- President-elect Obama, Pennsylvania state senators and representatives
- Palestinian territories
As of 12/29/08
Please sign this petition to show your support for an immediate end to the collective punishment of the residents of Gaza as a result of Israel’s ongoing siege. Since Saturday, the bombings by the Israeli military have murdered more than 345 people and injured 1,450 more. An offensive on the ground is imminent. Show your support--- end the massacres, end the genocide!
This petition will be sent to president-elect Barack Obama, as well as Pennsylvania state senators and congressional representatives.
December 29, 2008
Dear President-elect Obama, Pennsylvania state senators and representatives,
We, the undersigned, support an immediate end to the unjust Israeli siege and massacres of Gaza’s residents.
Since Saturday, the Israeli military has murdered more than 345 Palestinians and injured more than 1450. An Israeli ground offensive appears imminent.
According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 33, “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.” Collective punishment of Palestinians is a blunt violation of International Humanitarian Law.
The Israeli excuse for the bloodshed is that Palestinian militants have bombarded Israel with Qassam rockets. But Palestinian rockets are so badly made [because of the utter lack of resources as a result of the blockade] that numerous rockets have managed to kill only 15 Israeli civilians since 2004. The recent wave of rockets killed 2 Israelis, while 300 Palestinians have died as retaliation. Furthermore, the rockets are in retaliation to the siege, and Israel, not Hamas, broke the cease-fire.
While all Israeli deaths have been widely publicized in Western media, everyday Palestinian deaths and hardship due to Israeli oppression go unreported. Let us explain:
In the United States, Israel is often incorrectly portrayed as righteous and just, and Arab opposition as war-hungry and anti-Semitic. Furthermore, Israel is often depicted in the West as being the oppressed, as being the victim. The battle between Israelis and Palestinians is framed as a David versus Goliath situation.
However, quite the opposite is the reality.
Thanks to United States support, Israel is the strongest military power in the Middle East, and the fourth-strongest in the world. Palestinians barely have their own police force, let alone a coherent army that could pose a serious threat.
While Israel enjoys high standards of living, Palestinians must live in squalor, leading miserable lives as a result of Israeli occupation. Many are refuges from the 1948 theft of land. Invasions of Palestinian homes, indiscriminate armed attacks, and settler violence supported by the army against Palestinian civilians, are only the beginning of the reality.
The siege of Gaza has resulted in a deepening humanitarian crisis. The UN appeal for humanitarian aid to Gaza in 2008 is the third largest UN request after Sudan and Congo. More than 80% of Gazan residents must rely on humanitarian aid because of the occupation and siege. There are shortages of food, water, fuel, power, and medical supplies. The Wall has disrupted daily life. There are not even enough resources to print textbooks for school children. Hospitals are barely functioning. Israeli checkpoints disrupt the right to freedom of movement of Palestinians in Palestinian territory. Hundreds of Palestinian civilian patients needing urgent medical treatment have died waiting for travel permits to leave the Gaza Strip.
The occupation of Palestine has often been compared to the Apartheid system that existed in South Africa:
• South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in a recent interview on Democracy Now! stated, “It reminds me of the kind of experiences that we underwent.”
• Former president Jimmy Carter wrote of Palestinian oppression in his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.
• Even the president of the United Nations General Assembly, father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, stated, “What is being done to the Palestinian people seems to me to be a version of the hideous policy of Apartheid.”
The genocide of the Palestinian people must stop. What is happening in Palestine is the symbol of American hypocrisy and colonialism around the world. For those who are shocked at anti-American sentiment around the globe, answers are most obvious in Palestine. The financial support (more than $3.8 billion in 2007, mostly towards military funding) of Israel is not in the best interest of the United States as it damages our security, our economy, international relations, and our image as supporters of freedom.
Americans drove the Native American population from their lands—a genocide in the name of Manifest Destiny. And now we are making the same mistake by supporting Israel’s massacres in a similar name, that of Zionism.
We urge you to fight racism and genocide by calling on Israel to respect International Humanitarian Law with the immediate end to the massacres and siege of Gaza.
The Petition to End the Siege on Gaza petition to President-elect Obama, Pennsylvania state senators and representatives was written by Sai and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.