Sunday, March 04, 2012

Florida Legislature Unanimously Passes "Stand with Israel" Resolution

New English Review

39 to 0, Feb. 1, 2012 108 to 0, Feb 29, 2012

A unanimous vote by the Florida House on the Stand with Israel Resolution February 29th capped a similar vote cast by the State Senate on February 1st.

A Zionist of America press release today noted this accomplishment which recognizes Israel’s Rights to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem:

Senate Resolution 1396, passed on February 1, 2012, was sponsored by Senator Alan Hays and co-sponsored by all 39 other members of the Florida Senate, the highest possible expression of support the Resolution could receive.

House Resolution 1447, passed on February 29, 2012, was sponsored by Representative Scott Plakon, and co-sponsored by a group of 29 other representatives, including 20 Republicans and 9 Democrats. The resolution passed 108-0. Among its many significant factual recitations the resolution explicitly states:

§ “…the 650,000 Jews, presently residing in the areas of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem reside there legitimately.”

§ “… haters of Israel also hate, and seek to destroy, the United States of America.”

§ “…the members of [Florida’s Legislature] support Israel in its legal, historical, moral and G-d given right of self-governance and self-defense upon the entirety of its own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others, and that peace can be afforded the region only through a whole and united Israel governed under one law for all people.”

ZoA President Morton Klein praised the Florida Senate and House sponsors of the Israel resolution and Christian Zionists who supported it:

A concerted campaign is being waged against the Jewish state to deny its legitimacy in virtually every aspect of its historical, legal, political, and cultural life. This effort is aimed at undermining the very foundations of Israel's existence. We strongly praise Senator Alan Hays and Representative Scott Plakon, and the entire Florida Legislature, for their unanimous and forceful assertion of the basic truth that Israel is America’s most reliable and essential ally, and for their important support of Israeli sovereignty and self-defense. The passage of this resolution is both revolutionary and historic in its importance.

It is imperative to note the particularly important role played by Israel’s Christian friends who joined with the Jewish community to urge the passage of this resolution...We hope that all other states in our country will follow Florida in recognizing the responsibility of an ally is to be there when needed and not only when it is convenient.

In late January, I was part of a Florida contingent of Jewish activists who convened for a day long ‘citizens lobbying’ effort organized in conjunction with the Christian Family Coalition by the dynamic young head of the Zionist of America (ZOA) Southeastern Regional Director, Joe Sabag. The lobby day happened to fall on January 26th, a day prior to the observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27th marking the liberation of the Auschwitz - Birkenau Death camp by advancing Russian forces. A compelling reason for passage of the resolution. As we told each Florida Senator and House Representative we visited, “millions of Christians and Jews support the bastion of the Jewish State of Israel”. Several of the legislators we approached that day in Tallahassee signed ‘dear colleague’ letters in support of the bi-partisan resolution.

The object of the lobbying activity was to push for unanimous passage of the ZoA drafted Florida Stands with Israel resolution. As we noted in our Iconoclast post, “Florida Stands with Israel”, the resolution was a modification of an Israel resolution authored by State Rep. Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach and unanimously passed in the 2011 South Carolina legislative session in Columbia.

We noted the differences with the South Carolina Israel resolution and the rationale:

The Florida Stands with Israel Resolution, developed under the auspices of the ZoA, is a hybrid. .. with attention to the legal rights of the State of Israel under international law.

The Florida Stands with Israel resolution (HR 1447/SR 1396) has the following objectives:

To encourage peace by promoting the rule of law within Israel and the international community;
To recognize the legal and historic facts that support Israel’s right to self-determination and self-defense on the entirety of its lands; and,
To recognize that Israel and America share the same values and enemies, and remain the greatest of allies.

The factual basis in support of the Florida Stands with Israel resolution is grounded in recognition of Israel’s sovereignty and self defense under International law. Specifically:

The unanimous support of 52 members of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922;
Concurrent resolutions of both Houses of the US Congress endorsing Israel’s rights passed on June 30, 1922 and signed by President Harding on September 21, 1922; and,
Article 80 of the UN Charter that implicitly recognizes by reference the Mandate for Palestine of the predecessor League of Nations.

Read the full text of the Florida Stands with Israel Senate Resolution SR-1396 introduced by Sen. Alan Hays (Dist 20), here.

The mission now is to launch a national effort to get all 50 states to copy the Florida and South Carolina examples and pass the Israel resolution unanimously. Given the heightened tensions over possible military actions against Nuclear Iran, Israel would gain great comfort from unanimous American solidarity.

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