People for Peace, Justice, and Healing


People for Peace, Justice, and Healing (Tacoma, WA)
December 27, 2008

People for Peace, Justice, and Healing deplores and condemns the disproportionate use of force by Israel this morning. Using U.S.-made fighter jets and attack helicopters, Israel unleashed a massive wave of airstrikes on residential neighborhoods, killing hundreds and wounding hundreds more, including many women and children.

We endorse the following five points proposed by End the Occupation, a coalition of more than 250 groups, including, in Washington, the Olympia Rafah Sister City Project, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace (Rachel Corrie Chapter 109), the Palestinian Solidarity Committee-Seattle, Traditional Artists Guild (Olympia), Campus Action Network (Seattle), the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia's Bishop's Committee for Justice, the Tikkun Community of Seattle, the Northwest Middle East Peace Forum (Tacoma), the Olympia Friends Meeting, and Last Word Books (Olympia):

1. Insist that Israel ends its siege of the Gaza Strip. Israel has deliberately impoverished the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip and caused a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions by prohibiting the delivery of food, medicine, fuel, and electricity. Your Administration should insist on the illegality of collective punishment and support the human rights of Palestinians such as freedom of movement as a first step towards ending Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip.

2. Demand a freeze in the construction of settlements and Israel's Wall in the West Bank. Israel's West Bank settlements, including those in East Jerusalem, are all illegal under international law,and the International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that Israel's Wall is illegal and must be torn down. Halting this construction should be a first step toward completely dismantling the infrastructure of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and others have labeled "apartheid."

3. Hold Israel accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons. In 2007, the United States and Israel agreed to increase military aid to Israel by 25% over the next decade, totaling $30 billion. During the Bush Administration, Israel killed more than 2,000 innocent Palestinian civilians who took no part in hostilities, oftentimes with U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts. Your Administration should hold Israel accountable for these violations of U.S. law and cut off military aid as required by law, rather than increase it.

4. End the U.S. veto protecting Israel at the United Nations. The United States has used its veto power at the U.N. more than 40 times since 1972 to shield Israel from the consequences of its violations of human rights, U.N. resolutions, and international law. Your Administration should work with, not in opposition to, the international community so that human rights, U.N. resolutions, and international law are applied and enforced uniformly.

5. Base a just peace on human rights, international law, and equality. Such a policy is the only way to ensure the legitimate security needs of all peoples and can only be achieved by engaging in dialog with all interested parties. A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace includes the complete end of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip; a resolution to the Palestinian refugee issue consistent with international law and U.N. resolutions, including the right of return and/or compensation; and full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel. A policy denying Palestinians these internationally-guaranteed rights will only lead to yet another failed "peace process."

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Last updated: December 27, 2008