WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) Tuesday led a bipartisan group of forty-two Members of Congress urging U.S. Secretary of State Blinken to defund the recently-approved Commission of Inquiry on Israel.
This Commission seeks to create an unprecedented, open-ended, biased investigation of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, alleged war crimes, and human rights violations — with no mention of the terror group Hamas or acknowledgment of Israel’s right to defend itself.
“We urge the U.S. to lead an effort to end the outrageous and unjust permanent Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, which was created by the UNHRC in May 2021,” the Members wrote to Secretary of State Blinken this week. “This Commission will not only focus on the actions Israel took in Gaza as it sought to defend its citizens from unprovoked rocket attacks. It will also have a carte blanche mandate – in perpetuity – to investigate any allegations against Israel in the past or in the future whether in the West Bank or Gaza or in all of Jerusalem, and even within the recognized pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel.”
“COI’s mandate is designed to accelerate the political, economic, and legal challenges to Israel and undermine its legitimacy by pressuring international legal institutions to take action against Israeli leaders. Shockingly, the COI resolution makes no mention of the terror group Hamas – which initiated the conflict by launching missile attacks on Israel – and does not include any mention of Israel’s right to defend itself,” the Members added. “We appreciate the Administration’s multiple clear statements of opposition to the COI, including its December 24 vote to entirely defund the COI.”
The full signatory list of 42 Members includes Josh Gottheimer, Vicky Hartzler, Robert B. Aderholt, Colin Allred, Don Bacon, Gus M. Bilirakis, Ben Cline, Tom Cole, Jim Costa, Henry Cuellar, Mike Gallagher, Andrew R. Garbarino, Jared Golden, Vicente Gonzalez, Mark E. Green, M.D., David P. Joyce, John Katko, Doug Lamborn, Ted W. Lieu, Elaine Luria, Kathy Manning, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Stephanie Murphy, Donald Norcross, Tom O’Halleran, Scott H. Peters, Kathleen Rice, Mike D. Rogers, Kim Schrier, M.D., Brad Sherman, Albio Sires, Darren Soto, Abigail D. Spanberger, Elise Stefanik, Bryan Steil, Haley Stevens, Thomas R. Suozzi, Ritchie Torres, Fred Upton, Juan Vargas, Filemon Vela, and Ann Wagner.