May 16, 2018
An open letter to Senators Hassan and Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster
This week the Israeli military fired from the Armistice Line across 300 yards of farmland in Gaza killing more than 60 and maiming over 2,700 unarmed Palestinian men, women, and children. Since March 30 over 108 Palestinians have been killed participating in the “Great March of Return,” organized by the civil society in Gaza, not by Hamas. 70% of Palestinians in Gaza were forced from their homes in Israel 70 years ago. Since then they have been seeking the right of return or reparation. And they seek freedom.
Senators Hassan, Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster: we need your voices and your legislative initiative to counter President Trump, Ambassadors Friedman and Nikki Haley, as well as some Zionist Jews and Christians, who are saying these actions of the Israeli military are appropriate and OK. Their statements and United States complicity with the Israeli military are an embarrassment and an outrage to U.S. citizens and people of faith. They are in violation of U.S. and international law and the values of compassion, human rights, freedom, and justice for all.
It is not OK to use “butterfly bullets” (bullets that explode on contact to tear flesh and fragment bone) fired from U.S. sniper rifles to kill unarmed people. It is not OK to drop gas from drones on peaceful people seeking freedom. The gas has killed at least one young child with breathing problems. It is not OK to kill people with high-powered rifles and artillery who farm and walk on their land near the Armistice Line or even kill young people who sling stones at the fence and armored vehicles. There have been no reports of Israeli deaths or injuries. It is not OK to imprison a whole people, bomb their infrastructure, hospitals and schools, and restrict their water, food, electricity, and supplies for rebuilding. It is not OK to give billions of dollars in military aid to Israel that supports these abuses against people of the land.
It is an absolute a moral imperative that you speak out firmly against this Israeli military violence and seek legislation to end U.S. complicity. Communicate with President Trump and our State Department that they must support UN resolutions condemning Israeli military action against Gaza, and also in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Advocate for support of an impartial investigation of Israeli military action against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Initiate legislation to withhold all military assistance to Israel until there is an end to the immoral of use of lethal weapons against civilian Palestinians and innocent children and a path toward freedom, the right of return, and equal justice for all Palestinians and Israelis: Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Seek action to eliminate the introduction of Israeli military tactics in the training of our local police forces by the Israeli military.
U.S. complicity with Israeli oppression challenges our sensitivity as people of goodwill, justice, and peace. It risks a trend toward normalization of violence in the name of security against people who are not just like us. We ask that you let your values of love, care, compassion, empathy, and justice for the powerless inform your actions and guide your positions on Israel – Palestine and on issues of white privilege in our own Country.