Thursday, May 12, 2011

A strong Israeli Lobby.

Dear Mr. DeFazio:

As a veteran I am appalled by the long history of lawless, deceptively justified violence visited by our country both covertly and overtly upon other peoples, and visited by Israel upon the Palestinian people with our military aid and diplomatic protection. The US remains the only obstacle to justice for the robbed and brutalized, almost entirely helpless Palestinians of both the West Bank and Gaza.

I am national vice chair of the Veterans for Peace working group on Israel/Palestine, and we have drafted the following notice for distribution to our chapters nationwide to urge actions in their own communities against HR 1501, an outrageous resolution. I ask that you oppose HR 1501 vigorously.

Jack Dresser, Ph.D.
Eugene, Oregon
Behavioral Research Scientist
Political & Prevention Psychology
National Vice Chair, Israel/Palestine Working Group, Veterans for Peace
Co-director, The Al-Nakba Awareness Project

House Resolution 1501 would Provide Israel Impunity for Gaza Crimes http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2961
In a brazen display of the political power of the Israel Lobby over US Middle East foreign policy, legislation has passed the Senate and is now pending in the House to withhold US dues to the UN indefinitely contingent on UN retraction of their Goldstone Mission report. More information is available at the above link. This is a clear effort at extortion to cover up a crime, a felony in any jurisdiction in the developed world. This represents a disgraceful capitulation by our elected leaders to the efforts of a foreign government to evade international law. Congress will be in recess next week and our representatives will be home and accessible to personal visits, demonstrations and other forms of direct communication by constituents. We urge VFP members in districts represented by House members who voted to reject the Goldstone Report to remind them that:
1. Judge Goldstone suggested that further evidence might revise only one of 36 probable war crimes documented in the report.
2. All other members of the commission stand by the report in its entirety, without qualification of any kind.
3. The UN’s McGowan-Davis follow-up committee reports no credible self-investigation by Israel.
4. The US Foreign Assistance Act prohibits foreign aid to any country with a repeated pattern of human rights abuses.
5. Israel’s inhumane blockade of Gaza includes multiple human rights abuses over four years documented by the UN and other international organizations.
6. The US Arms Export Control Act prohibits use of US-supplied weapons except for legitimate self-defense.
7. Many US weapons were used in Operation Cast Lead.
8. The cease-fire was broken by Israel on our election day in 2008, killing six Palestinians, and the retaliatory Qassam rockets launched from Gaza without explosive warheads or directional controls injured no one in Israel.
9. Israel’s subsequent attack indiscriminately killed over 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza including over 300 children and deliberately targeted the civilian police force.
10. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishment, abuse of an occupied population, and use of disproportionate force.
11. General Petraeus has reported that unconditional US support of Israel infuriates the Muslim world and endangers our troops in the CENTCOM theater of operation.
12. This action would constitute extortion to cover up a crime.
A summary of the Goldstone Mission findings is attached in MS Word and PDF formats.
A list of US representatives rejecting the report can be found at http://blog.unwatch.org/?p=511.

10 comments:

Jay Knott said...

Given 'the political power of the Israel Lobby over US Middle East foreign policy', what is the point of writing to your 'representatives' and asking them to defy that power? Jack Dresser's approach is typical of the failed liberal leftist whining which has failed the Palestinians for decades. We need to free ourselves from Jewish power. That includes the left.

Gordon Sturrock said...

This statement was NOT approved by VFP's Israel/Palestine Workgroup, it wasn't even discussed. Furthermore, Jack Dresser has been accused deliberately trampling over the rights of his fellow VFP members, and has been charged with being in Contempt of VFP's Statement of Purpose. Additionally, "Jack" is not his real name.
Gordon Sturrock
Radical Vet, for truth, justice and non-violence
member of VFP's Israel/Palestine Workgroup

jackdresser said...

Since Congress is in recess this week, making representatives accessible to constituent input in their home communities, this issue required quick attention. Therefore, the statement was approved by the 3-person rapid response team within our Israel/Palestine working group established at our last phone conference which Mr. Sturrock did not attend. Mr. Sturrock also appears unaware that Jack is a commonplace nickname for John. Perhaps he has never heard of Jack (John F.) Kennedy.

Mariah Leung said...

