from My Left Nutmeg - by Jon Kantrowitz)
Jim Himes (CT-04) was the only member of Congress from Connecticut to sign a letter calling on the United States to press for the lifting of the blockades imposed by Israel and Egypt on Gaza.
The Jewish Daily Forward has the story:
The congressional letter, sent to the White House on January 21, expressed deep sympathy with the residents of southern Israel who were under rocket attacks from Gaza and stated that Israel's siege on the region was imposed "out of a legitimate and keenly felt fear" of terrorism. But it calls on the president to "press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza" via a list of measures that include allowing movement into Gaza and out of it, and by enabling citizens to gain access to food, building materials, fuel and other products that are now restricted...It was the right thing to do, and let's hope the moral courage Jim Himes has displayed here isn't a passing illusion.
Jewish groups from the left, including J Street, Americans for Peace Now and Rabbis for Human Rights, supported the letter with J Street actively lobbying members of Congress to sign it. The initiative also was backed by Arab and Christian Middle East advocacy organizations.
CT Bob: While there is likely to be strong opposition from the White House and many in Congress, the only way to build a lasting peace will be by providing an opportunity for the shattered area to rebuild and give hope to the residents. It's a matter of simple human dignity. Israel and the United States shouldn't punish the innocent civilians in Gaza because we don't agree with the party in power.