Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jewish Opposition to Israeli Attacks in Gaza

American Jews Call for Immediate Ceasefire, End of Gaza

by Robert Naiman

Huffington Post - December 30, 2008

Expressing views that are surely representative of
American Jews as a whole, here's what some American
Jews are saying about the violence in Gaza.

J Street has a petition demanding that the U.S.
intervene to bring about an immediate resumption of the
ceasefire between Israel and Hamas; the petition also
calls for lifting the blockade of Gaza.

The petition says:

I support immediate and strong U.S.-led diplomatic
efforts to urgently reinstate a meaningful
ceasefire that ends all military operations, stops
the rockets aimed at Israel and lifts the blockade
of Gaza. This is in the best interests of Israel,
the Palestinian people and the United States.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom has an action alert asking folks
to write to President-elect Obama, insisting that he
speak out now and call for an immediate cease-fire and
humanitarian aid to Gaza, noting that he has spoken out
on other issues. As Representative Barney Frank pointed
out, "Obama says we have one President at a time, but
I'm afraid that seriously overstates the number of
Presidents we have right now."

Americans for Peace Now is asking its supporters to
write to President Bush and President-elect Obama in
support of a ceasefire and humanitarian relief for

Jewish Voice for Peace condemned the Israeli attacks on
Gaza, calling for an immediate end to attacks on all
civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli, and noting
that the blockade of Gaza is a violation of
humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around
the world. Meanwhile they have been organizing support
for Israeli high school students who have been
imprisoned for refusing to serve in an army that
occupies the Palestinian Territories.

The overwhelming majority of American Jews voted for
Obama -- just as the overwhelming majority of American
Jews opposed the Iraq war. Let's pull for President-
elect Obama to heed Brit Tzedek v'Shalom's call to
speak out now.

[Robert Naiman is National Coordinator of Just Foreign
Policy, a membership organization devoted to reforming
U.S. foreign policy to reflect the values and serve the
interests of the majority of Americans. Naiman edits
the daily Just Foreign Policy news summary. JFP's web
site is ]


Jewish Voices for Peace on Gaza Air Strike

Jewish Voices for Peace
December 28, 2008

Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world,
including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the
streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing
Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end
to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or

Israel's slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade
has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million
people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water
treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a
violation of humanitarian law and has been widely
condemned around the world.

In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed
launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern
Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a
war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets
have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis
since 2004.

Every country, Israel included, has the right and
obligation to protect its citizens. The recent
ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows that
diplomatic agreements are the best protection for
civilian life.

Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an
indiscriminate and brutal weapon. In just two days, the
known death toll is close to 300, and the attacks are
continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor
and densely populated area, Israel has ensured
widespread civilian casualties among this already
suffering and vulnerable population.

This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not
protect the citizens of Israel. It is illegal and
immoral and should be condemned in the strongest
possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West
Bank and add flames to the other fires burning in the
Middle East and beyond for years to come.

The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a
US administration that has undertaken a catastrophic
policy toward the Middle East and during the run-up to
an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda
for short-term political gain at an immense cost in
Palestinian lives. In the long run this policy will
benefit no-one except those who always profit from war
and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace,
achieved through a negotiated agreement, can provide
both Palestinians and Israelis the security they want
and deserve.


Tell Obama: Your Strong Voice Is Needed In The Middle East NOW!

Brit Tzedek V'Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice & Peace)

The escalating warfare in Gaza and southern Israel demands the immediate attention of President-elect Obama. As President-elect, he must speak out about the escalating crisis between Israel and Hamas, call for an immediate ceasefire, and send a strong signal about his long-term objectives for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

In the last month, he and his advisors did not hesitate to release the outline of a large stimulus package and post-Inauguration economic plan in an attempt to contain the financial crisis. Similar action is warranted for the Middle East.

Take Action

Tell President-elect Obama that his strong voice is needed now. Ask him to call for an immediate ceasefire that ends the attacks by all sides and facilitates the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. He must remind the entire international community of his commitment to Middle East peace and his intention once taking office.

President-elect Obama should also send informal envoys (advisors without formal appointments, members of Congress, etc.) to the region to meet with Israelis, Palestinians, government leaders, and others. Such action will send a strong message about the substantial shift in U.S. involvement he will oversee.

Israel's long-term security lies in a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians. As an ally to Israel, there is no more important step Obama can take than to make his positions and concern known immediately.

Please contact President-elect Obama and express your support for his active involvement. Take Action!


Sue Swartz, National Advocacy Chair
Deepa Domansky, Washington Liaison and Advocacy Coordinator



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