Blog

Bipartisan Rigell-Lee letter to Pres. Obama on Iraq: respect Constitution on using force

Virginia Republican Scott Rigell and California Democrat Barbara Lee are leading a bipartisan letter to President Obama, urging the President to respect the Constitutional requirement to seek Congressional authorization before using military force in Iraq.

To urge your Representative to sign the bipartisan Rigell-Lee letter, sign our petition at MoveOn.

Here is the letter:

===

Dear Mr. President:

We join you and with those in the international community who are expressing grave concern over the rise in sectarian violence in Iraq over the last days and weeks. The consequences of this development are particularly troubling given the extraordinary loss of American lives and expenditure of funds over ten years that was claimed to be necessary to bring democracy, stability and a respect for human rights to Iraq. 

We support your restraint to date in resisting the calls for a “quick” and “easy” military intervention, and for your commitment not to send combat troops back to Iraq. We also appreciate your acknowledgement that this conflict requires a political solution, and that military action alone cannot successfully lead to a resolution.

We do not believe intervention could be either quick or easy. And, we doubt it would be effective in meeting either humanitarian or strategic goals, and that it could very well be counter-productive. This is a moment for urgent consultations and engagement with all parties in the region who could bring about a cease fire and launch a dialogue that could lead to a reconciliation of the conflict.

Any solution to this complex crisis can only be achieved through a political settlement, and nothing short of that can successfully bring stability to Iraq or the region and only  if the process and outcome is inclusive of all segments of the Iraqi population.

Presbyterians Divest from the Israeli Occupation: the End of the Beginning?

When there is a just resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict, I will claim that June 20, 2014 marked a turning point.

That was the day that the Presbyterian Church, USA voted to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions as a result of these companies' continued involvement in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and these companies' continued refusal to change their policies.

VICTORY! Presbyterians vote to divest from Caterpillar, HP & Motorola!

Just a short time ago, the Presbyterian General Assembly voted 310-303 to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard over these companies’ ties to the Israeli occupation! Commissioners took this step to put their investments in line with their values despite persistent attempts by opponents to conflate this selective divestment with a boycott of all Israelis or even of all Jews.

That’s in part thanks to everyone who showed support for Presbyterians considering divestment!

The Presbyterian Church is the largest Christian denomination to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation, making this vote a historic victory for justice and human rights.

Presbyterians have taken a bold step toward putting their values into action. Let’s spread the news!

The Presbyterian action is making headlines all over the news. Help spread the word by reading and sharing the New York Times article on Presbyterian divestment

Thanks for all you do to support Palestinian rights,

Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

P.S. If you’re on Twitter, send the PCUSA a “Thank you!” Here’s a sample tweet:

Thank you #PCUSA for bringing your investments in line with your values by passing #ChurchDivest! #GA221

Help us reach our June fundraising goal—make a $10 tax-deductible contribution today!
If you can, please make a donation today. Your financial support helps us create opportunities for Americans to agitate for a more just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

JFP Statement: House bars transfer of MANPADS to Syria

June 20, 2014
10:30 AM
CONTACT: Just Foreign Policy
Robert Naiman: (202) 448-2898 x1Naiman@justforeignpolicy.org

Statement of Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy, on House passage of Conyers-Yoho amendment to prohibit transfer of MANPADS to Syria

Tell Congress NOW: No New U.S. War in Iraq or Syria!

President Obama is under heavy pressure to order direct U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Syria. But as Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times, avoiding direct U.S. military involvement in these two countries' civil wars is the "least bad option."

Thanks to Reps. Barbara Lee and John Conyers, we have a crucial opportunity TODAY to push back against the warmongers. The House will be voting on amendments to the defense appropriation that would block direct U.S. military action in Iraq and block the U.S. supply of manpads to Syrian insurgents.

Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative's office. When you reach a staffer (or leave a voice mail) say

I urge you to support Barbara Lee's amendments to the defense appropriation to block funds from being used to wage another war in Iraq, and the Yoho-Conyers amendment to block the transfer of manpads to Syrian insurgents. Congress must assert its Constitutional responsibility to publicly decide when the United States goes to war.

