We are U.S. voters and taxpayers, teachers, writers, ministers, lawyers, and students who call for genuine security through demilitarization and the creation of sustainable communities. We have watched with horror and anger as the Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed over 1,400 Palestinians (and rising), as well as injuring and displacing thousands more. There is no safe place: even families in United Nations’ designated shelters have fallen victim to Israeli shelling. As these atrocities unfold, we stand in solidarity with Palestinian people in Gaza, throughout the Occupied Territory and in the diaspora, and with allies all over the world who are calling for peace in the region. We denounce this attempted genocide: the intentional killing of Palestinian people as Israeli troops have attacked homes, playgrounds, schools, hospitals, and UN premises, all in violation of international law.
We deplore the fact that the United States supports this decades long Israeli policy of occupation and oppression, denying Palestinian people the right to self-determination, freedom, and sovereignty. On July 11, H. Res 657 “expressed the sentiments of the House of Representatives regarding support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization”. On July 18th, the Senate voted unanimously on a similar resolution. Not one official, elected to represent us, opposed these resolutions, which grossly distort the reality that Israel is a highly militarized state (11th largest military spender worldwide), and Hamas was elected in open elections.
As a member of the United Nations, the United States has a responsibility to act in accordance with the UN charters to support processes that will end the conflict. Israel ratified the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. All Israel’s aerial and ground attacks violate international law, as stated by Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who has called Israel’s aggression a crime against humanity. Specifically, Israel is violating the law against collective punishment of a whole people; they are flouting their responsibility as an occupying force to ensure the wellbeing of the people; and are denying Palestinians the right of return to their homeland.
We agree with progressive U.S. foreign policy experts, authors, and human rights lawyers such as Phyllis Bennis, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Chris Hedges, Barbara Lubin and Michael Ratner who have condemned the use of U.S. tax dollars to support Israeli attacks. Today we see how decades of U.S. aid to Israel (in the trillions of dollars) has emboldened Israeli Zionists such as Benjamin Netanyahu to speed up the process of genocide against Palestinian civilians. Indeed, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have vowed urgent support for a further $225 million missile defense package for Israel. This use of U.S. tax dollars makes the United States complicit in this genocide. Moreover, corporations that profit from producing weapons are also making money from these unconscionable attacks.
We stand in solidarity with millions around the world who are speaking out against the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people, and call for the following actions:
1. President Obama, the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and all relevant Senate and House Committees must press Israel to lift the siege immediately so that humanitarian aid can reach the thousands of refugees with food, clean water, and shelter.
2. Support UN and international efforts to establish a permanent peace in the region based on justice, not fear and vengeance.
3. Support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement and related campaigns to isolate Israel economically.
4. Call for an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
5. Stop the global trade in weapons, including all U.S. military aid and weapons sales to Israel.
Women for Genuine Security
August 1, 2014