Obama: Don't Strike Syria Without Congressional Approval

On Sunday, Republican Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Eliot Engel - a Democrat who voted for the Iraq war - told Fox News that President Obama should strike Syria first and get Congressional approval afterwards.

President Obama, Commute Manning's Sentence to Time Served

On August 21, U.S. citizen Bradley Manning - now known as Chelsea Manning -was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information to the public about the killing of civilians in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; drone strikes in Yemen; torture in Guantanamo, Iraq, and Egypt; the coup in Honduras; corruption in Tunisia, the U.S. use of cluster bombs, and the blockade of Gaza, among many other issues of public concern about U.S. foreign policy.

As Amnesty International noted, Manning has already served more than three years in pre-trial detention, including 11 months in conditions described by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture as cruel and inhumane. Amnesty is calling on President Obama to commute Manning's sentence to time served.

A Story Your Reps Should Hear: House Evictions in Sheikh Jarrah

As I mentioned in our last alert, I'm in Israel-Palestine right now on an Interfaith Peace Builders delegation, meeting with Israelis and Palestinians to better understand the situation on the ground.

Just days before our delegation departed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build over 800 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. [1] But settlement construction isn't the only way Israelis are extending their control of areas the Palestinians intend to comprise any negotiated state.

Families in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem, are being evicted from their homes and replaced by Jewish settlers. Earlier this week, our delegation met with the al Kurd family, whose 94 year-old matriarch was displaced from her Haifa home in the 1948 war and has resided in Sheikh Jarrah for nearly 60 years. The family lost half of its home to an Israeli settler family in 2008—and is currently under threat of being evicted from the rest.

When we asked Maysa al Kurd, the daughter of the matriarch whose family lives in the section of the home remaining in its possession, what she hoped we, as Americans, would do to help her family and other Palestinians facing eviction, she said she wanted us to tell their story to President Obama and Congress.

We just happen to have an easy way to do just that. There is a powerful, twenty-five minute documentary online detailing the al Kurd family's struggle to reclaim its home and prevent a complete eviction. Watch the documentary and tell your representatives to do so as well.

Here's the documentary:

http://www.justvision.org/myneighbourhood/watch

And here's the action link:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sheikh-jarrah

JFP 8/16: "Time to cut Egypt loose"; take action on East Jerusalem evictions

Just Foreign Policy News, August 16, 2013
"Time to cut Egypt loose"; take action on East Jerusalem evictions

Help your friends sign up to receive the Just Foreign Policy News
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I) Actions and Featured Articles
**Action: A Story Your Reps Should Hear: House Evictions in Sheikh Jarrah
Families in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem, are being evicted from their homes and replaced by Jewish settlers. The al Kurd family lost half of its home to an Israeli settler family in 2008—and is currently under threat of being evicted from the rest.
There is a powerful, twenty-five minute documentary online detailing the al Kurd family's struggle to prevent a complete eviction and reclaim the other half of its home.
Urge your reps in Washington to watch this documentary and take action.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sheikh-jarrah

RT Video: Saudi prince defects: 'Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts'

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Amend or Repeal the Espionage Act to Protect Journalists and Whistle-blowers

Isn't it high time to amend or repeal the Espionage Act of 1917 so that it can't be used to charge whistle-blowers or journalists with "aiding the enemy"?

JFP 8/14: Argentina's Iran accusation based on MEK; Congress can declassify on its own

Just Foreign Policy News, August 14, 2013
Argentina's Iran accusation based on MEK; Congress can declassify on its own

Help your friends sign up to receive the Just Foreign Policy News
Do you know someone who might want to receive the Just Foreign Policy News by email? You can send them this link:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/daily-news-signup

Follow the JFP News editor on Twitter
Help me bring attention to important news by retweeting my tweets.
https://twitter.com/naiman

Support the work of Just Foreign Policy
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

I) Actions and Featured Articles
Petition: Fix the Espionage Act to Protect Whistleblowers & Journalists
Amend or repeal the Espionage Act of 1917 so that journalists and government whistle-blowers who share information of public interest with journalists can't be charged with "aiding the enemy."
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/fix-espionage-act-to?source=c.url&r_by=1135580

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U.S./Top News

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Tell Obama to Oppose Israeli Plan to Evict 40K Bedouin, Protect Right to Protest

Next week, I'm traveling to Israel/Palestine with a delegation of US peace activists. One thing that we will be doing while there is meeting with Israelis and Palestinians resisting the Israeli government's seizure of Palestinian lands. Such land grabs have become a regular facet of life in the West Bank, but it's not only Palestinians in the West Bank who are subject to them.

The Israeli government has plans to remove upwards of 40,000 Bedouin in the Negev desert in southern Israel from their homes and their lands. As in the West Bank, attempts to protest these seizures have been met by force from the Israeli military and police.

The US has yet to publicly oppose either the Prawer Plan or Israeli suppression of peaceful protest. Join me in calling on President Obama and other US officials to publicly oppose the Prawer Plan and to press the Israeli government to respect the right to peaceful protest in Israel and the occupied territories.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/prawer

You can also help support my trip to Israel/Palestine by making a tax-deductible donation:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate/megan

If you've seen last year's Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras, you know something about the Palestinian struggle to resist Israel's seizure of Arab land and the Israeli military's response to such resistance. [1] The demonstrations in Bil'in, where 5 Broken Cameras was filmed, as well as Ni'lin, Nabi Saleh and other villages, have become regular features of Palestinian life. [2] Every Friday, Palestinian villagers, often accompanied by Israeli and international activists, march against the confiscation of their land for settlement expansion, barrier walls and military zones. Each week, they are met by tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades. They are arrested, detained, harassed. Under Israeli occupation, the right to peaceful protest has been effectively nullified.

Feinstein Letter Call-in Report

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