More than 2,100 Palestinians have been killed in recent months, 85 percent of whom are civilians, including 500 children. Over 100,000 are left homeless, as raw sewage runs in the streets, polluting their drinking water and as Israeli bombs have left them without electricity. All this on top of a seven-year-long blockade that has prevented imports and the exporting of Palestinian goods, resulting in a 41 percent unemployment rate.
This is not anti-Israel — it is pro-human rights and pro-peaceful coexistence. Hundreds of Holocaust survivors in a recent New York Times ad have condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stating emphatically that, “Nothing can justify bombing U.N. shelter homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water.” Henry Siegman, former head of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America and president of the US/Middle East Project, places the blame for the war and wrecking the peace talks on Israel, urging that President Obama stop military aid to Israel and allow the U.N. to accuse Israel of war crimes.
Congress, cowed by the pro-Israel lobby and the threat of withheld campaign contributions, allows Netanyahu to belittle our president and trample human rights and the dignity of Palestinians.
We must urge Congress to curtail military aid to Israel unless and until meaningful steps are taken to deconstruct Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, foster a safe, secure and independent Palestinian homeland, and help rebuild what it has destroyed. We cannot condemn acts of terrorism throughout the world and then sanction them with our silence and be complicit in them with our military aid to Israel’s irresponsible prime minister.
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Congress must side with the majority of Israelis, Americans and Jews throughout the world who champion a dignified homeland for the Palestinians and peaceful coexistence.
Leonard Torres, Plantation