Middle East update:
August 10, 2006
It has been a month since the Israel/Lebanon conflict began, and three
weeks since I signed on to H. Con. Res. 450, the cease-fire resolution
submitted by Congressman Dennis Kucinich. And, sadly, the violence has
only intensified on all sides.
It is imperative that the immediate step we take is to stop the blaming,
the charges and countercharges, and enter into a ceasefire, so that we
may bring humanitarian aid to all the victims of violence. It is
important that all parties engage in this ceasefire with good will.
We must also engage in education and negotiation to provide all citizens
and peoples of the region security, economic growth and livelihood. We
must approach each other with respect and accept the challenge of
understanding the varied perspectives in which we are engaged.
We will not find the answers overnight, but we can start by asking the
questions and listening to all the answers.
U.S. Senate Candidate Endorses Call for Cease-Fire in Middle East
July 20, 2006
Jean Hay Bright, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in
Maine, has endorsed the Joint Congressional Resolution (H.Con. Res.
450) submitted by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) this week,
calling for an immediate cease fire of violence in the Middle East
and a commitment by the United States to diplomatic, multi-party
negotiations with no preconditions.
That resolution, with a growing number of co-sponsors in
Congress, calls on the President to "appeal to all sides in the
current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of
violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party
negotiations with no preconditions." Furthermore, the Resolution
would have the President "send a high-level diplomatic mission to
the region to facilitate such multi-party negotiations," and "urges
such multi-party negotiations to begin as soon as possible,
including delegations from the governments of Israel, the
Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt."
Finally, the Resolution "supports an international peacekeeping
mission to southern Lebanon to prevent cross-border skirmishes
during such multi-party negotiations."
"Violence is not the answer," Hay Bright said. "Bombing
civilian populations in response to a limited, cross-border attack
by one faction of a complex society is not the answer. All
democracies of the world should be calling for an immediate
cease-fire. The mass bombings of non-military targets over several
days, and the killing of several hundred innocent civilians, makes
no sense. Logically, it is counter-productive to punish a group for
the offenses of a few, particularly when the group has no control
over the conduct of those few. Who will the unjustly punished end
"While any country has the right to defend itself, what
Israel is doing to Lebanon on its northern border, and what it had
done recently to the Palestinians on its southern border, is outside
the parameters of civilized societies and must not be tolerated."