israel-palestine

Obama: Don't Let Israel Bomb Gaza Hospital

International solidarity activists, including American journalist Joe Catron, are acting as “human shields” to prevent the Israeli military from bombing Wafa Hospital in Gaza.

Urge President Obama and your representatives in Congress to demand that Israel refrain from bombing Wafa Hospital and other medical facilities in Gaza protected by international humanitarian law by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/dont-bomb-Gaza-hospital

As of Wednesday morning, 213 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, including at least 34 children. [1] [2] About 80% of the casualties have been civilians, according to the UN. [3]

Wafa Hospital in Gaza’s Shujaiyya district has already been hit twice by Israeli airstrikes. The Israeli military has told the hospital to evacuate, but the hospital’s staff say that 16 elderly and terminally ill patients are too frail to move. [4]

When an Israeli military officer called the hospital late on Tuesday warning that it must be evacuated by 8AM Wednesday morning, Dr. Basman Alashi, the hospital’s executive director, called the World Health Organization, saying that such a move would risk the lives of patients.

On Wednesday, while many inhabitants of the surrounding area were fleeing in response to Israeli bombardment warnings, Dr. Alashi, 16 medical staff members and the same number of patients stayed behind.

They have been joined by eight international solidarity activists, including American journalist Joe Catron, who have volunteered to act as human shields at the hospital. [5]

Press President Obama and Members of Congress to demand that Israel not bomb Wafa Hospital or other medical facilities in Gaza protected by international humanitarian law by signing and sharing our petition:

Protesters at “New York Stands With Israel” Press Conference Insist City Council Members "Do Not Speak for Us!"


Protesters confront Rep. Eliot Engel and others as they depart the "New York Stands With Israel" press conference at New York City Hall on Monday, July 14, 2014.

Around a hundred protesters surrounded New York City Hall during a “New York Stands With Israel” press conference Monday morning. The event, which was organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the United Jewish Appeal Federation of New York, was intended to give New York City legislators the opportunity to justify Israel’s week-long bombing campaign of Gaza. But chants of “shame on you, City Council”, “New York stands with Palestine”, and “from Brooklyn to Palestine, genocide is a crime” penetrated the press conference—and media reports of it.

“Our elected officials are using their positions as representatives of the people of New York to lend support to Israel’s abuses and violations of international law,” Adalah-NY member Mindy Gershon stated. “These officials don’t speak for us!”

“We want to let the City Council know that most of New York does not support racist genocide and apartheid by [Israel],” said Bill Dores, a member of Al-Awada Right to Return Coalition.

Union Square March & Rally Against US Support for Israeli Impunity


Protesters chant "money for health and education—not for Israel's occupation!" while marching down Broadway in Greenwich Village, NYC on Friday, July 11, 2014.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Union Square in New York City on Friday to call for Americans to end their support of Israeli impunity in Palestine. Demonstrators held a rally outside Max Brenner Chocolates—a target of boycotts for their financial support of the Israeli army's Golani Brigade, often cited for their involvement in war crimes in the occupied territories—then marched down and back up Broadway to rally again in the Square.

The US sends over $3 billion a year in taxpayer money to Israel. Many millions more in American money is invested in companies that are involved in the occupation.

Around the world, thousands continue to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people and demanding an end to Israeli aggression. Cities such as Paris, Oslo, Chicago, Jakarta, Rome and San Francisco have played host to demonstrations within the last week. In London alone, participation is said to have been around 10,000.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that "no international pressure" would stop him from continuing to strike Gaza. He also said that "there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan," thus expressing the intent to occupy Palestinian territory indefinitely.

Thousands Gather for NYC Protest for Palestine

Max Blumenthal addresses the crowd gathered outside the Israeli Consulate on 42nd St & 2nd Ave in NYC on July 9, 2014.

Press Obama Administration for Gaza Ceasefire

The Israeli military carried out a second night of airstrikes in Gaza July 8. As of Wednesday morning, July 9, at least 29 Palestinians had been killed since the airstrikes began July 7, including seven children under the age of 16. [1] At least two Israelis had been lightly wounded by rocket fire from Gaza, Haaretz reported. [2] The military conflict “showed no signs of abating,” according to a New York Times report on July 9. [3]

Urge President Obama and your representatives in Congress to support vigorous diplomatic efforts to end the violence, by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/ceasefire-Israel-Palestine

From the past, we know how this ends. There will be a new ceasefire. The key question is how long it will take, how many people will be killed and injured, how much will be destroyed in the meantime.

The United States can help save both Israeli and Palestinian lives by speaking out urgently in support of a ceasefire, and working vigorously with U.S. allies in the region that have good relations with both sides, such as Egypt and Jordan, to press for a ceasefire. The U.S. can help make the ceasefire last by pressing for an agreement that would permanently lift the blockade of Gaza.

The State Department should also continue to press for an investigation of the beating of U.S. citizen Tarek Abu Khdeir while in Israeli police custody. [4]

Press the Obama Administration to engage vigorously and urgently by signing and sharing our petition.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/ceasefire-Israel-Palestine

Thanks for all you do to help rid humanity of the scourge of war,

Robert Naiman and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

Help us reach our July fundraising goal—make a $10 tax-deductible contribution today!
Your financial support helps us create opportunities for Americans to agitate for a more just foreign policy.
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State Department Spokesperson flustered by question on Palestinians' right to defend themselves

When the deteriorating situation in Israel/Palestine came up during today's State Department press briefing, Spokesperson Jen Psaki fluently regurgitated the official Israeli line on their escalating air assaults on Gaza: Israel is responding to rocket fire from Gaza; Israel has the right to defense itself; yada yada.

