Women Peace Activists & Green Party Slam Gaza Attacks
MADRE Demands an End to Attacks in Gaza and Israel
November 16, 2012
MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, condemns the growing violence that has killed at least 18 people in the past days: 15 in Gaza and three in Israel. We assert that all attacks against civilians must end immediately.
Yesterday, Israel carried out a targeted killing of Hamas leader Ahmed Al-Jaabari, in violation of international legal prohibitions on extrajudicial assassinations. Subsequent attacks brought the death toll in Gaza to 15. Reports from Gaza indicate that at least 130 people are wounded. Three Israelis have been killed in a rocket attack that collapsed part of a building.
These latest assaults come after a period of escalating attacks and tension. In the week leading up to the assassination of Jaabari, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights documented the deaths of six civilians in Gaza due to Israel's military activity.
That same week saw repeated rockets attacks from Gaza into Israel, also in violation of international law.
In January, Israel will be holding elections, and some have suggested that the assassination and airstrikes are a bid by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to galvanize his far right base. Now that a ground offensive may be imminent, many more lives are at risk.
The people of Gaza already live under a US- supported Israeli military siege that denies them basic rights, like access to clean water and medical care. The current airstrikes not only risk civilian lives, they destroy essential infrastructure in Gaza still not rebuilt from the last Israeli offensive four years ago.
Today, MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind said, "By assassinating a man who has played a central role in past ceasefire negotiations, Israel's leaders are further foreclosing the possibility of peace. That, in fact, is the essence of Netanyahu's election strategy. And families in Gaza are paying with their lives for his political manipulations. The Palestinian and Israeli women we work with are committed to breaking the cycle of violence and ending Israel's occupation and siege of Gaza."
MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25 million dollars worth of support to community- based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States. For more information about MADRE, visit our website at www.madre.org.
Green Party: The U.S. must press Israel not to launch a new war on Gaza; Greens urge an immediate truce and resumption of negotiations
The U.S. is ignoring the source of the conflict
and chain of incidents leading up to the
current Gaza crisis, say Greens
November 16, 2012
Green Party leaders said today that the U.S. must pressure Israel not to resume its war on Palestinians living in Gaza, and that the illegal blockade and hardship imposed by Israel on Gaza must end.
"President Obama and Congress have the clout to stop a repeat of the 2009 Gaza War, in which more than 1300 Palestinians were killed, including 700 civilians, over 300 of them children. Thirteen Israelis were also killed, of whom three were civilians. This is a 'David and Goliath' fight, with nuclear-powered Israel acting in disregard for international law against a dispossessed people living under siege. Israel's assaults on Gaza will not make Gazans go away or resolve the conflict," said Muhammed Malik, former co-chair of the Miami- Dade Green Party, who recently spoke at the Students for Justice in Palestine National Conference at the University of Michigan. (2009 Gaza War casualties: see
and figures referenced at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Gaza_War
Green Party leaders noted that targeted
assassinations are illegal and that the airstrike authorized by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak that killed Hamas military commander Ahmad al-Jabari also killed his 14-year-old son.
The Israeli airstrike ended two days of calm after news that Egypt had brokered a truce between Israel and Palestinian officials. The truce was meant to end a surge of violence that resulted in more than 100 missiles fired out of Gaza and repeated Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, where people are already living in conditions comparable to an open-air prison ( http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/16/israeli_negotiator_hamas_commander_was_assassinated).
"The Obama Administration should press for an immediate ceasefire and resumption of the negotiations. Claims by Israeli and U.S. officials that the IDF is trying to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties are not credible. Washington and the U.S.
media have focused on the increased Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza but are ignoring the chain of incidents, including killings of Palestinian civilians, that motivated Hamas to fire rockets out of Gaza,"
said Jill Stein, the Green Party's 2012 nominee for President.
"The terrorism that Israel is using to maintain the occupation far outweighs the retaliatory terrorism committed by Hamas. Unless these assaults can be halted, we'll see another massacre of Gazan civilians and further deterioration of the city," added Dr.
Stein. (For a timeline of events leading up to the recent confrontation, see http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-israel-shattered-gaza-truce-leading-escalating-death-and-tragedy-timeline and
"The U.S. government and most U.S. media have ignored the heart of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, including Gazans -- Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their native land, ongoing colonization of Palestinian land in Israel and the Occupied Territories, and Israel's refusal to allow refugees to return home, as prescribed by international law. Over two thirds of Gazans are from Israel and the West Bank," said Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Green Party's International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).
While self-defense and armed resistance against military occupation are legal under international law, no such law tolerates attacks on civilians.
Greens have urged support for Palestinian and Israeli peace groups and for nonviolent resistance, and have called for an end to all violence targeted at unarmed civilians. Greens insist that regional stability and security for all the people of Israel and Palestine are not possible until peaceful negotiation based on international law resolves the conflict.
The Green Party of the United States has called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and U.N.
directives, ends the occupation of Palestinian lands, and observes full and equal human rights for Palestinians within Israel and the Occupied Territories, including the right to return home.
"Washington must stop aiding Israel's violations of human rights. Israel has a budget surplus and 6.5% unemployment. U.S. taxpayers, facing austerity and unemployment at home, are seeing $3 billion of their tax money sent annually to Israel, which receives 60% of all U.S. foreign military financing,"
said David Schwartzman, member of the DC Statehood Green Party and the Green Party's International Committee.
"Israel's history of aggression towards Palestinians and neighbors like Lebanon and Syria has made it increasingly isolated internationally. If this situation continues, we'll see more animosity directed against the U.S., and chances for peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians will dwindle. Nor will Americans indefinitely accept their government's misguided Middle East policies and pay exorbitant tax dollars for it," said John Rensenbrink, Maine Green and member of the International Committee.
"U.N. experts say Israel's blockade of Gaza illegal"
Reuters, September 13, 2012
"U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel"
Congressional Research Service, March 2012 http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf
"Hamas Wins Palestinian Elections: Questions you need answered"
Jewish Voices for Peace
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance, November 16, 2012 http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2012/11/gaza-redux.html