Gaza – Enough is enough
|With over 700 dead in Gaza, it’s time to stop this war. This week, Avaaz is launching a major media campaign urging an immediate end to the violence. Help get the ads published!|
The awful bloodshed in Gaza is escalating as diplomats argue — over 700 are now killed, almost half of them civilians, and well over 100 children dead. As Israeli tanks, airplanes and artillery bombard targets in thickly populated urban areas, thousands more have been injured and 1.5 million terrified civilians have no escape from this prison-like enclave — the borders are sealed. Hamas too continues to fight and fire rockets at Israel, killing 5 Israeli civilians.
We can make a difference — even Israel’s own foreign minister admits that intense international pressure could force a ceasefire. To that end, we’ve delivered our 300,000-strong petition to top officials of the UN, EU and Arab League. But at the UN, US President Bush is outrageously blocking a serious international resolution — trying instead to impose a skewed alternative that would legitimize the suffocating blockade of Gaza, which Hamas cite as reason for their rocket attacks. With leaders deadlocked and issuing toothless statements, the violence only worsens.
Enough is enough. We’re launching a targeted ad campaign in influential US political papers, including Roll Call, the paper of the US Congress, and The Washington Post — the Post ad costs $32,057, so if just 1000 of us donate $32 (€24) each, we can fund it together and if we raise more, we can expand these efforts. It’s amazing how some of the most sensible arguments and basic facts about this crisis are not carried by US media. Follow the link below now to view the ad, and let’s chip in together to get a decent voice for peace into the US debate:
Proposals for an immediate ceasefire are now coming from many states in Europe and the Middle East. But blocking a UN resolution, Bush’s behind-the-scenes “ceasefire” proposals reportedly seek to exclude Hamas from any ceasefire deal and leave Israel a free hand, a disastrous approach that would fan the flames of hatred and guarantee that the violence continues. Bush faces relatively little opposition to his outrageous position at home, mainly because US voices for peace have not been active enough. In a poll, a majority of US Democrats opposed this war at its outset — but even if Barack Obama does want to change America’s approach, it will be difficult unless peace advocates speak up loudly and clearly first. Such voices are emerging, including new progressive groups within the American Jewish community. Our ad campaign will strengthen their call for a sane approach to this conflict that ensures the security of civilians in both Israel and Palestine.
To be lasting, a ceasefire must protect civilians and end all attacks — Israeli bombings and incursions as well as the rockets Palestinian factions fire into southern Israel. International supervision is desperately needed at the borders, to reopen Gaza’s borders and crossings for food, fuel, medicine and goods, to prevent weapons-smuggling (which has only grown under the blockade), and to monitor and enforce the ceasefire on both sides.
Sources say Israel could agree to such a ceasefire, and Hamas, which won elections in 2006 and now runs Gaza, has suggested it could do so too. Both should be challenged to abide by a fair deal. There is no military solution for either side — it’s time for world powers to step up and broker a ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides and let them live their lives in peace and security, and it’s time for the world to engage with the US in a real dialogue about what it means to be part of the solution in the Middle East, instead of part of the problem. Follow the link to see our first ad for the Washington Post, donate to the campaign, and together let’s raise an unstoppable worldwide voice for peace:
With hope and determination,
Paul, Graziela, Alice, Ricken, Luis, Brett, Ben, Iain, Paula, Veronique, Milena and the whole Avaaz team
P.S. We wrote to European, US and Arab leaders last week about our campaign, and received responses — now we need to escalate the pressure. For a report on many of Avaaz’s other campaigns so far, see: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2
1. Daily Telegraph (UK): “Gaza medics describe horror of strike which killed 70”:
Associated Press: “Israel Shells Near UN School, killing at least 30” (5 January 2009)
Yediot Aharonot, “Cabinet: Gaza op to continue, Israel has not yet accepted the Egyptian-French ceasefire initiative”, 7 January 2009:
2. The Guardian: “Gaza diplomatic efforts near deadlock” (8 January 2009):
Reuters: “US haggles with Arabs over UN action in Gaza” (8 January 2009):
Yediot Aharonot: “Israel examining international treaty to isolate Hamas” (5 January 2009)
3. E.g. see Yediot Aharonot article above, and this from the Israeli site DEBKA:
4. Rasmussen Reports poll, 31 December 2008: Only 31% of Democrats support offensive, most prefer a diplomatic solution:
Major Jewish lobby groups such as the Israel Policy Forum and JStreet are supporting a pro-peace line — e.g. see this JStreet action for a ceasefire and end to the blockade:
5. These parameters are advocated by a broad range of experts and policymakers. See for example International Crisis Group’s Ending the War in Gaza report (5 January 2009):
6. “Gaza: outlines of an endgame”, Ghassan Khatib (6 January 2009)
Jerusalem Post: “Israel must get out of Gaza now”, 8 January 2009: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167305710&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull
Reuters: “Hamas seeks truce but says lifting siege a must” (5 January 2009) http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L5111105.htm
Strikingly, the US Army War College has just released a substantial report supporting the view that Hamas can and must be brought into negotiations and is capable of sustaining a long-term truce, or even peace with Israel. Linked via:
The inside story of the civil strife between Fatah and Hamas and the Bush administration’s involvement in this debacle is best-told in The Gaza Bombshell, an investigative article published in the leading US magazine Vanity Fair in April 2008:
“Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End?” (6 January 2009) is a statistical analysis by an MIT professor, based on Israel’s own data for rocket fire and on which side struck first. It provides useful factual background for how the Israel-Hamas truce collapsed, poorly reflected in some news reporting:
ABOUT AVAAZ Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva. Call us at: +1 888 922 8229 or +55 21 2509 0368 Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.
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