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I'm Circulating a Letter to My Colleagues Regarding the Mavi Marmara Incident

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Originally published at Huff Post.

The following letter is being circulated to Members of Congress for additional signatures:

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States

Dear Mr. President,

Israeli commandos, acting at the direction of the State of Israel, attacked and seized a Turkish ship in international waters, in the Mediterranean Sea.

At least nine were killed in the incident aboard the Mavi Marmara. Hundreds of civilians were taken into custody and goods were confiscated. Since the United States considers Israel our most important ally in the region, whose survival is a primary concern, it is incumbent upon the Commander in Chief to call Israel to an accounting for its conduct in planning and executing the deadly military attack in international waters upon a peaceful flotilla carrying citizens from over 50 countries.

The State of Israel's conduct, attacking a Turkish ship in international waters, constitutes an act of belligerence against Turkey, which at one time Israel considered an important ally. It also undermines United States' troops efforts in Iraq, since your administration's efforts to achieve stability in the region and to withdraw troops from Iraq has depended upon Turkey's cooperation through use of its air bases.

In its violent commando raid on the Mavi Marmara, the government of Israel showed no concern as to how its conduct may affect the lives of defenseless, innocent people, its friends and allies, and in particular the United States. The United States must remind Israel as well as all of our other friends and allies:

It is not acceptable to repeatedly violate international law.

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It is not acceptable to shoot and kill innocent civilians.

It is not acceptable to commit an act of aggression against another U.S. ally.

It is not acceptable to continue a blockade which denies humanitarian relief.

It is not acceptable to heighten tensions in a region while the United States continues to put so much blood and treasure on the line.

The State of Israel's action necessitates that the United States, which is Israel's partner in the region, begin to redefine its relationship and to establish such boundaries and conditions which are sufficient for mutual respect and cooperation.

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It is incumbent upon Israeli officials to bring forth the truth about the planning for and the attack upon the Mavi Marmara.

No one questions the right of Israel to defend its border, but that defense does not extend to shooting innocent civilians anywhere in the world, anytime it pleases.

Israel must account for our support, for the lives of our soldiers, for the investment of billions from our taxpayers. Israel owes the United States more than reckless, pre-meditated violence waged against innocent people.

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Dennis Kucinich is former US Congressman and two-time presidential candidate from Ohio who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Visit his website at  KucinichAction

Follow him on Twitter at @Dennis_Kucinich

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