Am trying to make these briefer so here goes:
I wanted to bring attention to Israel actions in Gaza this past week. Here is a background on what the Gaza Strip is for those who dont know:
-Small, about 5 by 20 mile strip on southwest edge of Israel. Was part of historic Palestine and part of Arab State in 1948 UN Partition, annexed by Egypt in 48/49 and occupied until 67 when Israel occupied it as a result of war. Was occupied until last year, but basically still under Israeli control. Home to 1.5 million Palestinians living in poverty and misery. Humanitarian crisis fueled this year; Bush pushed on Israeli's for new elections (because Bush claims democracy solves all). Israel wanted to exclude Hamas from elections, Bush said 'no, democracy solves everything'. Elections held, Hamas won. Hamas is a large scale organization that has a huge terrorist wing, but also is a huge social net for Palestinians providing security (somewhat), health services, food, daycare etc. But still a terrorist organization behind most of the suicide bombings. As a result the EU and USA cut off all humanitarian aid to Palestinian people (so they can just starve) and the Israeli govt, who collects taxes on 'behalf' on the Palestinian govt, refuses to give them their tax money.
Reason to condemn current Israeli actions:
Israeli attacks in Gaza during early/mid June, including shelling a beach and bombing a highway, left 19 people dead (including children) and dozens seriously injured. In response Palestinian militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier. In respond to that, Israel did this:
-Sealed off Gaza
-Sent in supersonic planes in the middle of the night (why would you need supersonic planes for a 20 mile strip? becauase they create sonic bombs that wake everyone up and shatter their windows, and scare the shit out of every child there)
-Bombed several highways, bridges and electrical facilities; Essentially CUTTING OFF ELECTRICITY AND WATER FOR ALMOST ONE MILLION PEOPLE
-Invaded with tanks, crushing the roads
-In the midsts of shelling/bombing towns across Gaza, the IDF went in and kidnapped 20 lawmakers and a third of the Palestinian cabinet
This is called "collective punishment" and is a war crime, and its not only illegal but quite evil. My position is exactly that taken by Israel's leading newspaper, Haaretz, which had an editorial today codemning the insanity, stating "The government wishes to convince us that all these actions are intended only to release the soldier Gilad Shalit. " The actions I believe are more intended to cripple Hamas, punish the Palestinians for electing Hamas, and, of course, show that new PM Ehud Olmert is just as bad-ass as his comatos predescesser, General Ariel Sharon.
The Haaretz Editorial can be found here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/733036.html
For those who care (if you are American you should care; its actually an Israeli-American attack as its done with American weapons/planes/tanks sent to Israel by America with the intent to use on the Palestinians, and funded by America), United for Peace and Justice recommends:
1) Call the White House (202-456-1111) and the U.S. State Department (202-647-4000) to demand that the U.S. take immediate action.
2) Send a letter to your local paper and speak out against the latest assaults by the Israeli government on the people of Gaza.
3) You can help get much-needed medical supplies to Gaza -- click here for more information and to make a donation.
There is also a UN resolution pending that condemns the attack. My guess is its voted something like 185-3 in the General Assembly (with US, Israel and some random Pacific Island that the US bought off voting no) and a veto in the Sec Council, and no media coverage of the resolution