But when confronted by the question of whether Palestinians also have the right to defend themselves, Psaki apparently lost the ability to form a cogent thought. So strange a notion it was to her that anyone would need to defend themselves from Israel, she asked whether there was "a specific event or a specific occurrence" the reporter was referring to. Ultimately, she evaded the question by throwing out the word "terrorist organization" and that "the threat ... to civilian populations is of great concern to us." But really, only if they are Israeli.

Meanwhile, eight children are reported to have been killed tonight in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. How many more will US officials allow to die before they call for a ceasefire?

Read the full exchange below.

QUESTION: But you feel that sort of the Israeli air raids, like maybe hundreds of them so far this day, are proportionate to the rockets?

MS. PSAKI: That’s not – I wouldn’t validate the accuracy of that number, but I would say, Said --

QUESTION: Okay. Well, the sorties – there are hundreds of sorties.

MS. PSAKI: I would say, Said, that I don’t think any country would be expected to allow rockets to come in and threaten the lives and health and well-being of the citizens in their country, and Israel has the right to defend themselves.

QUESTION: Okay. Do you believe that the Palestinians in Gaza have the right to defend themselves?

Tarek out of jail; U.S. demands investigation of beating

Thank you to the 12,600 of you who took action for Tarek Abu Khdeir!

We’re happy to report that Tarek was released from jail yesterday morning. Even though he was not charged with any crime, his family was made to pay $877 bail and he was sentenced to house arrest until his scheduled departure for the US next week.

Tarek’s case is unjust, but his position as a US citizen helped attract world-wide attention and expedited his release, something that the hundreds of Palestinian children arrested by Israel each year are not afforded. Defense for Children International reported 214 Palestinian children in Israeli jails at the end of May, with the number surpassing 250 during Israel’s recent military campaign in the West Bank.

The State Department has called for Israeli authorities to conduct a “speedy, transparent and credible investigation” on Tarek’s beating. We will continue to follow the situation closely.

For a media round-up on Tarek’s release, including this morning’s New York Times front page and a Washington Post video interview with Tarek and his mother, check out this article at Mondoweiss.

Thank you for helping protect a US citizen abroad,

Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

Help us reach our July fundraising goal—make a $10 tax-deductible contribution today!

URGENT ACTION: Teenage US Citizen Beaten by Israeli Police

A 15-year-old Palestinian-American youth was severely beaten by Israeli police in East Jerusalem on July 3 [1]. The beating was caught on video. [2] According to the human rights group Addameer, the victim, Tarek Abu Khdeir, from Tampa, Florida, was beaten by two undercover Israeli police in the yard of his uncle's home in East Jerusalem. [3]

Tarek, who sustained serious injuries to the face and head was arrested and held without charge by Israeli police, who denied him access to medical care for five hours. Tarek is a relative of Mohamed Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old Palestinian boy found burned to death on Wednesday in what was apparently an act of retribution by Israeli extremists for the killing of three Israeli teenagers. [4]

Urge the State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, and the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem to protest Tarek’s beating by Israeli police, to demand that he receive adequate medical attention and due process, and to attend his court hearing on Sunday morning.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/tarek

If you're on Twitter, join the Twitter Storm NOW (11am Pacific/1pm Central/2pm Eastern/9pm Palestine) being led by @samidounpp. The hashtag is #FreeTarek.

Thank you for helping protect a US citizen abroad,

Robert Naiman and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

Help us reach our July fundraising goal—make a $10 tax-deductible contribution today!
Thank you to everyone who made our June fundraiser a success! If you didn't get a chance to donate but you want to, please do so. Your financial support helps us create opportunities for Americans to agitate for a more just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

References:

Support Presbyterian Divestment from Israeli Occupation!

Next week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biennial general assembly in Detroit where they’ll consider a resolution to divest $17 million from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard—that participate in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Just Foreign Policy will be in Detroit for this potentially historic vote—and we want to bring your messages of support with us!

Here are two things you can do right now:

  1. Sign our statement supporting Presbyterian divestment. We’ll share your signatures with Presbyterian delegates in Detroit!
  2. Use our “Presby Divest!” profile image. If you use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media, make our “Presby Divest!” image your profile picture.

When the Presbyterians last considered divestment two years ago, the resolution failed by only two votes. The view that prevailed was that Presbyterians should support Palestinian rights via investment instead of divestment.

But Palestinian business leaders and international economic institutions like the World Bank have made clear that the Israeli occupation itself, which is strangling the Palestinian economy, is largely to blame for the dire situation of Palestinians, and investment alone can’t reverse the consequences of occupation. There must be increased pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies.

How Syria Plays Into AIPAC Mythology

When the news broke that President Obama wanted to launch military strikes in Syria, I was sitting in a hotel in Jerusalem nearing the end of a fact-finding mission examining the situation on the ground in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What I had recently witnessed was the failure of the US to uphold not only international law but its own stated policy as Israel effectively colonized East Jerusalem and vast swathes of the West Bank, encircling Palestinian cantons in a sea of Israeli-only settlements, roads, state lands, and military zones.

Even the initiation of the US-brokered peace process seems to have had little impact on the Israeli calculus. I arrived in the country the same week as Martin Indyk, the US envoy for the talks. In the days immediately preceding my arrival, and in the three weeks I spent in the country, the Israeli government announced the construction of over 4,400 new settlement units. In the same period of time, 11 Palestinian families were made homeless through house demolitions. Under present circumstances, a contiguous Palestinian state seems like an impossible dream.