Protest of House vote against the UN Goldstone Gaza Report: Protesters will hold a “Read-In” of the 575-page Report

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK, 415-235-6517
Ann Wright, 808-741-1141
Suzanne Stenson O'Brien

What: Protest of House vote against the UN Goldstone Gaza Report
: Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 10am
: Meet at Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Howard Berman's office, Rayburn 2221, Washington, DC

On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the US House of Representatives will vote on House Resolution 867, which calls on the “President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the `Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' in multilateral fora."

At 10 am on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, members of the coalition for the Free Gaza March will occupy the office (Rayburn 2221) of Congressman Howard Berman, chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and read publicly the 575-page Goldstone Report. They will continue to occupy the office until they get a response from Cong. Berman on their request that Congress delay the vote until Judge Goldstein has had a chance to testify at a Congressional hearing.

“We doubt that Cong. Berman or the other members have even read the meticulously-documented report that they are so anxious to criticize, or have read Judge Goldstone's line-by-line refutation of their resolution,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace who has been to Gaza three times this year. “The least they could do it delay the vote until they hear directly from Judge Goldstone. Otherwise, they are sending a terrible message that Israel can wantonly take the lives of innocent Palestinians with no consequences.”

Retired US Army Reserve Colonel Ann Wright, who has also been to Gaza three times this year, commented: “I have seen the destruction caused by the Israeli 22 day attack on Gaza that killed 1,440, wounded 5,000 and made 50,000 homeless. This proposed resolution by Representatives Berman and Ros-Lehtinen continues the US Congress' blind protection for the continuing criminal acts committed by the Israeli government toward the Palestinians and only exacerbates the tensions between most of the countries of the world and the United States.”

Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said “For Congress to pass this resolution without a hearing where Judge Goldstone can testify and based upon a Resolution rife with factual errors makes a mockery of assertions by the United States that fundamental protections of human rights laws law apply equally to all. It leaves the United States, and especially Congress, without a thread of moral authority.”

Ratner, Benjamin and Wright will join over 700 international activists in Gaza on December 31, 2009 for the Gaza Freedom March with an estimated 50,000 citizens of Gaza.