ACTION ALERT Tell your representative to vote ‘NO’ on H. Res. 268 (CHICAGO 07/07/2011) – The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote this evening or Friday on a resolution that would impose sanctions on Palestinians if they continue to press for statehood in the United Nations or continue to actively seek recognition as a state from other countries. The Senate already passed its version of the bill earlier. House Resolution 268, introduced by Eric Cantor, R-Va., recommends withholding U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian National Authority if it presses for statehood in the United Nations in September. The bill also requires any unity government forged between Hamas and Fatah recognize the right of the Jewish state to exist. “The resolution as it is written is advocating Israeli principles and making them America's position,” said Dr. Hatem Bazian, chairman of the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). “At a time of massive change in the Middle East, the U.S. should stand for justice and freedom as well as the rule of international law.” AMP calls on members of Congress to take an independent approach to policies in the Middle East especially since international law guarantees the right of all people to self-determination. Furthermore, any peace negotiations must be based upon substantive international laws, especially as they pertain to refugees’ individual right of return as stipulated in the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN resolutions 194, 242, and 338. “This bill and the one already passed by the Senate seek to penalize Palestinians simply for demanding their legal rights,” Dr. Bazian said. TAKE ACTION It is urgent for you to tell your elected representative TODAY and FRIDAY to vote ‘NO” or to abstain from voting on H. Res. 268. It does make a difference. A congressional staffer told the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation that an elected official changed his position simply because of the 20 phone calls he received. TALKING POINTS Congress should not put a timetable on others’ freedom by threatening sanctions against people attempting to exercise their right to self-determination. Attempting to force Palestinians back to the negotiating table, especially while Israel continues to colonize their land, is not fair and can only lead to additional policy failures. This resolution is another in a long series of Congressional resolutions attempting to place the blame on Palestinians for Israel maintaining its illegal military occupation of Palestinian lands and engaging in apartheid policies toward them. To find your U.S. Representative, click here. Or call the House switchboard and ask to be connected to your representative at 202.224.3121. Read the full text of H. Res. 238 here. For more information, or to follow the progress on this bill, please visit www.endtheoccupation.org.