|Palestinian children avaaz.org|
|Gaza Before and After @iFalasteen|
The IDF strike on a UN school July 24, the fourth shelling of a school in as many days, killed 15 and wounded 200, most of them children. They were sitting outside waiting to be evacuated (the UN was negotiating with the IDF to give the civilians time to evacuate) when the bombs rained down on them.
According to this report from Johnathon Miller of Channel 4 News in the UK, Israel's military operation in Gaza is looking more and more like a "war on children". http://www.channel4.com/news/gaza-shifa-hospital-israel-hamas-shajaiyah-jonathan-miller
The whole world is rising up to say no to the violence (see photos below). Israel must end its seven year siege of Gaza and the illegal settlements and occupation must end. All people, including the Palestinians, deserve freedom, dignity and opportunity in their lives.
Both sides also need to stop calling for the destruction of the other! Most know that calling for the destruction of Israel is part of Hamas's charter, but might be surprised to know how many Israeli's are also calling for the extermination of the Palestinian people. The deputy speaker of Israel's parliament said "Gaza will become part of sovereign Israel and be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel." Another member posted on FB that all Palestinians should be killed "including its elderly, women, its cities and its villages." It got 5,000 "likes". Major Gilad Sharon, son of Ariel Sharon said "flatten all of Gaza" like "Hiroshima". Another member of the Knesset said, "There are no innocents in Gaza...mow them down." A rabbi said Palestinian children should be "hung from trees." Of course, there are many Israelis who would denounce such hate speech, but an extreme right wing faction advocating even greater violence is growing. Even Prime Minister Netanyahu in a speech in Hebrew that did not get much attention here- said there would never be a sovereign Palestine.
John Kerry warned the Israelis that failure to reach peace would cause a growth in the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement. For stating a reality, many nationalist Israelis are calling him anti-Semitic. Surely, world pressure in the form of BDS will ratchet up as more see the suffering this slaughter is creating.
This war is showing in tragic relief that women, children and innocent civilians are at the epicenter of modern warfare. Read this account of a Norwegian doctor helping in Gaza to get a sense of the horror. As Americans we are all complicit. This too is a sad reality.
"Militarism is like a lethal virus that takes as its first victim both historical memory and any sense of moral and social responsibility" says Henry Giroux in an excellent article, "Killing Machines and the Madness of Militarism: From Gaza to Afghanistan".
Over 100 million were killed in wars in the last century. As time goes on and with each passing war, the percentage of civilians killed versus military killed continues to surge. In the 21st century, all wars are wars on women and children. For our very survival, physically and morally, we must find nonviolent solutions to conflict. We must end war before it ends us.
Local Protests Planned
|NP Women in Black Saturday, July 26|
Please join New Paltz Women in Black any Saturday on Main Street, in front of the Elting Library, from 12:45- 1:30 to stand in our 12 year old vigil for peace.
We will make this current war our focus until it is ended. We stand for a safe and secure Israel and a free and safe Palestine.
There are also two demonstrations in front of Congressman Gibson's local offices this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.
PROTEST ISRAEL'S ATTACK ON GAZA
Tuesday, July 29, 3:30-5:30
Congressman Chris Gibson’s office
721 Broadway, Kingston
Make a sign to carry
Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid tax dollars which it uses to purchase weapons systems that are used against Palestinians, to build illegal settlements in Palestine and to make Palestinian lives as miserable as possible so that they will leave their country.
We are protesting to
Stop US funding of Israel
End the Violence in Gaza
End the Occupation of Palestine
And on Wednesday, 4-5 End Attack on Gaza- Time for a Just Peace In front of Rep. Chris Gibson's Hyde Park district office on Rt. 9 (4328 Albany Post Road: 12538), NY Sign up https://www.facebook.com/events/509311795878899/?notif_t=plan_user_invited
Death toll as of July 26- 851 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians, 36 Israelis dead, most of them soldiers (3 Israeli civilians dead).
Update- As of July 28, the UN reports that a total of 1,030 Palestinians and 43 Israelis have been killed and more than 6,000 Palestinians injured.
More You Can Do
"As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it's not enough just to call for another ceasefire. It’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this decades long nightmare" Join over a million people in signing their petition- https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_rb/?bCzJdab&v=42735
This petition is from a man who works at a small NGO in California called Oasis for Peace to promote peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians - a few days ago five members of his family were killed in Gaza including two small children. Lift the economic blockade in Gaza- end the war- http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-whitehouse-johnkerry?source=c.em&r_by=1135580
Stay informed. Much more information at the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter- http://activistnewsletter.blogspot.com/2014/07/07-27-14-gaza-special-issue-2.html
Here is a video of an American Jew speaking out in Israel- what happens next is shocking. I thought Israel was a democracy. (I have since learned this video is from 2 years ago- but it is as relevant as ever.)
In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza (and this was from over a week ago- the outrage continues to grow- how many of these protests do you see on American media?
Shalom, Salaam, Peace.