Israel Must Immediately End Its Assault on Gaza: The Imperative for a Human Rights Based Policy Toward Israel/Palestine

Excerpts from Statement by Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council, May 19, 2021

As U.S.-based health professionals and members of the Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Committee (JVP-HAC), we demand an immediate end to Israel’s offensive war against the Palestinian population of Gaza, and an end to U.S. support for Israeli military aggression. We add our voices in solidarity with our besieged colleagues, the health workers in Gaza and in all of Palestine; with the anguished cries of those who have lost loved ones and suffered terrible injuries and trauma throughout Palestine, and their families in the global Palestinian diaspora; and with the outraged members of Congress who have taken a moral stand to end our government’s complicity in the willful killing of Palestinians.

As Israel reiterates its intention to continue the bombing siege, multiple sources report a death toll of over 200 Palestinian civilians, including 60 children; over 1200 injuries to Palestinians in the last few days, with nearly 500 (primarily women and children) severely wounded; and more than 30,000 made homeless. In a demonstration of the disproportionality of force, the death toll for Israelis stands at 11. An Israeli military operation to clear a network of tunnels in Gaza utilized 160 warplanes to drop 80 tons of explosives over a period of 40 minutes.

Gaza’s health facilities, already near collapse under the Israeli blockade, immense destruction from three wars in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic, are now over-flowing with bombing victims. Among those killed in Gaza are a number of doctors and health workers, including Dr. Moeen Al-Aloul, a neurologist with the Ministry of Health who died with his wife and five children. Dr. Ayman Abu al-Auf, an internist who directed Shifa hospital’s coronavirus response, was also killed at home with seven family members in the same incident. Tank and bomb attacks on May 16 not only destroyed many homes and their inhabitants on al-Wihda Street near Shifa hospital, but also blocked access to emergency services and obliterated two private clinics.

[The full text of this statement can be read: https://www.jvphealth.org]

 

Jewish Voice for Peace Gathering on Chanukah to Challenge Islamophobia and Fight Against Racism

by Shelly Altman, JVP New Haven

In this time of rising Islamophobia and racism, Jewish community members will gather at 5:30 p.m. on the Green at the corner of College and Chapel streets to publicly rekindle their commitment to justice during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, Dec 21. Activists of all faiths will gather holding nine signs listing commitments to fighting injustice in the shape of a Chanukah menorah.

This action is organized by the Network Against Islamophobia, a project of Jewish Voice for Peace, inspired by the Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people. JVP chapters across the country will be participating on Dec. 21.

The election of Donald Trump has contributed to the already rising Islamophobia and racism in the United States, both on interpersonal and systemic levels. Hate crimes against Muslims were already on the rise and have been accelerating in the wake of the election. Existing policies of heightened surveillance and policing of Muslims and other communities of color as well as U.S. state violence against communities of color both domestically and internationally, will soon be augmented by the even more blatantly racist policies proposed by President-elect Donald Trump.These include banning Muslim immigrants and limiting immigration from largely Muslim and/or Arab countries.

The members of Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven believe that challenging Islamophobia and fighting against racism are part of our obligation within our communities and as partners in the broader struggle for justice and dignity for all peoples.

  • We refuse to be silent about anti-Muslim and racist hate speech and hate crimes
  • We condemn state surveillance of the Muslim community
  • We protest the use of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism to justify Israel’s repressive policies against Palestinians
  • We fully stand with the Vision for Black Lives Platform
  • We welcome Syrian refugees and stand strong for immigrants’ rights and refugees’ rights
  • We honor indigenous rights and support the courageous resistance led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their land and water.

Email: newhaven@jvp.org Online: http://www.jvpnh.org.

Seeking Your Help to Protect Next Gandhi Peace Award Winner

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, PEP

Promoting Enduring Peace has set up a “Freedom to Travel” committee to pressure the Israeli government to allow one of its Gandhi Peace Award winners to travel to the United States. At a telephone press conference the 64-year-old peace and environmental group announced the Gandhi Peace Award will be given jointly to Ralph Nader (pictured on the left) and Omar Barghouti (right) at a ceremony in New Haven in April 2017.

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Ralph Nader is known for over five decades for his consumer and civic activism and for being among the first nationally known figures to criticize Israeli abuses and to speak up in support of the Israeli peace movement. Omar Barghouti is one of the best-known leaders of the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement which calls for economic pressure against Israel until it withdraws from the land it occupies, gives full civic equality to Palestinians citizens inside Israel and allows Palestinian refugee families their right to return to their homeland and homes.

Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, talked about Omar Barghouti. He said the Palestinian was a “central player in the Palestinian campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.” And “Omar’s voice has been a crucial one in the past several years and one that should be increasingly amplified to all those asking about Palestinian non-violence.”
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said she first met Barghouti in 2009 and that’s when Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) starting working on BDS issues. She hailed Barghouti’s leadership and “impeccable ethical framework” and his continued work “at great cost and risk to himself.”

The Israeli government has refused to renew Barghouti’s travel document and he is effectively banned from leaving Palestine/Israel. Vilkomerson said JVP would be working with PEP and other groups to restore Barghouti’s ability to travel and to come to the U.S. to accept the award.

Those interested in working on the “Freedom to Travel” committee should write to office@pepeace.org. A recent TSVN You Tube interview with Barghouti can be heard by going to http://www.pepeace.org.