Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 12.3.12

Congressman H. Morgan Griffith
2012-12-03 17:34:19
Standing with our ally As you may have heard, last week the United Nations voted to declare Palestine a ‘non-member state,’ meaning that Palestine is now able to participate and speak – but not vote – in General Assembly meetings. This may allow Palestine to pursue claims against Israel through the U.N. Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court, of which Israel and the United States are not members. Some also fear that this action will embolden enemies of Israel, reward Palestine for walking way from peace negotiations, and further enable Palestine to attack Israel and advance its agenda. The United States and Israel were among those voting against the measure. Taking this action without the United States and Israel is an affront to diplomatic efforts over the last decade and which were also then underway. A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Israel, and it was very clear that the Israelis want to have an autonomous Palestinian state, but only under negotiated terms. There has been an ongoing dialogue on this issue for many years, but regrettably it appears that those that secretly or openly desire to push Israel into the sea aren’t willing to reasonably negotiate. I am of the belief that an actual Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiations, and fear that last week’s recognition will not help in that process. Ensuring a strong, safe Israel must remain a top priority of the United States even as we work to address pressing issues here at home. “If you can dream it, you can do it” Among the many items I read last week was this fascinating piece in the Atlantic ( www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/11/what-if-nasa-could-figure-out-the-math-of-a-workable-warp-drive/265655/ ) outlining a theory in which we could travel in two weeks’ time to Alpha Centauri B, a star in a neighboring system of stars that is orbited by a planet similar in size to Planet Earth. Now, this theory may not be worked out in the course of my lifetime, but perhaps my children will one day travel to that Earth-like planet which could contain life, or, at the very least, see this theory become a reality. After all, as Walt Disney once said, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” Back in 1865, Jules Verne – best known for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days – wrote a novel called From the Earth to the Moon in which the characters built an enormous gun to launch themselves to the moon. At the time, of course, the idea of human space flight was considered to be mere fantasy, but “if you can dream it, you can do it.” Little did Jules Verne know that Neil Armstrong, on Apollo 11’s return journey from mankind’s first moon landing in 1969, would say “a hundred years ago, Jules Verne wrote a book about a voyage to the moon. His spaceship, Columbia, took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean after completing a trip to the moon.” Armstrong continued “It seems appropriate to us to share with you some of the reflections of the crew as the modern-day Columbia completes its rendezvous with the planet Earth and the same Pacific Ocean tomorrow.” Jules Verne dreamt of human space flight, and America in time proved Walt Disney right and saw it through. I am excited to think that if Americans like the dreamers at NASA keep working on it, someday Americans will be able to travel to Alpha Centauri B in two weeks or less. As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my offices. You can call my Abingdon office at the phone number above or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov ###
December 3, 2012
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U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith
Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 12.3.12

Monday, December 3, 2012 –

Standing with our ally 

As you may have heard, last week the United Nations voted to declare Palestine a ‘non-member state,’ meaning that Palestine is now able to participate and speak – but not vote – in General Assembly meetings.  This may allow Palestine to pursue claims against Israel through the U.N. Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court, of which Israel and the United States are not members.  Some also fear that this action will embolden enemies of Israel, reward Palestine for walking way from peace negotiations, and further enable Palestine to attack Israel and advance its agenda.  The United States and Israel were among those voting against the measure. 

Taking this action without the United States and Israel is an affront to diplomatic efforts over the last decade and which were also then underway.  A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Israel, and it was very clear that the Israelis want to have an autonomous Palestinian state, but only under negotiated terms.  There has been an ongoing dialogue on this issue for many years, but regrettably it appears that those that secretly or openly desire to push Israel into the sea aren’t willing to reasonably negotiate. 

I am of the belief that an actual Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiations, and fear that last week’s recognition will not help in that process.  Ensuring a strong, safe Israel must remain a top priority of the United States even as we work to address pressing issues here at home. 


“If you can dream it, you can do it” 

Among the many items I read last week was Atlantic outlining a theory in which we could travel in two weeks’ time to Alpha Centauri B, a star in a neighboring system of stars that is orbited by a planet similar in size to Planet Earth.  Now, this theory may not be worked out in the course of my lifetime, but perhaps my children will one day travel to that Earth-like planet which could contain life, or, at the very least, see this theory become a reality.

After all, as Walt Disney once said, “if you can dream it, you can do it.”

Back in 1865, Jules Verne – best known for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days – wrote a novel called From the Earth to the Moon in which the characters built an enormous gun to launch themselves to the moon.  At the time, of course, the idea of human space flight was considered to be mere fantasy, but “if you can dream it, you can do it.”

Little did Jules Verne know that Neil Armstrong, on Apollo 11’s return journey from mankind’s first moon landing in 1969, would say “a hundred years ago, Jules Verne wrote a book about a voyage to the moon.  His spaceship, Columbia, took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean after completing a trip to the moon.”  Armstrong continued “It seems appropriate to us to share with you some of the reflections of the crew as the modern-day Columbia completes its rendezvous with the planet Earth and the same Pacific Ocean tomorrow.” 

Jules Verne dreamt of human space flight, and America in time proved Walt Disney right and saw it through.  I am excited to think that if Americans like the dreamers at NASA keep working on it, someday Americans will be able to travel to Alpha Centauri B in two weeks or less.

As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at

### 

Washington, DC Office
1108 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
T (202) 225-3861
F (202) 226-0076
Abingdon Office
323 West Main St.
Abingdon, VA 24210
T (276) 525-1405
F (276) 525-1444
Christiansburg Office
17 West Main St.
Christiansburg, VA 24073
T (540) 381-5671
F (540) 381-5675
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