Congressional ban on members visiting Gaza under the bus

Ed Lasky
Since Hamas took over control of Gaza and started launching missiles into Israel, there has been an unofficial halt to Congressional visits to Gaza.

Hamas, lest we forget, has in their Charter the pledge to kill Jews wherever they may live. Nevertheless, now there appears to be a change to that Congressional rule. Two Democratic Congressmen are visiting Gaza now; and John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has also crossed the border into Hamas-controlled Gaza.


The two Democratic Congressmen are Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Congress’s first Muslim, and Brian Baird of Washington.

Baird had this to say of his visit:

 Baird said that the visit represents a change in the United States' attitude and approach to Gaza, under newly elected President Barack Obama.

 Ellison chimed in:

  The destruction from Israel's recent military operation in Gaza was beyond description.

 Kerry has not issued comments so far. He is being escorted through Gaza by officials from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency-a group that has been harshly critical of Israel, that has had terrorists on its staff and, that has allowed use of its facilities by terrorists. All on our dime.

Kerry is most assuredly getting an earful.

Baird is not speaking for the Administration. Nor is Ellison. Nor are any of the politicians meeting with Hamas officials (at least, “officially”). And with European politicians also speaking with Hamas, it may not seem like much. Nevertheless, the breaking of the de facto ban on Members of Congress visiting Gaza is telling.

 

Since Hamas took over control of Gaza and started launching missiles into Israel, there has been an unofficial halt to Congressional visits to Gaza.

Hamas, lest we forget, has in their Charter the pledge to kill Jews wherever they may live. Nevertheless, now there appears to be a change to that Congressional rule. Two Democratic Congressmen are visiting Gaza now; and John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has also crossed the border into Hamas-controlled Gaza.


The two Democratic Congressmen are Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Congress’s first Muslim, and Brian Baird of Washington.

Baird had this to say of his visit:

 Baird said that the visit represents a change in the United States' attitude and approach to Gaza, under newly elected President Barack Obama.

 Ellison chimed in:

  The destruction from Israel's recent military operation in Gaza was beyond description.

 Kerry has not issued comments so far. He is being escorted through Gaza by officials from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency-a group that has been harshly critical of Israel, that has had terrorists on its staff and, that has allowed use of its facilities by terrorists. All on our dime.

Kerry is most assuredly getting an earful.

Baird is not speaking for the Administration. Nor is Ellison. Nor are any of the politicians meeting with Hamas officials (at least, “officially”). And with European politicians also speaking with Hamas, it may not seem like much. Nevertheless, the breaking of the de facto ban on Members of Congress visiting Gaza is telling.