WASHINGTON - July 1 - Jews
for Peace in Palestine and Israel (JPPI) officially launched today its Congressional
Report Card for the 107th Congress. The report card can be viewed at: http://www.jppi.org/congress_reportcard.html.
Members of Congress were graded on their voting patterns and their sponsorship
of major bills and resolutions introduced in the 107th Congress which pertain
to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Members of Congress received a negative mark each time they voted for or sponsored
a bill or resolution which is unbalanced. These typically place all of the blame
for the violence on the Palestinians and sanction them while absolving Israel
of any responsibility or wrongdoing.
Members of Congress received a positive mark each time they voted against or
abstained from voting for a bill or resolution which is unbalanced. In addition,
they received a positive mark for sponsoring a bill or resolution which is balanced.
These typically acknowledge that both Israelis and Palestinians have engaged in
acts of violence and that both sides must make an effort to return to the negotiating
table and find a solution to the conflict based on UN resolutions in order to
prevent further bloodshed.
The Report Card found that two Senators—Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Ernest
Hollings (D-SC)—had a perfect "pro-just peace" score (+1). Three
Representatives—John Dingell (D-MI), Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Nick Rahall
(R-WV)—received perfect "pro-just peace" scores (+6) in the House.
Seven Senators and 24 Representatives received the worst possible "pro-occupation"
score (+5 and +6 respectively).
According to Josh Ruebner, co-founder of JPPI, the report card "demonstrates
conclusively that Congress is playing a biased role in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. By overwhelmingly backing resolutions that portray Israeli aggression
against the Palestinian people as acts of legitimate self-defense, Congress is
giving Israel encouragement to continue its senseless policy of militarily occupying
Leah Harris, a board member of JPPI, said that the United States "cannot
be an ‘honest broker’ as it claims to be if it continues to make all
progress toward peace contingent upon Palestinian action while rewarding Israel
for exceeding the bounds of legitimate self-defense. As American Jews who support
a just peace, we hope that Congress will take into account the needs and aspirations
of both peoples."