Let us know how your call went by filling out our easy response form below.

Presbyterian divestment passes committee in decisive vote!

Yesterday afternoon, the Middle East Issues Committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted decisively 45-20 to endorse divestment from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard—that play a role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The resolution now moves on to the General Assembly where it is expected to be taken up either Thursday or Friday.

From what we’ve seen in the last few days, one of the biggest worries of some Presbyterians is how it will look to the outside world if they should divest. That’s why it’s important that as many of us as possible raise our voices in support of their efforts to take their money out of companies participating in violence and injustice.

Let’s continue to show Presbyterians we’ve got their backs! Here are some suggestions for action:

1. Join the Thunderclap. By signing up with either your Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account, Thunderclap will send out one (and only one!) message on your behalf at noon eastern time Thursday, June 19.

2. Tweet our petition on #ChurchDivest and #GA221 hashtags. Let General Assembly participants know that over 15,000 people have made their support for divestment known. Just copy and paste this message into twitter:

Over 15,000 sign statement supporting #ChurchDivest bit.ly/presby-divest #GA221 via @justfp

If you don't use social media…

1. Watch some of the testimonials we've gathered. We are continuing to collect video testimonials from the diverse group of people here in Detroit supporting divestment. Watch a few and share them with your friends. http://whywesupportdivestment.tumblr.com

2. Tell five friends to sign our petition. Here's some sample text to use to email them:

Anti-Apartheid Archbishop Calls Presbyterians to Back Divestment from Israeli Occupation

 Detroit -- As Presbyterians meeting in Detroit consider divestment from three companies linked to the Israeli occupation of Palestine -- Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett Packard -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the leader who more than any other human being alive is associated with the successful use of divestment to help overturn apartheid in South Africa, is calling on Presb

Presbyterians Poised for Historic Vote Against Israel's Occupation of Palestine

Sometimes a situation that appears hopeless is actually poised for a new beginning - when the apparent hopelessness reflects acceptance that conventional wisdom has utterly failed to bring about solutions and that solutions require actions that conventional wisdom has blocked.

Next week, Presbyterians meeting in Detroit will have a historic opportunity to help change the fundamental dynamics of the Israel-Palestine conflict in a way that will bring a just resolution of the conflict closer. They'll be considering divestment from three companies - Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett Packard - that are significantly tied to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Amb. Ford: Give Syrian Insurgents Manpads to Shoot Down Iranian Planes

 Last September, Congress said no to plans to bomb Syria, by failing to approve an authorization for the use of military force.

Now there is a new push -- exemplified by this New York Times op-ed by former Ambassador Robert Ford -- for deeper U.S. military intervention in Syria. Advocates for U.S. military intervention are assuring us that there will be no direct U.S. bombing of Syria. Instead, so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria (whoever they are) will do the bombing on behalf of the U.S., with U.S.-supplied weapons.

Support Presbyterian Divestment from Israeli Occupation!

Next week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biennial general assembly in Detroit where they’ll consider a resolution to divest $17 million from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard—that participate in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Just Foreign Policy will be in Detroit for this potentially historic vote—and we want to bring your messages of support with us!

Here are two things you can do right now:

  1. Sign our statement supporting Presbyterian divestment. We’ll share your signatures with Presbyterian delegates in Detroit!
  2. Use our “Presby Divest!” profile image. If you use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media, make our “Presby Divest!” image your profile picture.

When the Presbyterians last considered divestment two years ago, the resolution failed by only two votes. The view that prevailed was that Presbyterians should support Palestinian rights via investment instead of divestment.

But Palestinian business leaders and international economic institutions like the World Bank have made clear that the Israeli occupation itself, which is strangling the Palestinian economy, is largely to blame for the dire situation of Palestinians, and investment alone can’t reverse the consequences of occupation. There must be increased pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies.