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We Cannot be Silent About the Attack on Gaza

January 1, 2009

“These are historic crimes, and we cannot be silent about them.” –Ali Abunimah, author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse in an interview on Democracy Now!

I have trouble believing that Israel’s four-day attack on Gaza that has killed 368 Palestinians, including at least 64 civilians, is self-defense, or justice for the rocket attacks that have killed 4 Israelis. For 6 months there has been a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine and the Israelis are blaming Hamas for breaking the ceasefire. Yes; Hamas has fired lots of rockets into Israel, tragically killing 4 people. But does that justify killing 368 Palestinians?

Much of the U.S. response to the current situation is that both sides need to stop the fighting, which is true. However, I am hesitant to place blame equally between Israel and Palestine (or even Hamas). Israel claims that the current attack, with the threat of a ground offensive is to thwart Hamas rocket bombings, but these bombings have only increased since Israel’s attack. As a matter of fact, there had been remarkable few rocket attacks before Israel started its offensive.

The past four days has made me seriously wonder how U.S. public opinion can be so pro-Israel. Can’t we see that Israel is murdering many more innocent civilians than Hamas is? Obama has said very little about the recent attacks, but his policy in the past has also been very pro-Israel. I am not suggesting that the U.S. should be anti-Israel, but I agree with Abunimah above that we cannot stay silent about Israel’s recent actions. The U.S. should condemn Israel’s unnecessarily brutal attack on Gaza.

Urge your member of Congress to end the killing, support diplomacy, and end the blockade on Gaza. These steps will be major progress toward Middle East peace in 2009. Check out FCNL’s new Middle East page that has great resources and actions to continue working toward peace in the Middle East.

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