Across the Bay

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ackerman Resolution on Lebanon Gets Unanimous Committee Support

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens / Long Island) today [July 31] announced that the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved his resolution in support of Lebanon.

Ackerman, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, hailed the event as an important signal of Congressional support for Lebanon, and said that he expects today's step to be reinforced by adoption of the measure by the whole House in September.

"What's been happening in Lebanon is aggression in the classic sense of the word" Ackerman said. "Through a campaign of assassinations targeting Lebanese parliamentarians, rioting and demonstrations, bombings in public places, threats to establish an alternative extra-constitutional government, and the instigation of a jihadi insurgency, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are on the cusp of bringing down Lebanon's government. Now is the time for Congress to send a strong message of support for the democratically elected and fully legitimate government in Lebanon."

Ackerman's resolution (H. Res. 548) slams Hezbollah and other pro-Syrian groups’ attempts to undermine and intimidate the Lebanese government, and condemns Syria and Iran for continuing to illegally smuggle arms into Lebanon. The resolution also condemns the assassination campaign against Lebanese parliamentarians and public figures who oppose Syrian interference in Lebanon, and affirms U.S. support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon established to bring to justice those responsible for the bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Finally, the resolution urges the Government of Lebanon to request UNIFIL’s assistance to secure the Lebanese-Syrian border and re-affirms the intent of Congress to provide financial and material assistance to support the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon.