| by Chris Carlson

[See Update Below]

(July 19, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Following a similar resolution passed last week by the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday night to support Israel’s ongoing invasion of the Gaza Strip.

No dissenting vote was cast, and no mention was made of the hundreds of Palestinian civilians, most of whom are women and children, that have been killed by Israel in the past ten days.

Senate Resolution 498 was authored by Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), with additional support by Ben Cardin (D-MD) and son of former Republican party politician Ron Paul, Rand Paul (R-KY).

Paul is urging the Senate to pass his own bill, S. 2265, which would end all U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority until Hamas is barred from the new Palestinian unity government, among other stipulations.

The resolution was passed on the very same night Israel launched its current ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.

The United States and Israel, this past week, signed an agreement under which $429 million of American taxpayers’ money "will be transferred immediately to Israel" to further fund the Iron Dome missile system, which has recently come under scrutiny by prize winning Israeli defense and aerospace engineering expert Dr. Moti Shefer.

Updated - July 19, 2014

Senate Passes Resolution Endorsing Israeli War Crimes by Unanimous Consent

Yesterday, the Senate passed S.498, the resolution introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in support of Israeli war crimes, by unanimous consent.

The text of S. 498 is as follows:


Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding United States support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization.

Whereas Hamas is a United States-designated terrorist organization whose charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel;

Whereas Hamas continues to reject the core principles of the Middle East Quartet (the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia)--recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements;

Whereas Hamas has killed hundreds of Israelis and dozens of Americans in rocket attacks and suicide bombings;

Whereas, since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas and other terrorist groups have fired thousands of rockets at Israel;

Whereas Hamas has entered into a unity governing arrangement with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority;

Whereas the unity governing agreement implies Fatah's and the Palestinian Authority's support for Hamas' belligerent actions against Israel, potentially contributing to a false perception of legitimacy for Hamas' belligerent actions;

Whereas, since June 2014, Hamas has fired nearly 300 rockets at Israel;

Whereas Hamas' weapons arsenal includes approximately 12,000 rockets that vary in range;

Whereas innocent Israeli civilians are indiscriminately targeted by Hamas rocket attacks; and

Whereas 5,000,000 Israelis are currently living under the threat of rocket attacks from Gaza: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) reaffirms its support for Israel's right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel;

(2) condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel;

(3) calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel; and

(4) calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.

"Unanimous consent" means that no one who was present objected to passage.

Although no one objected, only 79 formally attached their names to S. 498:

Alexander, Lamar [R-TN]
Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH]
Barrasso, John [R-WY]
Begich, Mark [D-AK]
Bennet, Michael [D-CO]
Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]
Blunt, Roy [R-MO]
Booker, Cory [D-NJ]
Boozman, John [R-AR]
Boxer, Barbara [D-CA]
Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]
Burr, Richard [R-NC]
Cardin, Benjamin [D-MD]
Casey, Robert “Bob” [D-PA]
Chambliss, Saxby [R-GA]
Coats, Daniel [R-IN]
Cochran, Thad [R-MS]
Collins, Susan [R-ME]
Coons, Chris [D-DE]
Corker, Bob [R-TN]
Cornyn, John [R-TX]
Crapo, Michael [R-ID]
Cruz, Ted [R-TX]
Donnelly, Joe [D-IN]
Durbin, Richard [D-IL]
Enzi, Michael [R-WY]
Fischer, Deb [R-NE]
Flake, Jeff [R-AZ]
Franken, Alan “Al” [D-MN]
Gillibrand, Kirsten [D-NY]
Graham, Lindsey [R-SC]
Grassley, Charles “Chuck” [R-IA]
Hagan, Kay [D-NC]
Hatch, Orrin [R-UT]
Heinrich, Martin [D-NM]
Heitkamp, Heidi [D-ND]
Heller, Dean [R-NV]
Hirono, Mazie [D-HI]
Inhofe, James “Jim” [R-OK]
Isakson, John “Johnny” [R-GA]
Johanns, Mike [R-NE]
Johnson, Ron [R-WI]
Kaine, Timothy [D-VA]
Kirk, Mark [R-IL]
Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]
Landrieu, Mary [D-LA]
Lee, Mike [R-UT]
Levin, Carl [D-MI]
Manchin, Joe [D-WV]
Markey, Edward “Ed” [D-MA]
McCain, John [R-AZ]
Menéndez, Robert “Bob” [D-NJ]
Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]
Mikulski, Barbara [D-MD]
Moran, Jerry [R-KS]
Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK]
Murphy, Christopher [D-CT]
Murray, Patty [D-WA]
Nelson, Bill [D-FL]
Paul, Rand [R-KY]
Portman, Robert “Rob” [R-OH]
Pryor, Mark [D-AR]
Reed, John “Jack” [D-RI]
Roberts, Pat [R-KS]
Rubio, Marco [R-FL]
Schatz, Brian [D-HI]
Schumer, Charles “Chuck” [D-NY]
Scott, Tim [R-SC]
Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH]
Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI]
Tester, Jon [D-MT]
Thune, John [R-SD]
Toomey, Patrick “Pat” [R-PA]
Udall, Mark [D-CO]
Vitter, David [R-LA]
Warner, Mark [D-VA]
Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]
Wicker, Roger [R-MS]
Wyden, Ron [D-OR]

That means that 21 senators did not formally sign on to the bill. One of those was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who does not co-sponsor bills. Another one was Mitch McConnell (R-KY); although he has been the lead sponsor or a co-sponsor on bills as Minority Leader, I would think that the logic here would be somewhat similar.

Who were the other 19 then? 14 members of the Democratic caucus and 5 members of the Republican caucus

Democratic caucus:

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Angus King (I-ME)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
John Walsh (D-MT)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Republican caucus:

Tom Coburn (R-OK)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)

For a good background piece on the current crisis, I would turn you to Nathan Thrall's op-ed in today's New York Times.