Letter to Illinois Congressional Representatives
February 2010

As leaders of faith communities in metropolitan Chicago, we are deeply concerned about the passage in early November of H. Res. 867 that opposed “unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict”.  All nineteen Illinois House members either co-sponsored or voted in favor of this Resolution.  And not one Illinois Representative challenged either its wording or the manner in which it was considered by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and hastily voted on by the House of Representatives.  We expected a higher level of diligent deliberation when dealing with an international issue of such magnitude.

Our concern grows out of moral principles lying at the heart of each of our Abrahamic faiths regarding the dignity of every human being who is created in the image of God and our responsibility to demand impartial justice for those without power. We believe these principles as well as international law were violated before, during, and after the Gaza conflict.
So far as we can determine,

  1. there was little, if any, discussion of the resolution in the Committee on Foreign Affairs to which it was referred;
  2. there were no hearings held on the resolution, thus depriving the House and the public of the opportunity to become better informed on issues raised by and surrounding this Report;
  3. at the time of the vote few Representatives had even read the executive summary of the Report;
  4. the Resolution was hastily presented and voted upon without adequate study, consideration, discussion and debate.

By failing to call for independent investigations, by condemning the Report and by attacking Justice Richard Goldstone, a respected, experienced and highly credible international jurist, Congress contributed to the perception throughout the Muslim and Arab world that the United States is unconcerned about the human rights and the rightful claims of Palestinians.  With the passage of H. Res. 867 Congress contributed to a loss of hope among Palestinians, an Israel that is less, not more secure, and an increased probability of violence in the region.

We believe there is sufficient evidence in the Report’s findings of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by Hamas and Israel that the United States has a political as well as a moral obligation to call for independent investigations by both Hamas and Israel to determine the truth of these allegations.  Specifically, we ask that you:

  1. Make available a public statement on your rationale for co-sponsoring and/or voting for H. Res. 867.
  2. Craft and seek co-sponsors to a resolution that calls for independent investigations into the conduct of Palestinian militants and the Israeli military before, during and after the military operations in Gaza from 27 December, 2008, through 18 January, 2009.


This letter reflects the opinions of the individual signatories. Institutions are listed for identification purposes only.


Download PDF of letter: HRes867letter122009

People who have endorsed this letter:
(click on "Last Name" in the heading row to sort this view by the endorser's last name)


# Last Name Full Name Oranization Title Organization
1 Dykstra Edwin J. Dykstra The Rev. Dr. Presbyterian Church (USA)
2 Bagley Rosette M. Bagley DuPage County Representative Pax Christi Illinois
3 Miller Wayne N. Miller Bishop Metropolitan Chicago Synod - ELCA
4 Dale Rev. Daniel Dale Pastor Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ
5 Kolar Siobhan Kolar Senior Leadership Team West Suburban Faith-based PEACE Coalition
6 Delaney Tim Delaney Member West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition
7 Weber Erik Weber Pastor St. Timothy's Lutheran Church - Skokie
8 Cordaro Tom Cordaro Pax Christi USA Ambasador of Peace Pax Christi DuPage County
9 Parr Rev. Lois McCullen Parr Pastor Broadway United Methodist Church
10 Woods Patricia Woods Pastor Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
11 Pollack Lynn Pollack Board Member Jewish Voice for Peace
12 Coffman Pauline M. Coffman, Ed.D. Leader, Middle East Traveling Seminar Middle East Task Force of Chicago Presbytery
13 Redekopp Rev Orlando Redekopp Pastor First Church of the Brethren - Chicago
14 Mujahid Abdul Malik Mujahid Imam Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
15 Greenfield Rev. Dr. Larry L. Greenfield Executive Minister American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago
16 Fite Robert Cotton Fite Priest Associate St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Evanston
17 Oldershaw Fr. Robert Oldershaw Pastor Emeritus St. Nicholas Church - Evanston
18 Powell Rev. Carla Thompson Powell Associate Pastor Ebenezer Lutheran Church - Chicago
19 Powell Rev. Darryl Thompson Powell Pastor Bethany Lutheran Church - Chicago
20 Kelley Rev. Lynne E. Kelley Minister American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago
21 Thompson Rev Robert V Thompson Senior Minister Lake Street Church of Evanston
22 Belile Rev. Jacki Belile, CEC Founder and Director Living Well Ministries
23 McKay Rev. Catiana McKay Pastor United Methodist Church
24 Hudgins Rev. George V. Hudgins, III Pastor The Community Church of Wilmette
25 Sagar Rev. David Sagar Pastor Antioch Telugu Baptist Church - Northlake
26 Sharp Rev. Dr. Douglas R. Sharp Dean of the Academy Protestants for the Common Good
27 Musgrave The Rev. David C. Musgrave Rector St. Augustine's Episcopal Church - Wilmette
28 Cort Howard L Cort Member Arab Jewish Partnership
29 Sifri Awad Paul Sifri Member End the Occupation
30 Burris Mary B. Burris Member End the Occupation
31 Amit Yotam Amit Board Member Arab Jewish Partnership
32 Herzenberg Caroline Herzenberg Ph.D Member Jewish Voice for Peace
33 Hirsch Louis Hirsch Member American Jews for a Just Peace
34 Gaines Matthew Gaines Organizer Chicagoans Against Apartheid in Palestine
35 Reese Martha Reese Chair Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
36 Winkler Rev. Gretchen Winkler Pastor Lutheran Church of Mary and Martha - Mt. Prospect
37 Thompson Edward E Thompson, Ph.D. Project Manager Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
38 Palmer Rev. Paul G Palmer Pastor Emeritus Community Presbyterian Church of Mount Prospect
39 Baker Connie Baker Member Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
40 Wagner Sherer Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer Rector St. John's Episcopal Church - Chicago
41 Berg Rev. John Berg Pastor Gloria Dei Lutheran Church - Northbrook
42 Tierney The Rev. Bridget K. Tierney Pastor Grace Episcopal Church - New Lenox
43 Johnson The Rev. Susan B. W. Johnson Senior Minister Hyde Park Union Church - Chicago
44 Mills The Rev. Zachary W. Mills Associate Minister Hyde Park Union Church - Chicago
45 Bailey Rev. Dwight E. Bailey Pastor Austin Boulevard Christian Church - Oak Park
46 Bailey Jane F. Bailey Member St. Mark Lutheran Church - Rockford
47 Nwachuku Rev. Emeka P. Nwachuku Priest St Andrew\'s-Pentecost Episcopal Church - Evanston
48 Nelson Jill Nelson Member Christus Victor Lutheran Church - Elk Grove Village
49 DeBartolo Ann DeBartolo Member Christus Victor Lutheran Church - Elk Grove Village
50 Breiding Marilyn Breiding Member Evangelical Lutheran Church of America - Arlington Heights
51 Reis Joyce Reis Educator American Friends Service Comittee - Chicago