Jewish Voices on Gaza

American Jews Call for Immediate Ceasefire, End of Gaza Blockade
by Robert Naiman


Huffington Post – December 30, 2008


Expressing views that are surely representative of American Jews as a whole, here’s what some American Jews are saying about the violence in Gaza.


J Street has a petition demanding that the U.S. intervene to bring about an immediate resumption of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas; the petition also calls for lifting the blockade of Gaza.


The petition says:


   I support immediate and strong U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to urgently reinstate a meaningful ceasefire that ends all military operations, stops the rockets aimed at Israel and lifts the blockade of Gaza. This is in the best interests of Israel, the Palestinian people and the United States.


Brit Tzedek v’Shalom has an action alert asking folks to write to President-elect Obama, insisting that he speak out now and call for an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian aid to Gaza, noting that he has spoken out on other issues. As Representative Barney Frank pointed out, "Obama says we have one President at a time, but I’m afraid that seriously overstates the number of Presidents we have right now."


Americans for Peace Now is asking its supporters to write to President Bush and President-elect Obama in support of a ceasefire and humanitarian relief for Gaza.


Jewish Voice for Peace condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza, calling for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli, and noting that the blockade of Gaza is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world. Meanwhile they have been organizing support for Israeli high school students who have been imprisoned for refusing to serve in an army that occupies the Palestinian Territories.


The overwhelming majority of American Jews voted for Obama — just as the overwhelming majority of American Jews opposed the Iraq war. Let’s pull for President- elect Obama to heed Brit Tzedek v’Shalom’s call to speak out now.


[Robert Naiman is National Coordinator of Just Foreign Policy, a membership organization devoted to reforming U.S. foreign policy to reflect the values and serve the interests of the majority of Americans. Naiman edits the daily Just Foreign Policy news summary. JFP's web site is ]




Jewish Voices for Peace on Gaza Air Strike


Jewish Voices for Peace December 28, 2008


Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli.


Israel’s slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world.


In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004.


Every country, Israel included, has the right and obligation to protect its citizens. The recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows that diplomatic agreements are the best protection for civilian life.


Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an indiscriminate and brutal weapon. In just two days, the known death toll is close to 300, and the attacks are continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor and densely populated area, Israel has ensured widespread civilian casualties among this already suffering and vulnerable population.


This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not protect the citizens of Israel. It is illegal and immoral and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West Bank and add flames to the other fires burning in the Middle East and beyond for years to come.


The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a US administration that has undertaken a catastrophic policy toward the Middle East and during the run-up to an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda for short-term political gain at an immense cost in Palestinian lives. In the long run this policy will benefit no-one except those who always profit from war and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace, achieved through a negotiated agreement, can provide both Palestinians and Israelis the security they want and deserve.




Tell Obama: Your Strong Voice Is Needed In The Middle East NOW!


Brit Tzedek V’Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice & Peace)


The escalating warfare in Gaza and southern Israel demands the immediate attention of President-elect Obama. As President-elect, he must speak out about the escalating crisis between Israel and Hamas, call for an immediate ceasefire, and send a strong signal about his long-term objectives for Israeli-Palestinian peace.


In the last month, he and his advisors did not hesitate to release the outline of a large stimulus package and post-Inauguration economic plan in an attempt to contain the financial crisis. Similar action is warranted for the Middle East.


Take Action <>


Tell President-elect Obama that his strong voice is needed now. Ask him to call for an immediate ceasefire that ends the attacks by all sides and facilitates the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. He must remind the entire international community of his commitment to Middle East peace and his intention once taking office.


President-elect Obama should also send informal envoys (advisors without formal appointments, members of Congress, etc.) to the region to meet with Israelis, Palestinians, government leaders, and others. Such action will send a strong message about the substantial shift in U.S. involvement he will oversee.


Israel’s long-term security lies in a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians. As an ally to Israel, there is no more important step Obama can take than to make his positions and concern known immediately.


Please contact President-elect Obama and express your support for his active involvement. Take Action!




Sue Swartz, National Advocacy Chair Deepa Domansky, Washington Liaison and Advocacy Coordinator

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