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Congressman Blumenauer Fails to Respond to Concerns About Lebanon

Awhile back, someone posted to this site that Earl Blumenauer was refusing to admonish Israel even as they dropped bombs down on little sleeping babies in Lebanon. I could not believe that it was true. So I contacted the congressman's office. And sure enough. He not only refused to speak out against the violence, he was actually going out of his way to support Israel in this. I just couldn't believe it, and I told his staffers so. This week, I received his response. I am so saddened by it that I want to share it with others, in the hopes that they, too, might make their voices heard by the congressman.
I do not have the text for the original letter that I sent to him, nor do I remember what I said word for word. I only remember that I told him how upset I was to learn that he was refusing to condemn Israel for what it had done, and how dismayed I was to read his statement of support for Isreal in the face of little dead babies lying in the rubble in Lebanon. I was crying when I wrote it, as we all should be crying for what has been allowed to happen in this world. Here is the cold, disembodied reply that I received. Note that there is almost no mention at all of the deaths in Lebanon that were the focus of my letter to him.

"Dear Ms. Jones: Thank you for writing to me about the ongoing
tragedy in the Middle East. Since 2000, Oregonians have watched closely
with both hope and concern at the long series of events that have caused
such momentous changes in the Middle East and in the lives of its
people. However, one fundamental principle remains the same: without
political processes that aim for peace, violent events and the acts of
extremists can overpower the desire of people across the region to live
in security. When President Bush entered office, he pursued a policy
that eschewed diplomacy and discussion - backed up by the strength of
the U.S. and our allies - for ultimatums and unilateralism. Almost 6
years later, America, Israel, and others in the region have been made
less safe by this failure of leadership. As a member of the House
International Relations Committee, I have advocated for stronger United
States involvement to advance the vision of a secure Israel and an
independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace by working to
rebuild a Palestinian Authority that can prevent terrorism and promoting
negotiations for a two-state solution. I also opposed the war in Iraq
from the very beginning, believing that our presence there would weaken
the U.S. and make it more difficult to be a positive force in the Middle
East. I support starting the redeployment of our troops from Iraq
immediately and the development of a political and diplomatic strategy
that allows the Iraqis the greatest chance to stabilize their country
With a fragile cease-fire in Lebanon, I believe it is more important
than ever for forceful U.S. diplomatic re-engagement to support peace,
democracy, and a more secure regional dynamic. I support the appointment
of a high-level special envoy who can assist Israeli and responsible
Palestinian leaders back on the path towards peace. We must also
undertake the difficult, yet critical, task of engaging directly and
honestly with Iran and Syria, despite their often destructive and
destabilizing roles. The lack of serious diplomatic relationships
strengthens those who seek chaos and isolation, while leaving the U.S.
with fewer levers of influence and more blind spots than we can afford.
Faced with the prospect of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, President
John F. Kennedy said, "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us
never fear to negotiate." For the United States and our friends in the
Middle East, the prospect of continued terror, violence, and instability
is too dire to do otherwise. Sincerely, Earl Blumenauer Member of
Congress For more information on my work in Congress and to sign up to
receive electronic updates about these and other matters, please visit
my website at  http://blumenauer.house.gov.

As you can imagine, I find this response less than satisfying. Can ANYONE help Mr. Blumenauer to rediscover his soul???

Here is what I wrote back to him today.

Dear Congressman Blumenauer,

Thank you for your response to my letter to you. Yes, I am aware of the fact that you have always been opposed to the war in Iraq. I appreciated that very much about you, which is why it pains me so much to have to withdraw my support from you now.

I have always believed that you meant well, I have always had faith in your ability to justify my many votes for you over the years. Until I watched little babies bleeding into the dust, from way too far away to help. You could have helped them, Congressman. And you
did not. Instead, you made excuses for their oppressors, their tormentors, their bloodthirsty killers. You blatantly and nonchalantly continued with your inexplicable and inexcusable support for the genocidal state of Israel. I can never support you again. Not unless you somehow manage to see the light, and stop supporting Israel.

This is not an anti-semitic request, congressman, and you should know that. It is only the most reactionary imbecile who would equate support for the state of Israel with the support of the Jewish people. Please stop trying to obfuscate the two. That is blindly disrepectful toward the thousands upon thousands of Jewish people who, unlike yourself, have found the courage and the character to stand up and demand an end to Israeli violence. Israel, like the US government, has become an imperialist, genocidal maniac on the world stage, and you cannot be forgiven for refusing to stand up to them even as their (US made!) bombs exploded over frightened little babies in their
nightgowns. Their blood is on your hands, congressman. I don't think you will ever come clean again.

In Sincerity,
Catherine Jones
interesting 31.Aug.2006 18:49

LN

I received an identical response to my letter to him. He does not care anymore. Time for a new candidate.

