The war in Gaza continues, largely because the Bush administration has continued to oppose, in practice, an immediate ceasefire. With each day that passes without a ceasefire, more innocents are killed.
Representative Dennis Kucinich plans to introduce a resolution in the House soon calling for an immediate ceasefire. There are a number of whereases in the draft, recounting the human toll of the war and the blockade, but the punchline is very simple:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives calls on the Government of Israel and representatives of Hamas to implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and to allow unrestricted humanitarian access in Gaza.
"A resolution has co-sponsors," a Kucinich staffer once said. It's great that Dennis is on the floor of the House telling the truth. But it's terrible for the prospects of changing disastrous U.S. policies towards the Palestinians for Dennis to be standing alone. Who will co-sponsor the Kucinich ceasefire resolution?
So far the original cosponsors include John Conyers, Keith Ellison, Maurice Hinchey, Marcy Kaptur, Jim McDermott, Nick Rahall, Diane Watson, and Lynn Woolsey.
[UPDATE: The resolution, H. Res. 66, "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives concerning the humanitarian crisis in Gaza," has been introduced. The text and current list of co-sponsors can be found here.]
When the House voted on AIPAC's resolution endorsing the war, five people voted no: Dennis Kucinich, Gwen Moore, Ron Paul, Nick Rahall, and Maxine Waters. Twenty-two Democrats voted "present," including many who had spoken strongly against the resolution and/or against the war: Neil Abercrombie, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, John Dingell, Donna Edwards, Keith Ellison, Sam Farr, Raul Grijalva, Maurice Hinchey, Hank Johnson, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Barbara Lee, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, George Miller, Jim Moran, John Olver, Donald Payne, Loretta Sanchez, Pete Stark, Diane Watson, and Lynn Woolsey.
On July 19, 2006, Kucinich introduced a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon. That resolution was co-sponsored by: Neil Abercrombie, Tammy Baldwin, Wm. Lacy Clay, Emanuel Cleaver, John Conyers, Danny Davis, Peter DeFazio, Lloyd Doggett, Bob Filner, Raul Grijalva, Maurice Hinchey, Michael Honda, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Marcy Kaptur, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Barbara Lee, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, Cynthia McKinney, Gregory Meeks, George Miller, Gwen Moore, James Moran, John Olver, Major Owens, Nick Rahall, Charles Rangel, Bobby Rush, Louise Slaughter, Hilda Solis, Pete Stark, Nydia Velazquez, Maxine Waters, and Lynn Woolsey.
On July 25, 2006, Sheila Jackson-Lee introduced a bill calling for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon. That received 18 co-sponsors: John Conyers, Elijah Cummings, Danny Davis, Lloyd Doggett, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Maurice Hinchey, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Marcy Kaptur, Dale Kildee, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Dennis Kucinich, Jim McDermott, Gwen Moore, John Olver, Nick Rahall, Diane Watson, and Lynn Woolsey.
If everyone listed above who is currently a Member of Congress co-sponsored the Kucinich resolution, the resolution would have about fifty sponsors. And that would be a good start. It would give a very different message to the world than five people voting no on the AIPAC resolution. And it would encourage other Members of Congress to take a first step away from the disastrous policies that Congress has been supporting.
Of course every Member of Congress should be hearing from their constituents.
But, if your Member of Congress is on the above list, you have a special responsibility to act now to ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Kucinich resolution. You can use the link here for calling and the link here for writing.