Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García Votes against House Resolution to Oppose BDS

July 23, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) released the following statement after voting against House Resolution 246:

“I deeply support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace, freedom, security, and prosperity. I believe that these aspirations can only be achieved through a negotiated peace process that will lead to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"I voted against House Resolution 246 because in my opinion the Resolution does not advance the goal of a negotiated peace process. Rather, the Resolution serves to further divide Israelis and Palestinians, may impede progress toward restarting diplomatic efforts to get the parties to reenter into meaningful negotiations, and presents barriers to the United States playing the positive role which is essential to helping Israelis and Palestinians negotiate a just and peaceful resolution of their conflict.

"In addition, I take very seriously the Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to our Constitution.  This is a foundational principle of our democracy.  I oppose efforts to control speech--even speech with which I disagree.  I understand and respect the rights of all people to use non-violent methods to advocate for rights and freedom. I believe that violence either by Israelis or Palestinians will never lead to a peaceful resolution of their conflict. Furthermore, I recognize the crucial role non-violent protests have historically played in enabling South Africans, Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, and other parties in conflict reach just peaceful resolutions of their disputes. I want to do everything possible to encourage Israelis and Palestinians to use non-violence strategies to resolve their conflict and reach a just peace.  I voted against House Resolution 246 because the Resolution discourages the parties from reaching a just peace through non-violence.

"As a person of color and as immigrant I have experienced racism and xenophobia.  I am deeply committed to oppose all forms of bigotry and hatred, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia.  I affirm that commitment today and promise to do everything in my power to end the politics of hatred that have engulfed our country since the current Administration came to power.

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