We are a broad coalition of people of conscience in New York New Jersey who strongly condemn the Israeli assault on Gaza. Although a truce has been announced, Gaza still remains under a brutal and crippling siege and occupation. The recent assault on Gaza resulted in hundreds of civilian injuries and killings, including many children, and destroyed a significant number of homes and infrastructure, which will have a devastating effect on the strip. The recent attacks on Gaza must be seen within a larger context and understood as the latest in the 64-year occupation and colonization of Palestinian land. Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on earth, has been under Israeli siege since 2006. This is collective punishment on Gazans for democratically electing Hamas. "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,” the former chief of staff to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon confessed. Israel’s brutal siege of Gaza violates international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions. The majority of Gazans are among the estimated 7 million Palestinian refugees, and many are even second or third-time refugees. They were expelled from their homes in either the 1948 nakba (Palestinian catastrophe), which resulted in the establishment of the state of Israel, or the 1967 war. Since then, the refugees have been prevented from exercising their right of return, which is enshrined in international law for every refugee population. Casualties on both sides in the recent hostilities are a consequence of Israeli aggression. The labeling of the recent Gaza attack as “Operation Pillar of Defense” is both inaccurate and misleading. Israel violated the Egyptian-brokered truce with Israel and Hamas by assassinating the military commander of Hamas, thus making Israel responsible for the escalating violence. Moreover, international law guarantees all people, including Palestinians, the right to resist occupation. We recognize the profound role the U.S. plays in the occupation and ethnic cleaning of the Palestinians. Instead of sending 8.5 million tax dollars daily to perpetuate Israel's violations of international law, we believe our tax dollars should go to support education, health care, and victims of the latest disaster - Hurricane Sandy - here at home, and to fund reparations for US- financed death and destruction in Palestine. Therefore, we call on people of conscience in the United States to:
+ Endorse this statement by signing this petition.
+ Call for an end to U.S. aid to Israel; + Contact the White House - 202.456.1111 and the U.S. Department of State Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Elizabeth Jones - 202.647.7209 and demand that President Obama hold to account Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government for their attacks on the civilian population of Gaza; + Participate in a local action near you. There are a number of protests/rallies/sit-ins around the world, or organize one and call for an end to Israeli occupation; + Support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement (BDS Call for Gaza), which calls for an end to Israeli military occupation, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees; and back the efforts of labor unions and student groups to compel their employers and administrators to divest from companies that do business in Israel.
In solidarity with the people of Gaza,
ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS: Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel Advocates for Peace and Social Justice Al-Awda NY, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition American Muslims for Palestine - NY Defend the Egyptian Revolution Coalition Existence is Resistance (NYC) International Socialist Organization-NYC Jews Say No Labor for Palestine Network of Arab American Professionals - NY (NAAP-NY) New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT) New York City Labor Against the War Occupy Wall Street Environmental Solidarity Princeton Committee for Peace in the Middle East Siegebusters Working Group Students for Justice in Palestine @ Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine @ Columbia University Students for Justice in Palestine @ Hunter College Students for Justice in Palestine @ John Jay College Students for Justice in Palestine @ New York University (NYU) Students for Justice in Palestine @ Rutgers University - New Brunswick Students for Justice in Palestine @ University of Toledo US Palestinian Community Network - NY
INDIVIDUAL ENDORSEMENTS: Abdu Salman Abeer T.N. AlYazji Amanda Najib Ameera Hasan Anna Calcutt Anthony Arnove, author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal Carlos Guzman Christine O’ Heron Cyrus McGoldrick Denise Fernandez Eran Efrati Fatimah Rimawi Gabriela Lazaro Hana Sleiman Jasbir Puar, Professor, Rutgers University Leena Widdi Maryam Zohny Maya Wind Michael Letwin, Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 Nasser Jaber Ryan Green Samer Asous Sharita Sharmin Sherry Wolf Sundus Seif
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