Monday, January 05, 2009

from Pax Christi on Gaza crisis

Report From Gaza City: Palestinian Journalist Sameh Habeeb Democracy Now 1/5/09


I received this email from Pax Christi this morning. I think it and the information contained in it are worth seeing.

The Israeli offensive in Gaza took an ugly turn this weekend when ground forces were employed and the death toll rose. As of this morning, a Reuters article quoted a UN agency that "527 Palestinians have been killed, at least a quarter of them civilians, while four Israelis have been killed by rockets and mortar shells fired into Israel since the offensive began and an Israeli soldier was killed in fighting on Sunday."

When I sent out the email action alert last week from our friends at the US Campaign to End the Occupation I received quite a few emails back asking why we did not feature how militants in Gaza were killing Israeli civilians by rockets and the number of Israeli dead, as well as a few emails justifying the Israeli campaign (some genuinely concerned for the welfare of Israel, while others gloated that those Palestinian terrorists were getting their just desserts.)

Pax Christi USA condemns violence in all its forms and we believe that the way to peace is not blazed through use of arms, violence, and military might. Rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians are not acceptable and we mourn the loss of life on all sides of any conflict. That being the case, it is extremely difficult to see the current Israeli offensive as a proportionate response. At the start of the Israeli air campaign ten days ago, 7 Israelis had been killed by rockets from Gaza over the past 3 years. A major military campaign--which has now killed over 500 Palestinians, at least 125 civilians (including women and children), while also destroying Gaza's infrastructure and disrupting humanitarian aid--does not seem to be the answer for any long-term hopes for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, especially coming on the heels of a 6 month cease-fire in the region.

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
as only the Daily Show can explain it...


Rabbi Lerner on Israel in Gaza

Resources for the current conflict in Gaza Please see the resources below on the crisis in Gaza.

  • The website for the Jewish Voice for Peace, includes a statement on Gaza
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner on the Gaza Crisis
  • Rabbi Arthur Waskow: Gaza and Beyond-What's the Alternative?
  • Churches for Middle East Peace, includes a letter to President-elect Obama, and a action alert calling for a cease-fire in Gaza
  • Talking points on the Gaza conflict from Phyllis Bennis posted on United for Peace and Justice's website
  • Action alert on the Gaza crisis from Catholic Relief Services
  • J Street is a new Jewish organization committed to Middle East peace and security, affirmed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center
  • .
    Doctors Without Borders in Gaza

    from Catholic Relief Services; a petition to Bush

    from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops...
    Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Holy Land
    Back during Israel’s incursion into Lebanon I remember a caller on CSPAN who, with a calm fatherly voice speak of, after identifying himself as a Christian, how wrong a cease fire between Israel and Lebanon would be. He told a story of how he along with his father and brother had to go into their barn and kill all the rats, big ones and little ones. How sad when a person who claims to represent reason and family values can so calmly call for bloodthirsty violence, terror from the skies and murder. The language of hostility is still present with the Gaza crisis.

    These types of words and the actions they’re meant to initiate inflame the haters. Violence whether it’s from shadowy terrorist or from terrifying smart bombs is always counterproductive except for those who want to keep hate super-charged. They believe greater violence is the only answer. Those who disagree are called un-American/Israeli traitors in league with the terrorists, bad Christians/Jews and anti Semitic. Evil can and often does exist on all sides in a war. Many are feeling comfortable cuddling up with wickedness while deceiving themselves that they are doing God’s will while calling evil good.

    There’s no shortage of people who mistakenly think terrorism is the answer to their political or economic problems. They are not a homogeneous group, they are all different with different solutions to each circumstance. I wish they would learn from such great men as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, John Paul II, Desmond Tutu and others for a better way to attack their problems. Much more can be accomplished through nonviolence.

    'An eye for an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind.'

    "As an essential part of its fight against all forms of terrorism, the international community is called to undertake new and creative political, diplomatic and economic initiatives aimed at relieving the scandalous situations of gross injustice, oppression and marginalization which continue to oppress countless members of the human family. History in fact shows that the recruitment of terrorists is more easily achieved in areas where human rights are trampled upon and where injustice is a part of daily life.”
    Pope John Paul II

    Whoever says he is in the light,
    yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness.
    Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
    and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
    Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
    he walks in darkness
    and does not know where he is going
    because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
    1 Jn 2

    ‘God bless the whole world-no exceptions’.
    Gaza aid shipments

    Civilian casualties escalate in Gaza


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