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Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN)Special Dossier: Echoes of War
Eighty-Eight Senators Condemn Hezbollah
Ten Republicans break ranks on Israel .
In a bipartisan letter to European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, 88 Senators called on the E.U. to add Hezbollah to its terrorist list -- adding to the chorus of the 209 members of the House who cosigned a similar letter to Solana. Unfortunately, twelve U.S. Senators failed to sign a bipartisan letter calling on the European Union (E.U.) to add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist organizations. Most troubling, the top two Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chairman Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman John Warner (R-VA), were not among the 88 Senators who signed the letter. "When it comes to Israel and the Jewish community, the hypocrisy of Republicans in Congress is just overwhelming. How is it that Republicans in the Senate can claim to be supporters of Israel when almost 20 percent of their caucus — including their top two Members on the Foreign Relations Committee and top Republican on the Armed Services Committee — apparently does not think that Hezbollah should be on the E.U. list of terrorist organizations," asked NJDC Executive Director Ira Forman. "While Democrats are out there trying to punish Israel's enemies and ensure that she has a right to defend herself, these ten Republican senators have no problem with the international community treating Hezbollah as a legitimate organization. Shame on them." Earlier in the war, on July 18, 2006, the Senate passed a Resolutiom 534 in support of Israel and its right to self defense. Again, 43 out of the Senate's 44 Democrats co-sponsored the bill condemning the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas and asserting Israel's right to defend herself while only 19 out of the Senate's 55 Republicans did so. The following Senators failed to sign letter condemning Hezbollah:
To date the E.U. has refused to add Hezbollah to its terrorist list -- despite Hezbollah's well documented history of terrorism and the adoption of a resolution last year by the E.U. Parliament affirming Hezbollah's involvement in terrorist activities.
Hezbollah is already a designated terrorist organization by the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. As we've previously said, the E.U. designation would deal a devastating blow to Hezbollah's fundraising activities in Europe by requiring E.U. member states to cut off the terrorist group's funding sources and to seize Hezbollah assets.
- Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
- Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
- Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)
- Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
- Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM)
- Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY)
- Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH)
- Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 2nd ranking Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)
- Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, Senator John Warner (R-VA)
: Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) did not sign the letter because he was away from the capital in Wolf Creek, Montana attending to the funeral
of his nephew Marine Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus who was killed July 29 during a suicide bombing in Iraq's Al Anbar province.
Text of the Senate Letter
Mr. Javier Solana
High Representative to the European Union
Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
Rue de la Loi, 175 B-1048 Bruxelles
Dear High Representative Solana:
We write you today to urge the European Union to take immediate steps to add Hezbollah to the European Union List for the Application of Specific Measures to Combat Terrorism. This month's unprovoked attacks against Israeli civilians are the most recent reminder of Hezbollah's deadly nature.
Hezbollah has a long history of terrorist acts around the world - attacking US and French forces, kidnapping Americans and other Westerners, hijacking airplanes, and attacking Israeli interests in Argentina. These are only a few examples, but they clearly demonstrate that Hezbollah is focused on killing innocent civilians as well as military forces. They also show that the threat from Hezbollah extends around the world and knows no borders.
Hezbollah's most recent actions - the unprovoked kidnapping of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers from Israeli territory and the continued firing of thousands of missiles into Israeli towns and cities aimed specifically at civilians - should conclusively demonstrate Hezbollah's nature as a terrorist organization. The resulting crisis threatens to destabilize the entire region as well as inflict suffering on millions of innocent civilians on both sides of the border.
Placing Hezbollah on the EU's List for the Application of Specific Measures to Combat Terrorism will not only have important symbolic value at such a difficult time, it will also further cut off funding sources and assets that are used to support Hezbollah's ongoing terrorist acts.
The United Nations Security Council acted in September 2004 with Resolution 1559, calling on Hezbollah to disarm so that it would no longer pose a threat to the democratically elected Lebanese government. It is time that the EU joins the international community in aggressively working to end funding and support for Hezbollah.
We appreciate your time and look forward to your response.
