End the Siege of the People of Gaza
January 26th, 2008
Call for a Comprehensive Ceasefire, End US Military Aid to Israel
continuing to escalate its attacks on Gaza,
killing more than 40 Palestinians just this past week and wounding scores more,
and has placed the already besieged territory under complete lockdown.That is eliminating what little access the
besieged population had to food, fuel, clean water and ever-more-urgent medical
services. By Sunday Gaza’s only power generator was shut down
because of a lack of fuel; hospitals are starting to be affected and
Palestinian medical officials reported five gravely ill patients had died.
announcement, under international pressure, that it would allow one day’s worth
of fuel to re-start Gaza’s only power generating plant does not mean an end to
the crisis; Gaza will remain desperate as Israel continues to use the access to
vitally needed fuel and other goods as a weapon of occupation to impose
collective punishment on the entire population of Gaza. The conditions in Gaza have become desperate, and international solidarity
organizations in London, Rome
and elsewhere around the world are mobilizing to demand an end to the siege of Gaza in protests on
January 26. That same day Israeli peace groups are organizing an emergency
convoy to try to break the siege.
increasing attacks on Gaza – the economic
blockade and military assaults – are not in response to the rocket attacks from
Israeli attacks, and Israel’s
continuing occupation-through-siege of Gaza,
are the reason for the rocket fire in the first place. But even if the Israeli attacks were in
response to Gaza
rockets, such a response would still be illegal (collective punishment is
always illegal), disproportionate, and ultimately futile.
military support bolsters Israel’s
occupation and enables the current escalating punishment. The U.S. must stop all military aid to Israel, and demand that Israel end its collective punishment and
indiscriminate bombing of the civilian population of Gaza. Further, the U.S. must push for a comprehensive
ceasefire that covers all the occupied Palestinian territories. Otherwise, the U.S. will continue to be vilified for its
support of collective punishment and attacks on civilians, U.S. citizens
will be seen by the rest of the world as complicit in major human rights
violations, and any future talks about “peace” will be viewed as providing
continuing support for an Israeli-imposed military settlement.
Call the White House at 202-456-1111 and State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at
immediate end to the assault on Gaza,
and the opening of its border crossings to people and goods.
comprehensive ceasefire that covers all territories and all parties to the
- An end to U.S.
military aid to Israel. Oppose the new $30 billion
military aid package to Israel
Call your national as well as your local media. Demand:
- Coverage of what’s going on in
the Occupied Palestinian territories. This is particularly important since the
Israeli lock-down of Gaza
has resulted in very little news emerging of the most recent attacks.
- Write a letter to
the editor in response to an article in your paper using the talking points in
this action alert.
For contact information, click here.
If your group has consultative status at the United
Nations, call the office of UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-Moon:
that the UN hold Israel,
as a member state, accountable for its human rights violations.
the Secretary-General’s statement of January 17, 2008, repeated on January
18, in which he demanded an “immediate halt” to Palestinian rocket and
sniper fire from Gaza, but only urged “maximum restraint” from the Israeli
occupation forces assaulting Gaza. In both statements he “reminds all
parties of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law
and not to endanger civilians,” without acknowledging the different
obligations between an occupied population and an occupying power already
violating numerous UN resolutions that demand an end to the occupation
Contact:Office of the Secretary General, Chief of
Staff Vijay Nambiar:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-212-963-8922.
out about the January 26 convoy that will try to break the siege of Gaza with food and medicine:
Join Protests in the United States
on Jan. 26 or Organize Your Own by adding your event here:
Saturday, January 26, 1 p.m. 512 S. Brookhurst St.,
Between Orange Ave.
Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am. Meet at 10am at the IBEW Building 501 Pulliam St,
30312. Look for the Georgia Peace and Justice Truck. Organized by
Atlanta Palestine Solidarity. Call 404-405-7703 with further questions.
January 26, noon-1pm in Harvard
Organized by Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
January 26, 4:00pm Forum, Charlotte Energy Solutions, 337 Baldwin Ave
by Action Center for Justice. For information, contact David Dixon email@example.com
January 26, 1:00pm-2:00pm Peace and Justice Plaza, corner of East
Franklin and Henderson Streets.
by the Coalition for Peace with Justice.
more information, contact Mary Lou Leiser Smith on 919-967-5181
January 27, 12:00pm-1:00pm Water Tower Park, 830 N. Michigan
Co-sponsored by AFSC and JVP _ Chicago
information on the vigil, call Lynn Pollack @ 312-427-2533, ext. 26, or e-mail
January, 29, 5 pm at the Lakeshore Theater, 3175 North Broadway (at benefit for
the Friends of the 'Israeli Defense Force').
by ISM. Call 773-463-0311 for more information.
