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Submitted by Megan Iorio on 29 January 2015 - 11:47am
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.
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 23 January 2015 - 4:27pm
Earlier today, a Just Foreign Policy activist delivered a petition to Sen. Ben Cardin's office in Baltimore calling on him to support diplomacy with Iran by opposing any new sanctions legislation, including the Kirk-Menendez bill.
A petition calling for Sen. Cardin to oppose any effort to punish the Palestinians for joining the International Criminal Court was also delivered.
Even if you have already called before, support the petition delivery by calling Ben Cardin’s Baltimore office NOW at (410) 962-4436 and saying
I support the petition being delivered to your office today calling on Sen. Cardin to support diplomacy with Iran by opposing any new sanctions legislation, including the Kirk-Menendez bill. As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, new sanctions legislation "will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails."
I also support the petition calling on Sen. Cardin to oppose any effort to punish the Palestinians for using international law to protect their human rights by joining the International Criminal Court. That means he should not support any effort to cut aid to the Palestinians, including Sen. Rand Paul's bill (S.34) and the proposed Gillibrand-Rubio letter.
When you’re done, please report your call here:
Thanks for all you do to protect diplomacy,
Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy
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Submitted by Megan Iorio on 15 January 2015 - 12:49pm
Sen. Robert Menendez announced that he plans to introduce new Iran sanctions legislation before the State of the Union next Tuesday.
The Obama administration is adamant that any new sanctions—even those with a trigger to become active upon a break in the talks—would violate the Joint Action Plan that has limited Iran’s nuclear program, inviting Iran to also violate the agreement and “blow up” the talks, as National Security Advisor Susan Rice has said.
The State Department announced that the President will veto any new Iran sanctions bill, but Menendez is looking to recruit a veto-proof 67 vote majority to circumvent the President. Menendez will try to recruit your Senators—which is why they need to hear from you!
Call your Senators TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and say
I urge Sen. _______ to OPPOSE any new Iran sanctions legislation. The Obama administration has made clear that any new sanctions bill—even if it includes a trigger—would violate the Joint Action Plan, which has successfully limited Iran’s nuclear program. Doing so would invite Iran to also violate the plan and, as Susan Rice has put it, “blow up” the talks and any hope of resolving this issue diplomatically.
When you’re done, report your call below.
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 13 January 2015 - 1:31am
Last Wednesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced that Palestine would become a member of the International Criminal Court on April 1. That same day, Sen. Rand Paul introduced legislation to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority— about $400 million a year—if the Palestinians don’t withdraw their application to join the ICC. And on Friday, Sens. Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, and Mark Kirk released a statement saying that the Palestinian decision to join the ICC was “deplorable, counterproductive, and will be met with a strong response by the United States Congress.”
In less than a week, Just Foreign Policy has collected nearly 15,000 signatures on a petition calling for Sen. Paul to withdraw his bill. But your Senators are also getting pressure to join Sen. Paul and others in trying to bully the Palestinians to withdraw their ICC application—which is why they need to hear from you NOW.
Call your Senators TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and say
Sen. ____ should not support Rand Paul's S. 34—or any other bill, resolution, letter, or statement—that tries to bully the Palestinians into withdrawing their application to the ICC by cutting US funding to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians shouldn't be punished for trying to use international law to protect their human rights. The UN has accepted Palestine's application to the ICC, and the US should respect this decision.
When you’re done with your call, report it below.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 29 December 2014 - 7:50pm
With Republicans taking over the Senate in the new year already threatening to impose new sanctions on Iran—which would almost certainly sabotage the ongoing diplomacy—it's more important than ever for pro-diplomacy Senators to speak out in support of the extension in the talks.
That’s why, since the extension was announced on November 24, Just Foreign Policy has been urging Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to make their support known.
Earlier today, I—along with Vermont physician David Hobbs and JFP volunteer Anke Voss—met with Philip Fiermonte, Sen. Sanders' State Director, at the Senator’s Burlington office. We delivered petitions with over 150 Vermont signatures and informed Fiermonte that more than 250 Vermonters have sent letters to the Senator over the last few weeks urging him to make a public statement.
Help us continue to defend diplomacy in the new year by making a $15 (or more!) tax-deductible donation today!
During the meeting, Dr. Hobbs—who came 20 miles to attend—urged Sen. Sanders to speak up for peace, noting the terrible consequences that recent wars have had on the peoples of the Middle East.
