Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke voted against H. Res. 867 “calling 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.” She released the following statement:
“I have long supported, and continue to unequivocally support, Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself from the aggression of those that would seek to destroy this nation. Ultimately, it is in all of our interest to remain focused on assisting Israel in order to achieve a lasting peace. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to achieve our shared goal.
“The U.N. General Assembly will examine the findings of its fact finding mission authored by Justice Richard E. Goldstone later this week. Let me state up front that I have grave concerns about the disproportionate focus and condemnation of the Israeli military and lack of appropriate attention paid to violations by Hamas. I believe it is absolutely appropriate for the U.S. Congress to insist on a balanced U.N. resolution and investigation that holds all parties accountable. I also believe it is perfectly legitimate for the Administration to insist on such balance in any resolution from the U.N. and, if necessary, veto further action on resolutions that fail to meet this standard. However, I have concerns regarding the language of H.Res. 867 and legislative disposition of the resolution.
• Consideration of this resolution completely circumvented the legislative process, preventing an accurate and thorough vetting of the findings of the Goldstone Report. This highly unusual legislative maneuver, which denied members a single subcommittee hearing, raises questions regarding the claims in this resolution.
•Justice Goldstone published a detailed reply to H.Res. 867, pointing out specific factual inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and items taken out of context. He also offered to testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the report’s findings. These discrepancies needed to be addressed prior to bringing the resolution to a vote in the Congress.
•Language stating that it should be U.S. policy to “oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration…in multilateral fora” is excessively broad and inconsistent with our national commitment to human rights and the rule of law.
•The numbers of my constituents that contacted my office overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to the resolution, with those in favor being very few and far between.
“I was very conflicted in taking this vote. However, as a representative of one of the most diverse constituencies in the United States, I fully understand that the complexities of the pathway to peace in the Middle East are not paved in comfort and expediency. I am committed to supporting legislation that bolsters our relationships with our global partners and promotes peace and stability around the world. Unfortunately, H.Res. 867, in its current form, does nothing to further these goals. For that reason, and the process, or lack there-of, in bringing this legislation to the floor, I opposed the resolution.”
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