A memo dated today is circulating among the members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It reads: BRIEFING NOTICE: HCFA FULL COMMITTEE BRIEFING: “Israeli-Gaza Conflict: Operation Pillar of Defense” WEDNESDAY 11/28/12 10:00 a.m. MEMBERS ONLY
You are invited to attend a closed briefing to discuss the Israeli-Gaza Conflict: Operation Pillar of Defense. The briefer will be:
- His Excellency Michael B. Oren, Ambassador of Israel
The briefing will take place on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building. This meeting is for Members only.
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN HOWARD L. BERMAN
Chairman Ranking Democratic Member
As it is a closed session, one can only speculate on what will be discussed, but the acceptance of the Israeli name “Operation Pillar of Defense” for the briefing would seem to confirm that our Solons on the Potomac have rather bought into the Israeli narrative of what is taking place and why. And the briefing is being given by the Israeli ambassador, not by someone from CIA or the Defense Department or even the White House’s National Security Council. Wonder if there will be any questions from the audience challenging his viewpoint?
There has been other legislative action. Both houses in Congress have unanimously passed resolutions expressing support for Israel’s “inherent right to act in self-defense.” Identical resolutions passed last Thursday in the Senate and last Friday in the House of Representatives. Drafters of the Senate resolution, which had 64 co-sponsors, were senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Mark Kirk, while the House resolution was written by representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard Berman. Each resolution “expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.” AIPAC subsequently praised “the leadership of Senators Gillibrand and Kirk, and the extraordinary show of support by the Senate for Israel’s struggle against terrorist attacks on its citizens.”
The White House also knows how to pare a cheese: “We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately in order to allow the situation to de-escalate.”