Washblog

Brian Baird Gaza visit

He thinks that the question of military aid to Israel should be revisited.  Suprised to hear this from him--all his constituents here should get behind him on this.

http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=19728

A US congressman plans to brief fellow members of Congress and the Obama administration about his recent trip to Gaza, saying the US should pressure Israel regarding border closures and reassess its military support for the Jewish state.

Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, visited Gaza last week with fellow Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and was struck by "the level of destruction, the scope of it, specifically the civilian targets - schools, hospitals, industry."

Baird also said Israel had "apparently willfully destroyed any capacity of the Palestinians to rebuild their own infrastructure."

The trip to Gaza by Baird and Ellison coincided with a separate visit there by John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Their presence marked the first time members of Congress had visited Gaza since US personnel were killed in a roadside bomb in 2003.

Baird maintained that his fellow congressmen would benefit from his first-hand account of the situation in Gaza, as well as from photos and video footage he took. In addition to pictures of physical devastation in Gaza and families living in make-shift shelter there, Baird also has photos of damage from rocket fire on Sderot, which he condemned and planned to share as well. He also indicated he would like to bring in aid and medical workers from Gaza to share their stories.

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