Greens call for immediate bilateral ceasefire, just peace in Gaza conflict
The Green Party of the United States has responded to the latest violence in Israel and Palestine by calling for an immediate bilateral ceasefire, followed by negotiation for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict.
The Green Shadow Cabinet responded swiftly as well with a statement titled “How the U.S. could stop the Gaza invasion now.” Green Shadow Cabinet members Ajamu Baraka (Public Intervenor for Human Rights) and David Swanson (Secretary of Peace) have also responded with commentary on the latest developments.
Below is the Green Shadow Cabinet statement, followed by the statement from the Green Party of the United States.
What the U.S. State Department would do…
…if it believed in peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.
The U.S. Government policy to aid and abet the terrible violence in Gaza not only kills and dehumanizes Palestinians, but it also runs counter to U.S. law, wrecks our diplomatic reputation, and further endangers Israelis. We do not accept the excuses or blame shifting by any group for civilian deaths.
The diplomatic disaster has perhaps one silver lining: a change in U.S. policy can rapidly end the bulk of the violence. This should start with an announcement:
- Calling on Israel to end military operations in the West Bank and Gaza with the threat of cutting off diplomatic ties if operations do not cease.
- Calling on all groups in Palestine to respect and match the cessation of Israeli military operations.
- That the U.S. will cease using its United Nations veto to provide immunity for Israeli breaches of international war crimes.
- Support for Palestinian membership of international institutions, including the International Criminal Court (The U.S. also must recognize and join the ICC).
- An end to all U.S. military aid to Israel in compliance with the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act prohibiting aid to nations which have acquired or transferred nuclear materials outside of the non-proliferation treaty.
- Demand Egypt to open the Gaza border to humanitarian supplies and trade.
- Request the Office of Foreign Assets Control to identify effective economic sanctions to be leveled if Israel does not end its military occupation.
These are first steps, and will not achieve an end to the occupation, nor will it end all violence. However, it is vital first step for the U.S. end its policy of backing the occupation, and obstructing peace efforts, and immediately stop the Israeli attack on Gaza.
The Green Party of the U.S. calls for an immediate bilateral ceasefire in the latest Gaza assault
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party of the United States is calling for an immediate ceasefire in the current exchange of missiles between Israeli and Palestinian forces, negotiation for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict, an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian Territories and human rights violations, repeal of apartheid policies in Israel, and establishment of one democratic state for all in Israel-Palestine.
The Green Party opposes and condemns all violence against unarmed civilians and deplores the murder of young people on both sides that ignited the current face-off. Greens said that Israel must be held accountable for mounting Palestinian casualties in the assault on Gaza, with over 200 deaths, mostly civilians, caused by airstrikes in densely populated areas (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-80-per-cent-of-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-strikes-are-civilians-un-report-says-9606397.html). Hamas must be held accountable for indiscriminate rocket attacks, which have killed one Israeli during the escalating crisis.
“We are appalled that the Obama Administration endorsed Operation Protective Edge. The White House must lead the rest of the world in bringing international pressure for a ceasefire, aid for civilian populations in the line of fire, observance of international law, and a just peace in the region with an end to Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid policies within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel,” said Dr. Justine McCabe, Connecticut Green and member of the Green Party’s International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).
Greens are urging support for U.S., Israeli, and Palestinian peace groups that are protesting the air assault and possible ground invasion and demanding a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement and an end to the occupation and seven-year blockade of Gaza.
“Assertions about Israel’s right to defend itself must be placed in the context of Israel’s high-tech military arsenal; the occupation of Palestinian Territories; mass displacement of Palestinians, including home demolitions and settlements; detentions and brutality by the IDF, often directed at children; denial of access to resources; and continuing denial of basic human rights and equality. There is no ‘right’ to occupy, violate human rights, or inflict collective punishment on civilians. Safety is only possible for Israelis and Palestinians when Israel ends these injustices and when both sides lay down arms and sit down to negotiate a solution,” said Muhammed Malik, former Co-Chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party and member of the International Committee.
Mr. Malik recently helped organize a Palestine solidarity rally and a national Muslim-American boycott of the White House’s annual Ramadan Iftar (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/14/white-house-muslims_n_5585851.html) to protest U.S. complicity in Israeli violations and other human rights offenses. The latter effort gained the support of more than 100 prominent Muslim-American activists, leaders, and professors and prompted the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the nation’s largest Arab-American civil rights group, to heed the call and join the boycott. (Seehttp://fallingwallsinitiative.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/solidarity-with-guantanamo-bay-palestine-an-open-letter-calling-on-the-boycott-of-the-white-house-iftar)
In an effort to bring about real peace, justice, and security for all Israelis and Palestinians, the Green Party of the United States has endorsed the Palestinian Civil Society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel as nonviolent measures to be maintained until Israel ends the occupation and colonization of Arab lands and dismantles the separation wall, recognizes the fundamental rights of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in U.N. Resolution 194 (http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/C758572B78D1CD0085256BCF0077E51A).
Greens noted that Israel is a powerful nation whose military is funded generously with U.S. tax dollars. While Greens called the targeting of civilian populations by either side abhorrent, Palestinians have suffered far greater loss of life, as well as daily violence and humiliation under a brutal occupation. The Palestinian death toll in the 2008-2009 siege of Gaza was about 1,400, mostly civilians, while the Israeli death toll was under 20, mostly soldiers.
The Green Party supports suspension of U.S. military and foreign aid to Israel and a U.S. foreign policy that promotes the creation of one secular democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and River Jordan as the national home of both peoples with Jerusalem as its capital. The party encourages a new U.S. diplomatic initiative to begin the process of negotiation, laying the groundwork for such a single-state constitution.
Greens pointed to recent comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an indication that Israel now rejects the “two-state solution” and establishment of a separate, independent Palestinian state: “There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” (http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.605514)
In 2009, former U.S. Representative and 2008 Green presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney was detained in Israel for participating in the Free Gaza Movement’s delivery of humanitarian aid in the wake of Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip.
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