Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Visit to the Israeli embassy on January 20, 2009



Eight members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance gathered in Washington, D.C.’s McPherson Square with other members of peace and justice groups on Inauguration Day.  After gathering signatures on a letter [see below] and making a LET GAZA LIVE sign, we went to the Israeli embassy.  However, a representative of the embassy indicated that no one was in the building today and that we could not leave our letter.


We intend to mail the letter and continue our efforts to seek a meeting with an embassy representative.  Your feedback is welcome.






National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

PO Box 2399

Leesburg, VA 20177


January 20, 2009


Ambassador Sallai Meridor


3514 International Dr. NW

Washington DC 20008      


Dear Ambassador Meridor:


We are here today as members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.  For years, we have been engaged in nonviolent direct action challenging our government because of its belligerent and militaristic policies, most especially in the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.


Speaking truth to power, we have been arrested for our efforts.  Some of us have been sent to jail for speaking out.


We came to Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day to call upon our new president to prosecute George Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes, to close down the detention facility at Guantanamo and to bring home the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. We also felt an urgency to visit the Israeli embassy, because we believe the Israeli Defense Force has committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip.  While we welcome the cease fire, we are here to demand that reparations must be paid to the Palestinian residents who have suffered tremendously during this reprehensible invasion.


All people have the inalienable right to live a life with dignity and peace, and no government, state or other entity should unleash war and terror on a civilian population.  Sadly, even before the invasion, the Gaza Strip was an outdoor prison controlled by the governments of Egypt and Israel.


As people of nonviolence, we condemn any rocket fire out of Gaza.  But of course there is no comparison between the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the victims of the rocket attacks. Israel’s military operations on the Gaza Strip indicate a reckless disregard for human life and a failure to distinguish civilian from military objects.


Violence only begets more violence, hatred, and retaliation.  We believe the conflict can only be resolved through a political and diplomatic solution and not a military one.


Our major concern today is to demand that crossings into Gaza be open, so that shipments of food, fuel, medical supplies and other basic necessities get to a desperate population. Then we want all Israeli troops to withdraw from Gaza.  Finally, we must demand that the Israeli government start to conduct honest negotiations with the representatives of the Palestinian population to arrive at a permanent peaceful solution.   This can only occur if the Israeli government begins to respect international law and end the occupation of all Palestinian land.


According to an 8 January 2009 report by Inter Press Service, “The administration of President George W. Bush alone has provided for 21 billion dollars in US security assistance [to Israel] over the last eight years, including 19 billion dollars in direct military aid as freebies,” fueling Israel’s military operation in Gaza.  So we will also challenge our government to cut off all support of the Israeli government, as long as it maintains the occupation.  And we will urge our government to deny Israel any U.S. weapons, as we believe Israel has violated compliance with the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA).


We would appreciate if a meeting could be set up so that we can further discuss our concerns.  Please let me know when this meeting can be arranged.  Thanks you for giving this your serious consideration.


In peace,


Max Obuszewski


on behalf of the National Campaign for nonviolent Resistance


mobuszewski at verizon.net



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