Gordon Sturrock seems both confused and confusing. He doesn’t seem to know what side he is on, much less how to support it. As a former associate member of Veterans for Peace, I remember this example. He wanted to drum up support for these two resolutions Jack had written for the national conference which already had multiple co-sponsors within VFP:

RESOLUTION TO SANCTION ISRAEL - #2009-08
After documenting Israeli violations of human rights and international law, this resolution concluded:

Veterans for Peace shall recommend
(1) that all military aid be withheld from Israel under the Arms Export Control Act; and
(2) that all other foreign aid be conditional upon Israel's compliance with international law, in particular the long-established international laws of armed conflict, universally recognized principles of human rights, and Israel's duties as a United Nations member state; and
(3) that the United States discontinue its protection of Israel from international justice through use of UN Security Council vetoes, and
(4) support of boycott and divestment campaigns against Israeli businesses, institutions and all commercial, intellectual and cultural products to raise the cost to Israeli society of allowing continued defiance by its government of international law and the human rights of Palestinians.

RESOLUTION ON ONE-STATE SOLUTION 2009-09
This resolution described Israel’s ever-increasing land theft in Palestine that has made a viable and independent Palestinian state impossible, the apartheid legal system in Israel that discriminates against its Palestinian citizens, and the increasing endorsement of a single, unified, democratic state, concluding:
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: Veterans for Peace shall recommend serious consideration of a "one-state solution" to establish freedom, justice and equality in the Holy Land.

-------------

In what seemed strange to me, Gordon tried to get local non-VFP members to "officially endorse" these resolutions, apparently to inflate perceived support. Worse, the support he requested was from the Pacifica Forum in Eugene, a group that had come under racist influence and was strongly repudiated by Palestinians and Palestinian solidarity activists who saw any perceived affiliation with such groups as providing ammunition to their opponents. When Jack discovered this, he was livid.

Here is an exchange between them, where Gordon refers to Pacifica Forum's “noble path”:
----------------------------

Re: resolution support ?

From:

Dawn Coslow (coslow@...)

Sent:

Tue 8/18/09 9:27 AM

To:

Gordon Sturrock (gs@...); OrvalEtter@...; Dawn Coslow (coslow@...)


I think it's fairly safe to expect that we'll come out of this Friday's Forum, with an "official" endorsement.

I'll print copies of the resolutions.

Thanks for your connect and for all your work, G~d

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gordon Sturrock"
To: OrvalEtter@..., "Dawn Coslow"
Subject: resolution support
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 09:12:00 -0700

Dawn & Orville,

Is there any chance that Pacifica Forum can 'officially' endorse either of these two resolutions? It would be very handy if that were possible. Let me know as soon as possible.

FYI, the Seattle VFP Chapter endorsed both, and it was subsequently shot down at the National Convention by the board. Your support of these two resolutions would give me further hard evidence of the noble path that I believe you are on, in addition to what I've already mentioned in my previous letter.

----------------------
Now, for whatever murky motives, he seems to be up to his old tricks

Eduardo Cohen said...

To Whom it May Concern,
I am Eduardo Cohen, the elected Chairperson of the national Working Group on Israel-Palestine of Veterans for Peace (VFP).
Dr. Jack Dresser is my widely respected Working Group co-chair and a valuable member in good standing of Veterans for Peace.
It was brought to my attention that after Jack posted a draft of a political alert that we had written in our Rapid Response committee, Mr. Gordon Sturrock made some untrue and somewhat bizarre claims about Dr. Dresser.
Referring to Jack’s letter and political alert to Congressman DeFazio, which was posted to this blog, Gordon wrote:
“This statement was NOT approved by VFP's Israel/Palestine Workgroup, it wasn't even discussed.”
In fact, the alert about US House Resolution 1501 was discussed in our working group’s rapid response committee that deemed it an appropriate action for rapid response for two important reasons:
1. House Resolution 1501, which it addressed, could be called to the House floor for a vote at any time by the House speaker and with little or no advance notice.
2. The House was scheduled for a recess this week so most US Representatives would be back in their home districts.
Gordon also wrote that:
“Jack Dresser has been accused [of] deliberately trampling over the rights of his fellow VFP members, and has been charged with being in Contempt of VFP's Statement of Purpose.”
The fact is the only “accusations and charges” made against Jack were made by Gordon Sturrock himself and have been ignored by everyone else in the working group as well as the VFP Board.
We have seen Gordon’s behavior become increasingly strange and unpredictable within the group. We are sorry to see that it has extended beyond the group and onto your blogspace.

Sincerely,
Eduardo Cohen
Chair, VFP I-PWG

Eduardo Cohen said...

To Whom it May Concern,

I am Eduardo Cohen, the elected Chairperson of the national Working Group on Israel-Palestine of Veterans for Peace (VFP).

