Thursday, June 29, 2006
Palestinians Resist Israeli Seige of Gaza
June 29, 2006
Let us get straight to the point. The world has become shamelessly accustomed to scenes of Israeli forces at will brutalizing Palestinians.
During this latest case, however, the situation has become that much more painful. The attacks are taking place at the peak of a US-Israeli imposed international starvation and strangulation campaign that not even Arab states dared to challenge. Israeli heavy artillery and high explosive missiles have been raining from US-fighter jets on bridges, power plants and water supply facilities in the Gaza Strip on a population denied even its daily bread and the most basic of medications.
To add insult to injury, as of writing this statement, 64 Palestinian governmental ministers, democratically- elected members of the legislative council (the Palestinian parliament), and mayors of various cities have been kidnapped from their homes, with various assassinations by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) promised to come, including of the Palestinian prime minister himself.
Where else is this travesty allowed to occur?
The Israeli government claims to be "searching" for one occupying soldier - what about the nearly 9,000 current Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prison camps? Under its illegal occupation, the Israeli government continues to imprison over 9,000 Palestinians, all systematically jailed, tortured or held hostage - the majority without even a farce of a trial. Since 1967 alone, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained, amounting to 40% of the male population of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip. Who in the international community is searching for them?
The Israeli government, a nuclear power with an unmatched US-supplied arsenal, is claiming to seek "security". From whom, we ask? The population under attack is the most impoverished in the region. Nearly all were made refugees at least once as a result of their expulsion by Zionist forces from their homes in 1948, when 75% of the Palestinians were made homeless and Zionist colonists occupied 78% of Palestine. Many are refugees twice, the second time when they were dispossessed in 1967. Some are three and four times refugees, as they are made homeless by U.S.-supplied and sanctioned bulldozers time and time again, up to this very day as they continue to face the Zionist colonial occupation of their land.
The Role of Arab and International Solidarity and the US Peace Movement
The NCA affirms that without Arab depth and without an international solidarity movement that squarely realizes the significance of the Palestinian struggle and supports their movement for liberation, the victimization of the Palestinian Arab people will continue unabated.
Furthermore, the U.S. peace movement has the moral duty to take a consistent position in solidarity with the Palestinian people to prevent the wanton destruction that is currently taking place with the explicit support and reinforcement of the U.S. government. Our community should not have to argue for the inclusion of Palestine in the anti-war movement, nor should we be subjected to the disgraceful removal of Palestinian symbolism from any anti-war protest stage. To place Palestine aside to please any of the US political parties is morally corrupt and helps to produce the sort of isolation that enables such destruction in Palestine to take place.
The Arab American and the Palestinian community cannot stand silent as some of our own organizations malign the struggle of the Palestinian Arab people and systematically introduce the notions of defeat into our young. Such organizations seek an obedient position at the doorstep of the US State Department and stand outside the Arab consensus. They must not and can not speak on our behalf.
The NCA calls on our community to stand together at this difficult time. We call on all to join the planned protests in their various cities across the US and to express their views in media outlets.
NCA National Office
National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)