Senators Akaka, Allard, Allen, Bayh, Bennett, Biden, Bingaman, Bond, Boxer, Brownback, Bunning, Burns, Burr, Cantwell, Carper, Chambliss, Clinton, Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Conrad, Cornyn, Crapo, Dayton, DeMint, DeWine, Dodd, Dole, Dorgan, Durbin, Ensign, Feingold, Feinstein, Frist, Graham, Grassley, Harkin, Hatch, Hutchison, Inhofe, Inouye, Isakson, Jeffords, Johnson, Kennedy, Kerry, Kohl, Kyl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Lincoln, Lott, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Menendez, Mikulski, Murkowski, Murray, Nelson, Nelson, Obama, Pryor, Reed, Reid, Roberts, Rockefeller, Salazar, Santorum, Sarbanes, Schumer, Sessions, Shelby, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stabenow, . Stevens, Sununu, Talent, Thomas, Thune, Vitter, Voinovich, and Wyden,
Text of Senate Resolution
Mr. FRIST (for himself, Mr. REID, Mr. BIDEN, Mr. SANTORUM, Mr. NELSON of Florida, Mr. KYL, Mr. BOND, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mr. LEVIN, Mrs. DOLE, Mr. GRASSLEY, Mr. BUNNING, Mr. SMITH, Mr. TALENT, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. VITTER, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. VOINOVICH, Mr. ALLEN, Mr. COLEMAN, Mr. MCCONNELL, Mr. BROWNBACK, Mr. AKAKA, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. BAYH, Mr. BINGAMAN, Mrs. BOXER, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. CARPER, Mrs. CLINTON, Mr. CONRAD, Mr. DAYTON, Mr. DODD, Mr. DORGAN, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. FEINGOLD, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. INOUYE, Mr. JOHNSON, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. KERRY, Mr. KOHL, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Mr. LEAHY, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mrs. LINCOLN, Mr. MENENDEZ, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mrs. MURRAY, Mr. NELSON of Nebraska, Mr. OBAMA, Mr. PRYOR, Mr. REED, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, Mr. SALAZAR, Mr. SARBANES, Mr. SCHUMER, Ms. STABENOW, Mr. WYDEN, and Mr. MCCAIN) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
RESOLUTION: Condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense.
Whereas Israel fully complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (adopted March 19, 1978) by completely withdrawing its forces from Lebanon, as certified by the United Nations Security Council and affirmed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on June 16, 2000, when he said, `Israel has withdrawn from [Lebanon] in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425.';
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (adopted September 2, 2004) calls for the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces and the dismantlement of all independent militias in Lebanon;
Whereas despite Resolution 1559, the terrorist organization Hezbollah remains active in Lebanon and has amassed thousands of rockets aimed at northern Israel;
Whereas the Government of Lebanon, which includes representatives of Hezbollah, has done little to dismantle Hezbollah forces or to exert its authority and control throughout all geographic regions of Lebanon;
Whereas Hezbollah receives financial, military, and political support from Syria and Iran;
Whereas the United States has enacted several laws, including the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note) and the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note), that call for the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Iran for, among other things, their support for terrorism and terrorist organizations;
Whereas the Government of Israel has shown restraint in the past year even though Hezbollah has launched at least 4 separate attacks into Israel using rockets and ground forces;
Whereas, without provocation, on the morning of July 12, 2006, Hezbollah launched an attack into northern Israel, killing 7 Israeli soldiers and taking 2 hostage into Lebanon;
Whereas on June 25, 2006, despite Israel's evacuation of Gaza in 2005, the terrorist organization Hamas, which is also supported by Syria and Iran, entered sovereign Israeli territory, attacked an Israeli military base, killed 2 Israeli soldiers, and captured an Israeli soldier, and has refused to release that soldier;
Whereas rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since Israel's evacuation of Gaza in 2005; and
Whereas both Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist and call for the destruction of Israel: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
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reaffirms its steadfast support for the State of Israel;
supports Israel's right of self-defense and Israel's right to take appropriate action to deteraggression by terrorist groups and their state sponsors;
urges the President to continue fully supporting Israel as Israel exercises its right of self-defense in Lebanon and Gaza;
calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers who are being held captive by Hezbollah or Hamas;
condemns the Governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and holds the Governments of Syria and Iran responsible for the acts of aggression carried out by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel;
condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for exploiting civilian populations as shields and locating their military activities in civilian areas;
urges the President to use all available political and diplomatic means, including sanctions, to persuade the governments of Syria and Iran to end their support of Hezbollah and Hamas;
calls on the Government of Lebanon to do everything in its power to find and free the kidnapped Israeli soldiers being held in its territory, and to fulfill its responsibility under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (adopted September 2, 2004) to disband and disarm Hezbollah;
calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn these unprovoked acts and to demand compliance with Resolution 1559, which requires that Hezbollah and other militias be disbanded and disarmed, and that all foreign forces be withdrawn from Lebanon;
urges all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure and strongly supports the use of all diplomatic means available to free the captured Israeli soldiers; and
recognizes that thousands of American nationals reside peacefully in Lebanon, and that those American nationals in Lebanon concerned for their safety should receive the full support and assistance of the United States government.