Dr. Jack Dresser is my widely respected Working Group co-chair and a valuable member in good standing of Veterans for Peace.

It was brought to my attention that after Jack posted a draft of a political alert that we had written in our Rapid Response committee, Mr. Gordon Sturrock made some untrue and somewhat bizarre claims about Dr. Dresser.

Referring to Jack’s letter and political alert to Congressman DeFazio, which was posted to this blog, Gordon wrote:

“This statement was NOT approved by VFP's Israel/Palestine Workgroup, it wasn't even discussed.”

In fact, the alert about US House Resolution 1501 was discussed in our working group’s rapid response committee that deemed it an appropriate action for rapid response for two important reasons:

1. House Resolution 1501, which it addressed, could be called to the House floor for a vote at any time by the House speaker and with little or no advance notice.

2. The House was scheduled for a recess this week so most US Representatives would be back in their home districts.

Gordon also wrote that:
“Jack Dresser has been accused [of] deliberately trampling over the rights of his fellow VFP members, and has been charged with being in Contempt of VFP's Statement of Purpose.”

The fact is the only “accusations and charges” made against Jack were made by Gordon Sturrock himself and have been ignored by everyone else in the working group as well as the VFP Board.

We have seen Gordon’s behavior become increasingly strange and irrationable within the group. We are sorry to see that it has extended beyond the group and onto your blogspace.

Sincerely,
Eduardo Cohen
Chair, VFP I-PWG

Gordon Sturrock said...

Mariah should know that I retracted my statement regarding the Pacifica Forum.
It seems the "three man rapid response team" was created under such corrupted conditions the groups chair (Eduardo) refused to release the ONLY documentation supporting its approval. Here is his explaination, below. More documentation can be found at this link: http://www.veteransforjustice.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=83


Date: Thu, 12 May 2011 18:00:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: EDUARDO
Subject: [VFP--IP] re Notes and Recording of May 3rd Meeting
To: vfp-israel-palestine@googlegroups.com

Greetings all,

Regarding the notes and recording from our last meeting.

I apologize for not getting the notes out sooner. Unfortunately, no one volunteered to take notes. So I'm doing that myself. And I've been swamped with Middle East work, Working Group demands and a ton of work trade I owe to my landlord. And I'm responsible for going through all the e-mails which is INCREDIBLY time consuming. Going through the tape to make sure the notes are accurate and comprehensive is also a little time consuming. But I hope to have the notes finished tonight.

Regarding the recording. I'm not going to release the recording at this time.

Some members may have wondered why Jon is the one making a big stink about the recording and the notes when he was present for the entire meeting. But for Jon it’s about getting his hands on the recording.

Here’s why.

Jon Monday agreed to have a one on one with Bill Perry after the last meeting. It was to be after the meeting was adjourned and thus off the record. Bill made some undeniably rude and inappropriate comments. But it was after adjournment and, again, understood to be off the record. If those comments had been made during the meeting I would have been forced to cite Bill for a third violation of the rules of decorum which would have brought a seven day suspension.

But if you take a close look at Jon's letter to the Board, you will see that he is prepared to present the recording of the meeting to the Board so that they can listen to Bill’s off the record statements. There are words I can think of to describe such an action, but I don’t believe any of them would be appropriate for me to use here.

There is no requirement that the tape be made available. It’s an optional convenience that isn't required or even mentioned in the motion that established regular telephone conference meetings in which business could be conducted.

Under these circumstances, I don't feel comfortable releasing the code if it appears Jon is waiting to go running to the Board to use off the record comments against another member.

It doesn't seem right.

And that is, I believe, the real reason for Jon's elevated interest and repeated requests for the recording.

I’m sorry that Jon’s actions make it impossible for me to release the tape. It was a productive and inspiring meeting that everyone should be able to hear.

Be well.

Eduardo Cohen
Chair

Stephen S. Noetzel said...

I see you guys are all still operating on a 5th grade level of discourse. That's why I quit the group over 6 months ago. Please take me off all mailing lists and 'copy to' lists involved with VFP and the Israel/Palestine Working Group.
Stephen S. Noetzel

Gordon Sturrock said...

I'm very supportive of your decision to leave and appreciative of your honesty and openness. If you had remained in the group, I would have included you in the contempt charges for your documented advocation of violence, which is highly contrary to VFP's Statement of Purpose which calls on members to "non-violent means".
Best wishes,
Gordon Sturrock

jamsecarig said...

I believe you are on, in addition to what I've already mentioned in my previous letter.