January 26, for more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
by ClevelandMiddle East
Costa Mesa, CA:
Friday, January 25, 5:00pm-7:00pm,
vigil at Bristol & Anton
January 26, 12:00pm-1:00pm, Brightleaf
Square, corner of Main
by the Coalition for Peace with Justice.
more information, contact Mary Lou Leiser Smith on 919-967-5181
January 26th, 12:00pm-3:00pm, Ferry Street Bridge-Meeting first in the EWEB
parking lot 500 E. 4TH
Sponsored by Al-Nakba Awareness Project Palestine: Just Justice!
information, contact Mariah Leung, HappyHeartMom@comcast.net, 541 513-3833
January 25, 2:00 PM De Maisonneuve
Boulevard corner of MacKay Street, Montreal
New Haven, CT:
January 25th, 4:30pm-5:30pm The Federal Building on Church Street (opposite the flagpole on
the Green). Bring signs. Bring candles.
New York City:
January 24, 2008 at 7 PM at The Center for Constitutional Rights, 666 Broadway,
6th Floor To build a coalition for Nakba events)
Friday, January 25 3:00 pm (after friday prayers) RALLY at the Israeli Consulate
42nd & 2nd ave & MARCH to the EGYPTIAN Consulate (58th & 2nd
Jan. 26, 1 p.m. at the Israeli Embassy, 43rd St. and 2nd Ave.
January 25, 12:00pm, Press Conference and vigil, Israeli Consulate, 15th
Jan 26 Assemble at 12 noon to march from 5th and Market Sts. to the
Israeli Consulate (15th & Locust)
St. Louis, MO:
Friday, January 25, 4:15 pm-5:30pm, Corner of Summit and Snelling Aves
Organized by Coalition for Palestinian Rights
For more information, call 612-379-4716 or Florence, 651-696-1642
St. Paul, MN:
January 25, 4:15pm-5:30pm, Corner of Summit
and Snelling Aves
St. Petersburg, FL:
January 26, 8:30pm-10:00pm Baywalk, 2nd
Ave. and 2nd
Organized by St. Pete for Peace. For more information, contact email@example.com
San Francisco, CA:
January 25, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Israeli Consulate, 456 Montgomery St. (near California)
San Diego, CA:
January 25, 3:00pm-5:30pm downtown corner of Broadway and Front Street.
January 25, 4:00pm, WestlakePark, 4th & Pine Sts.
January 26, 12:00pm-2:00pm, Leafleting/sign-waving protest on at WestlakeCenter downtown.
Sioux Falls, SD:
January 26, 12:00pm at 12th & Phillips
Saturday, January 26, 6:30pm Downtown Tempe, at the corner of Mill Ave and University Dr. Sponsored by Al-Awda - Phoenix. Contact
Marwan Ahmad firstname.lastname@example.org 602-330-6785
January 25, 5:00pm Israeli Consulate at 180 Bloor St. West
January 25, 4:00pm at the Israeli Embassy, 3514 International Dr. N.W.
BACKGROUND & TALKING POINTS
1. Demand an immediate end to
the assault on Gaza
and open borders
The 1.5 million citizens of Gaza, half of whom are children aged 14 and
under, have been under an increasingly tight siege since January 2006 when
Hamas was elected in free and fair elections – at least as free and fair as any
election held under military occupation can be. The living standards of the
population have plummeted and their access to medical services, education, and
basic food has dwindled.Over 80% of
Gazans now live in poverty according to the United Nations and the World Bank.
The World Bank has identified Israel’s
tight control of movement of people and goods into and out of, as well as
within, the occupied territories as the single most important reason for the
collapse of the Palestinian economy. Israel has never implemented the
agreement on movement and access that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
negotiated in November 2005. Israel
must end its assault on Gaza and let Gaza have open borders to
the rest of the world.
2. Call for a comprehensive
ceasefire that covers all territories and all parties to the conflict
the Palestinian Authority signed a ceasefire that included Gaza on November 26, 2006. However, Israel continued to conduct incursions into the West Bank and carry out “targeted assassinations,” some
of which resulted in the murder of civilians. Between November 26, 2006 and April 3, 2007, Israeli forces killed 51
Palestinians in the West Bank. Rocket fire
from Gaza into Israel came as a clear retaliation
to these killings. The ceasefire collapsed on April 22, 2007. Although the U.S. media continually claims that
Israeli attacks are in response to Palestinian rocket fire, the actual pattern
of Israeli attacks provoking Palestinian responses has been documented
by Israeli journalist Gideon Levy.(See
his July 9 and December 3 2006 articles on www.haaretz.com,
as well as Institute for Palestine Studies Policy Notes No. 15 on www.palestine-studies.org) Official
U.S. statements supporting Israel’s assaults on Gaza
make the U.S. government
complicit in Israeli violations of the Geneva
conventions (which prohibit all collective punishment).
3. Urge an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.
has not dismantled even the West Bank “outposts” as it had promised the U.S., let alone the rest of its illegal
settlements and infrastructure in the West Bank, the U.S.
has increased military aid to Israel
by 25% for a total of $30 billion over the next 10 years. U.S. military and political support means Israel can
ignore legitimate Palestinian aspirations for independence, sovereignty,
equality and justice. It makes a mockery of claimed U.S.
support for the “peace process,” because the U.S. guarantees the overwhelming
superiority of the Israeli occupier and its decades-long exploitation of
Palestinian land and resources.
must not be complicit in what the rest of the world understands to be one
country’s destruction of a country and people.Only an end to U.S.
military aid to Israel
will signal that our country is beginning to get serious about peace.