Response from Blumenauer 31.Aug.2006 21:42

Iris

I also received an identical response to the letter I sent him:

Dear Earl

I read your speech from 7/19/06, supporting WAR.Nothing has been more vexing to me than your blind support for a nation that continues to ignore Geneva Convention rules, continues to bully, rob, attack, kill, harrass, make life unutterably miserable and unlivable to the extend of creating suicide bombers in it's neighbouring occupied territories. Yes, Hezbolla's attacks are horrible, but don't you see a connection here?
Like you, I don't pretend to know the answer, but, unlike you, I DO know that it does NOT start with mindlessly supplying a relentless killer of innocent civilians with more arms. STOP SENDING ARMS TO ISRAEL. STOP AIDING AND ABETTING IN WARCRIMES!
Instead, attend a rally on Sun 7/30/06 at 1 PM in Portland, Pionees Square, to protest the killing of Lebanse, Israelis and Palestinians. Call for a CEASE FIRE. Your presence would show that you are supporting Oregonians and World Citizens from all walks of life, and that you are capable of seeing the bigger picture, and make changes in your deplorable PRO-WAR stance.
Well needless to stay, Earl did not show!
In my opinion he has not been anywhere near tough enough on the war in Iraq. At this point in time he also is refusing to sign the Declaration of Peace", a Nationwide campaign to establish by Sept 21, 2006, a concrete and rapid plan for peace in Iraq by: 1:prompt timetable for troop withdrawal,2: process for security, reconstruction and reconciliation, and 3: a shift of warfunds to funds for meeting human needs.
Earl is at best a " lesser of 2 evils" kind of guy, not interested in supporting the campaign to Impeach Bush, for crying out loud! Let's elect truly anti-war candidates who are not afraid to say so LOUD and CLEAR! Check out ARANAS running for Congress in district 5! Thanks everyone for hanging in there!

My letter in reply 31.Aug.2006 22:45

got the exact same form letter response

Dear Congressman Blumenauer,

I received your letter in reply to my asking how you can continue to support Israel when they intentionally killed thousands of civilians in Lebanon and Palestine, including babies. I must say, I found that your letter circumvented the topic.

Mr Blumenauer, it is clear that Israel, and the US--which helped Israel plan its attack on Lebanon, and whose Congress continues to fund Israel--is guilty of war crimes.

As our representative you bear a solemn responsibility to condemn Israel and cut its funding until it ends its genocide of Palestinians and other non-Israeli residents of the Middle East. No more excuses!!

Maybe an incorrect assumption 01.Sep.2006 04:53

Mike Novack stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

You think letters from constituents are being ignored?

Have you not considered the possibility that they are being taken very seriously, evaluated in terms of what the effect would be on the Congressperson's career if he/she makes you mad?

Versus, of course, the letters, threats of withdrawal of support, etc. that would be received were the Congressperson to do what you want done. Can't simply count noses (count letters) either because your displeasure and theirs might not be equivalent. Six months, a year, two years from now, etc. you will have gone on to other things, other projects about which you will vent your rage. They will not forget. Will not have gone on to something else.

For Blumenauer to do as you suggest would be a "career decision" (the "Zionists" in his district would vote against him FOREVER).

Please try to understand what I am saying. I am NOT telling you not to make THIS your one and only cause. What I am saying is that if you are not in a position to be as single minded about the issue as the "Zionists" are, if you have lots of other projects you are not willing to sacrifice in order to get your say on this one, you will be at a grave disadvantage in the contest. The opinion expressed by your letters won't carry as much wieght unless it is believed that you WILL make this the litmus test -- will vote for Blumenauers opponents forever REGARDLESS of the fact that these opponents are for the opposite of what you want on your other issues.

So. We are not alone. 01.Sep.2006 08:09

Matilda

How interesting to note that each of us has received indentical letters, skirting the issue and making us feel as if we had not been heard at all. And how awesome that we have all shared our reactions to that fact here. Because, without a forum like this one, we might be tempted to believe that it's "just me," that our voices are not capable of saying what we want them to say, or that we have no power to change anything at all. But instead, it appears that there are many of us, and that we have more power than we think we have. We cannot be bludgeoned into silence by the deaf ears of a single congressman.

I disagree with the poster above who says that pissing off "Zionists" will amount to a "career decision," whereas going against conscience and the will of the majority of his constituents will not. WE are the people whose votes put Mr. Blumenauer into office, and WE are the people he must either listen to or step down and get out of our way.

He's not "skirting the issue" 01.Sep.2006 08:54

Fish

I'm not sure why you all insist that Earl is evading answering our concerns. He had a long statement up about how to stop the killing during the active fighting and now sent a letter about ways to avoid more war. Maybe he just disagrees that all the blame should be placed on Israel. He did criticize Israel for killing civilians, if you read his earlier statement.

Over the course of his career sometimes he supports Israel, sometimes he opposes what they do - that's better that 99% of politicians around who are just bought and sold by AIPAC.