AJP STATEMENT ON BOMBING OF GAZA
We call on Israel to stop its relentless and brutal aerial bombing assault on Gaza, and the round-up of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank. The Israeli military has hit more than 1,000 Gaza targets in the first eight days of its assault. These include the homes of Palestinian families, mosques and a center for disabled children. As of July 12, at least 145 Palestinians have died, more than half civilians, including 25 children. No deaths have been reported by Israel.
We recognize that Israel's expulsion of Palestinians, theft of their land, and decades-long occupation of the West Bank as the fundamental injustice underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a fact that the U.S. and international news media consistently ignore. Palestinians live under siege in Gaza, in a ghetto constrained by concrete walls and barbed wire under stringent military occupation in the West Bank, and as second-class citizens inside Israel. With its overwheling military power, Israel has tightened its unrelenting grip on Palestinian life and continues the illegal seizure of Palestinian land to this day. The Occupation attempts to strangle Palestinian life through control and denial of access to water, electricity, education, mobility, land, food, medical care and all the daily needs we take for granted.
Israel's leaders have stoked racism and hatred of Palestinians with their inflammatory rhetoric, then pretend to be shocked when the rhetoric leads to violent acts. Now Israel is bombing Gaza, a contained and inescapable ghetto, killing civilians, devastating communities, destroying schools, streets, hospitals and homes of ordinary people whose only crime is being Palestinian. This violence and destruction, perpetrated by the profoundly dominant Israeli military, but fueling fear and the desire for revenge among both Palestinians and Israelis, must stop. The responsibility lies with Israel to end the aggressive rhetoric and lethal military onslaught.
While we emphasize that Israel's actions and policies are the root cause of the conflict, and that the overwhelming majority of those killed and injured have been Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks, we do not condone the targeting of civilians by either side in the conflict.
As Americans we denounce our government's supplying arms that Israel uses to kill Palestinians and destroy their homes. We demand that Congress and the Obama administration pressure Israel to stop its warfare against Palestinians. We seek intervention by the United Nations to restrain Israel. We insist that the media accurately portray the daily violence against Palestinians of the Israeli Occupation. Finally, we call on our fellow Americans to work to end U.S. military aid to Israel, and pressure Israel to end its brutal and unjust policies through nonviolent action, including the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
The Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (AJP) brings together Arab Americans and Jewish Americans who advocate for an end to US unconditional economic and military support for Israel in it its occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. This occupation is a source of great instability and violence that threatens to engulf the region of the Middle East. The AJP supports a peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that ensures peace, justice and security for both peoples.