Jewish Voice for Peace Condemns Escalation of Violence in Middle East

I don’t really know how to express the revulsion that the majority of us as humans have on hearing of the killing and maiming of our fellows. Jewish Voice for Peace has put across their reaction referring to their response from Oakland, U.S.A. on 6th March.
“Jewish Voice for Peace believes the loss of just one person is one life too many. There is no difference in the immeasurable heartache felt by the parents of dozens of children killed in Gaza last week, or the parents of the 8 students killed yesterday in Jerusalem. All killings must stop.”

However they point out the role of the organisation which was attacked in the systematic attack on Palestinians: “The Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva is the birthplace of Gush Emunim, one of Israel’s rightwing settler movements. Human rights groups have documented how the group systematically assaults Palestinians, destroys their crops, and attacks children on their way to school. “
The weekly reports of non-violent protest in the village of B’ilin puts another story across. Palestinians have indeed noted the expressions of sympathy sent to Israel on what happened at the school in contrast to what happened to them in Gaza not to mention the daily occurrences across the rest of Palestine exemplified by the following latest e-mail form B’ilin.
Several wounded in Bil’in’s weekly anti-wall protest
Friday March 07, 2008 18:47
“Dozens of the residents of Bil’in near Ramallah took to the streets on Friday in their weekly march protesting the confiscation of the village’s land and the illegal construction of the wall in the village.
The residents were joined by a number of international and Israeli peace activists, in addition to a number of the supporters of Palestinian Democratic Federation Party (Fida), who are celebrating the eighteenth anniversary of the party.
Protestors carried signs condemning the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and others demanding the dismantling of the wall that is causing serious hardships to the farmers in the village.
The protestors were stopped by the Israeli soldiers at the iron gate of the wall and were prevented to reach their confiscated land. Troops used tear gas and sound bombs to force the protestors to leave.
Palestinian youth who were in the march responded by throwing rocks at the soldiers, who, in turn, fired rubber-coated steel bullets. As a result, a number of Palestinians and Internationals were treated for gas inhalation.
Meanwhile an Israeli peace activist identified as Marina and a Palestinian protestor identified as Naji Shouha were wounded by the rubber-coated steel bullets; their wounds were described as moderate.”

For more information:
The Bilin Friends of freedom and Justice -society
Email: majdarmajdar@yahoo.com
Tel: 972 547 847 942
e-mail


Jewish Voice for Peace Condemns Escalation of Violence in Middle East
Calls for US to Support Joint Ceasefire, End its Support of Occupation
[Oakland, March 6, 2008] Earlier this week, American peace group Jewish Voice for Peace expressed outrage at the terrible loss of life in the latest escalation of violence in the Middle East in Gaza and Sderot. We also called for an immediate joint ceasefire, and an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has barred food, medical supplies and fuel from an already desperately poor and malnourished 1.5 million Palestinians.
Today, we mourn the loss of 8 students at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Jewish Voice for Peace believes the loss of just one person is one life too many. There is no difference in the immeasurable heartache felt by the parents of dozens of children killed in Gaza last week, or the parents of the 8 students killed yesterday in Jerusalem. All killings must stop.
As long as there is occupation and the brutality and violence it entails, we will mourn Israeli and Palestinian lives. In this context, media coverage that portrays violence as part of a short-term cycle of attack and retaliation obscures the facts, including the role the US has played, through covert action, in fomenting civil war in Gaza, as recently revealed by a groundbreaking report in Vanity Fair. As long as the United States continues to support Israel’s decades-long practice of illegally appropriating land, destroying homes, and using disproportionate force–a policy which has proven to be both morally bankrupt and self-destructive for Israel–neither Palestinians nor Israelis will ever know peace.
This latest tragedy also highlights the way in which the Israeli government has either allowed or encouraged its own citizens to be woven into the fabric of occupation. The Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva is the birthplace of Gush Emunim, one of Israel’s rightwing settler movements. Human rights groups have documented how the group systematically assaults Palestinians, destroys their crops, and attacks children on their way to school.
Today, Our House of Representatives passed an irresponsible and one-sided resolution H.Res 951 that will only perpetuate the cycle of violence by ignoring the basic human rights of Palestinians. We call on the U.S. government to stop supporting Israel’s illegal occupation and to pressure Israel to negotiate with Hamas, to facilitate an immediate mutual ceasefire and end to the siege on Gaza.
A just and lasting peace is possible. A new poll conducted by Tel Aviv University shows that 64% of Israelis favor talks with Hamas. Talking to Hamas is the first step towards peace for both peoples.
About Jewish Voice for Peace
Founded in 1996, Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law.

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