February 1, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN JEWS ISSUES
American Jews for a Just Peace, a new alliance of progressive and predominantly Jewish activists working in the United States working to ensure equal rights, safety, and dignity for all the people of historic Palestine, today issued the following statement:
Israel’s recent War on Gaza resulted in worldwide, popular condemnation. Perhaps this marks an important turning point in the relationship between Israel and the world community. We will not stand by while Israel instigates a war, annihilates civilian infrastructure, targets civilian shelters, blocks medical teams from reaching victims, uses chemical weapons, such as white phosphorous, on civilians, prevents medical equipment from entering the war zone, cuts off fuel, electricity and running water, and forcibly prevents civilians including children from escaping their carnage. These are only the latest in a long and shameful history of violent, illegal and immoral actions taken by the government of Israel against the Palestinian people over the last 61 years. They are not the actions of a state that respects international laws or norms. On the contrary, they are actions of a rogue state that flouts international law while justifying its atrocities by invoking the suffering of our forebears.
These atrocities have been fully supported by the U.S. government, which, in this last war, ran diplomatic interference for Israel. This allowed Israel to destroy as much of Gazan society as it could before the new U.S. administration took office.
In the wake of this illegal war, AJJP expresses our outrage and pledges to support all efforts that are aimed at ending Israel’s Occupation and undoing the apartheid system that it has constructed. The ongoing illegal occupation and ever-expanding illegal settlements of now some 450,000 Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is a clear violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. This Occupation is an obstacle to peace, as is the apartheid system of separation and oppression that is the organizing structure of life and resources in Israel/Palestine. U.S. tax dollars and foreign policy goals continue to support what is fundamentally an undemocratic and racist system of government that serves to sustain and deepen the ongoing ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine.
For all of these reasons, as Jews of conscience, we reach out to all other activists in the United States and around the world to work together to end, once and for all, these atrocities, which Israel claims to commit in our names.
Dedicated to working with all like-minded groups to build an effective, worldwide movement, American Jews for a Just Peace calls for:
§ immediate suspension of all U.S. military aid to Israel pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act;
§ the U.S. Congress to open an investigation into possible war crimes as well as violations of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts in the war on Gaza;
§ businesses and individuals to refuse to purchase Israeli-made products that originate in or support Jewish settlements in Occupied Palestine and the apartheid system of racial separation and oppression in Israel/Palestine;
§ the Israeli government to sign the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid that was adopted by the United Nations in 1973, or explain its refusal to do so to the world community;
§ the Israeli government to end the blockade and siege of Gaza and allow unhindered access to all humanitarian aid organizations as well as international journalists;
§ efforts by all activists and to promote awareness of and resistance to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which continues through the ongoing blockade, siege, displacement, annexation, and Israeli state-sponsored terror.
Toward these ends, AJJP calls on the human rights and global justice community to engage in coordinated actions to bring the apartheid policies and criminal activities of the Israeli government to an end. We support all strategies, up to and including acts of non-violent civil disobedience. We will continue to support Palestinian civil society groups. AJJP activists will sponsor teach-ins, write op-ed articles, engage in viral outreach campaigns, ask businesses and individuals to join our boycott, visit our legislators, contact U.S. officials, place paid advertisements, sponsor public demonstrations and vigils, show films, present speakers and exhibits and poetry readings and street theater, and otherwise pledge to be widely and creatively visible and vocal in building the international movement for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine.
CONTACT: info [at] ajjp.org. or (866).977.AJJP or WWW.ajjp.org