327 Representatives were signatories to the letter.
102 were non-signers: 94 were Democrats and 8 were Republican.
Dear Secretary Clinton:
We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension. In every important relationship, there will be occasional misunderstandings and conflicts. The announcement during Vice President Biden’s visit was, as Israel’s Prime Minister said in an apology to the United States, “a regrettable incident that was done in all innocence and was hurtful, and which certainly should not have occurred.” We are reassured that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment to put in place new procedures will ensure that such surprises, however unintended, will not recur.
The United States and Israel are close allies whose people share a deep and abiding friendship based on a shared commitment to core values including democracy, human rights and freedom of the press and religion. Our two countries are partners in the fight against terrorism and share an important strategic relationship. A strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the United States and brings stability to the Middle East. We are concerned that the highly publicized tensions in the relationship will not advance the interests the U.S. and Israel share. Above all, we must remain focused on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to Middle East peace and stability.
From the moment of Israel’s creation, successive U.S. administrations have appreciated the special bond between the U.S. and Israel. For decades, strong, bipartisan Congressional support for Israel, including security assistance and other important measures, have been eloquent testimony to our commitment to Israel’s security, which remains unswerving. It is the very strength of this relationship that has, in fact, made Arab-Israeli peace agreements possible, both because it convinced those who sought Israel’s destruction to abandon any such hope and because it gave successive Israeli governments the confidence to take calculated risks for peace.
In its declaration of independence 62 years ago, Israel declared: “We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.” In the decades since, despite constantly having to defend itself from attack, Israel has repeatedly made good on that pledge by offering to undertake painful risks to reach peace with its neighbors.
Our valuable bilateral relationship with Israel needs and deserves constant reinforcement. As the Vice-President said during his recent visit to Israel: “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space.” Steadfast American backing has helped lead to Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And American involvement continues to be critical to the effort to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
We recognize that, despite the extraordinary closeness between our country and Israel, there will be differences over issues both large and small. Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies. We hope and expect that, with mutual effort and good faith, the United States and Israel will move beyond this disruption quickly, to the lasting benefit of both nations. We believe, as President Obama said, that “Israel’s security is paramount” in our Middle East policy and that “it is in U.S. national security interests to assure that Israel’s security as an independent Jewish state is maintained.” In that spirit, we look forward to working with you to achieve the common objectives of the U.S. and Israel, especially regional security and peace.
HOWARD L. BERMAN
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs
Ranking Republican Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chairman, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia
Ranking Republican Member, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia
Here is a list who did not sign the Hoyer-Cantor Letter (Republicans listed in bold. All others are Democrat.)
Hirono, Mazie K.
Payne, Donald M.
Jackson Lee, Sheila
Peterson, Collin C.
Johnson, Eddie Bernice
Jones, Walter B.
Kanjorski, Paul E.
Capuano, Michael E.
Rangel, Charles B.
Clay Jr., William “Lacy”
Rush, Bobby L.
Kucinich, Dennis J.
Conyers Jr., John
Larson, John B.
Davis, Danny K.
Massa, Eric J. J.
Thompson, Bennie G.
DeLauro, Rosa L.
Dicks, Norman D.
Meeks, Gregory W.
Walz, Timothy J.
Edwards, Donna F.
Mollohan, Alan B.
Ehlers, Vernon J.
Watson, Diane E.
Eshoo, Anna G.
Murphy, Christopher S.
Neal, Richard E.
Obey, David R.
Wilson, Charles A.
Ortiz, Solomon P.
Yarmuth, John A.
Lets turn the pages of history back to the Nuremberg trials when the law was confirmed by the Charter of International Military Tribunal, as backed by the European Axis, including the United States:
“B. Legal References.
1. Charter of International Military Tribunal
“Article 6. The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article 1 hereof for the trial end punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.
The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation, initiation or waging of war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities; towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
(c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, Extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country perpetrated.
Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.”
2. Preamble to the Fourth Hague Convention, 18 October 1907
“Until a more complete code of the laws of war can be issued, the high contracting parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included under the regulations adopted by them, populations and belligerents remain under the protection and rule of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established between civilized nations, from the laws of humanity and the public conscience.”
3. Fourth Hague Convention, 18 October 1907, Article 46
“Family, honour and rights, lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practices, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.”