Congressional Resolutions Officially Support Israeli Aggression

(May 7, 2002)

On May 2, both branches of Congress passed virtually unanimous resolutions supporting Israel's ongoing military offensive in the West Bank. The Senate resolution passed by a vote of 94 to 2; the vote in the House of Representatives was 352 to 21.

The resolutions embraced Israeli aggression as part of the "international war against terrorism" and emphasized the U.S. and Israel are "now engaged in a common struggle against terrorism." In speeches and the resolutions themselves, leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties repeatedly condemned the Palestinian people and President Arafat, in particular, as terrorists; the House resolution said that Arafat's actions "are not those of a viable partner for peace."

During the debate, the majority leader in the House, Congressman Dick Armey of Texas, called for the removal of all Palestinians from the occupied territories. On May 2, during an interview on MSNBC's "Hardball" program, Armey stated:

"I have thought this through. I've thought it through for a lot of years. I believe that Israel is the state for the Jewish people. It needs to be honored. It needs to be protected."

The question was put: "Well, just to repeat, you believe that the Palestinians who are now living on the West Bank should get out of there?" To which he replied: "Yes."

He also said: "I am content to have Israel occupy that land that it now occupies and to have those people who have been aggressors against Israel retired to some other arena."

He added directly under further questioning, "I happen to believe that the Palestinians should leave."

These official declarations by the U.S. Congress in support of the war against Palestine were approved on the same day that the Bush administration, trying to present itself as a neutral "peacemaker," announced plans for a Middle East "peace conference." The Congress has reminded the world just what kind of "peace" U.S. imperialism is seeking -- the peace of occupation based on liquidating the Palestinian nation.