Fiermonte acknowledged our concerns and read from a message which Sen. Sanders' Washington staff had sent ahead of the meeting, saying that Sen. Sanders supports continued diplomatic engagement with Iran, supports the extension of the interim agreement with Iran, and opposes new sanctions now that would undermine the talks—exactly what we were asking him to say. Fiermonte promised to send a letter to me after the holidays, which will help us in our fight to defend diplomacy.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 23 December 2014 - 12:49pm
On Monday, December 29, at noon, I’m going to be delivering petitions from Vermont residents to Senator Sanders’ Burlington office, urging him to speak up now in favor of diplomacy with Iran.
If you live in Vermont, I’m hoping that you’ll join me! Here's the information:
December 29, noon
1 Church St, Suite 300
Burlington, VT 05401
If you’re not on Facebook, no worries! You can sign up to attend the event by filling out the form below.
Even if you can’t come to the petition delivery, you can still participate! Sign and share our petition with folks in Vermont ahead of the delivery.
Thanks for all you do to help defend diplomacy – and happy holidays!
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 9 December 2014 - 12:51pm
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) is expected to vote soon on an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It is virtually certain that some authorization of force will pass. But the committee will consider limits on the authorization of force, and meaningful limitations could pass.
If you have a Senator on the committee, you are in a unique position to influence the vote.
Sen. Tim Kaine has a proposal that would prohibit the use of ground troops except for rescue missions and "limited operations against high-value targets" – that is, against terrorist leaders who directly threaten the United States. It would expire in one year unless renewed by Congress. It would also require the White House to give legislators a list of groups that might be covered by the authorization because they are associated with the Islamic State.
Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121. You can say something like,
I urge Senator X to support Sen. Kaine’s proposals to limit the authorization of the use of force against ISIS, including by prohibiting the use of U.S. ground forces in combat in Iraq and Syria except for rescue missions and against groups that directly threaten the U.S.
When you’ve made your call, please report it below.
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 3 December 2014 - 8:36pm
It’s been little over a week since the US and its European partners agreed to extend talks with Iran and anti-diplomacy forces are already pushing Congress to pass new sanctions, which would violate the interim deal and kill the talks.
Your Senators are being pressured to support efforts to kill the Iran talks and need to hear from you!
Call your Senators NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say
I support diplomacy with Iran. Passing new sanctions now would violate the interim deal and kill the talks. [NAME] should oppose such measures. [NAME] should speak up in support of letting diplomacy work.
When you’re done, report your call using our easy response form below.
For those calling Sen-elect Gary Peters: If you can't get through to his House line or if his voicemail is full, call his Detroit office at (313) 964-9960.
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 21 November 2014 - 1:00pm
If Chris Murphy, Tim Kaine, or Rand Paul is one of your Senators, you have a great opportunity to help block funding for US military action in Iraq and Syria until Congress has considered an AUMF.
Your Senator is one of a handful of Senators who have been protesting the fact that Congress has not yet debated and voted on an authorization of force for the new war in Iraq and Syria.
But your Senator hasn’t yet spoken out about the Pentagon’s request for $5 billion more in new money for the war. If Congress approves the money without debating and voting on an AUMF, it would be endorsing the claim that a debate and vote is not necessary.
Since your Senator has already gone public with his support for a debate and vote on an AUMF, we think it’s likely that he would also speak out against the funding request if given a little push.
Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. Say:
I’m calling to thank Senator X for speaking out about the fact that Congress has not yet voted on an AUMF, and to urge Senator X to publicly oppose any new funding for the war until Congress has debated and voted on an AUMF.
When you’ve made your call, please report it using our easy response form below.
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 12 November 2014 - 11:54am
The US military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria is entering its fourth month. Congress has been reluctant to act on their obligation to debate and vote on the new war—but that’s about to change.
Last week, President Obama announced that he would seek a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in Iraq and Syria. But the AUMF the Administration is proposing may go even further than targeting ISIS to embroil us in another endless and borderless war.
Congress will begin considering a new AUMF very soon, with hearings in the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee expected this week. That means we need to speak up NOW in order to influence the debate.
Call your reps in Congress NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say:
I urge you to support the principles of H. Con. Res 114 which calls for Congress to oppose the use of ground troops and says any AUMF on Iraq and Syria should be narrow and limited. 
In particular, any AUMF should:
- prohibit ground troops, as the President has said;
- be narrowly focused on ISIS and Al Qaeda, as the President has said.
- have a time limit or sunset provision so that it has to be renewed in the future for war to continue rather than lasting indefinitely by default; and
- include a provision for regular public reporting on civilian deaths and injuries from U.S. airstrikes, so that the public, Members of Congress, and journalists can better understand reports in the media about civilian casualties.
When you're done, please report your call below.