Congress drafts pro-Israel resolutions

US: Proposed resolutions back Israel's actions and blame Hizbullah for violence.

congress 88 (photo credit: )
congress 88
(photo credit: )
Both chambers of the US congress were working on drafts of resolutions expressing support for Israel in its war against the Hizbullah. The House of Representatives was expected to vote Wednesday on their version of the resolution, which is sponsored by majority leader John Boehner (R-OH) and minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The proposed resolution backs Israel's actions in Lebanon and places the blame for the deterioration in the situation in the region on the Hizbullah and the Hamas. "Be it resolved that the House of Representatives reaffirms its steadfast support for the State of Israel; further condemns Hamas and Hizbullah for cynically exploiting civilian populations as shields," the resolution reads. According to congressional sources, the resolution was expected to be approved with an overwhelming majority. Several lawmakers expressed reservations over the pro-Israeli lean of the resolution, but most of both Republican and Democratic members of Congress are showing support for the resolution. The proposed language does not call on Israel to stop its military action in Lebanon, yet it does acknowledge the civilian casualties on both sides. The Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution expressing support for Israel on Tuesday. The resolution was sponsored by Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and was approved by unanimous consent. The resolution calls for the release of Israeli soldiers held by the Hamas and the Hizbullah and calls on the President to use any available means in order to stop Iran and Syria's sponsorship of terror groups acting against Israel. Senator John Warner (R-VA), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said earlier this week that he opposed the call in the resolution to the president "to continue supporting Israel as it exercises its right for self defense." Warner called the Israeli reaction "extraordinary" and called to consider the implications it might have on the US efforts regarding Iraq and Iran. There is still no date scheduled for a vote on the Senate version of the resolution. The resolutions, if approved, will not be binding and the executive branch will not be compelled to follow them.