Thursday, May 28, 2009

CODEPINK Says Obama Should Visit Gaza

May 27, 2009

Dear Friend,

We've gone through hell and high water to get our CODEPINK delegations from Cairo into Gaza--the devastation wrought by the 22-day Israeli invasion is so vast and so tragic that you must see it to believe it. That's why we think it's critical that President Obama, who will be in Cairo on June 4, make a stop in Gaza.

Obama says that bringing peace to the Middle East is a top priority. Yet neither Peace Envoy George Mitchell nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton--who have both been shuttling back and forth to the region--have set foot in Gaza. That's just crazy. So please join us in an urgent but simple petition to the President: Visit Gaza.

Gaza is a tiny strip of land--about the size of Philadelphia. Obama could cross the country by car in two hours. Heck, he just added a side visit to Saudi Arabia to have dinner with the King--whom he saw last month at the G20 Summit. Isn't it more important to visit a region where 1,300 people have recently been killed and thousands of homes, schools and mosques destroyed? Isn't it more important to see how the Israelis are using the yearly $3 billion military aid from U.S taxpayers?

Coinciding with Obama's visit are CODEPINK's extraordinary delegations of 175 people trying to reach Gaza from both the Egyptian and Israeli borders. Click here to read about our trips and read blogs from our delegates here. Invited by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), we have been bringing much-needed medicines, as well as toys, school supplies and playground building materials since many schools and playgrounds were destroyed during the invasion. You can continue to fund our work in Gaza; click here to find out how.

The majority of Gazans are under 18, and many of the youth are traumatized and depressed. We want to reach out to ease their pain and tell them we care. So should Obama.

He should visit Gaza, express his condolences for the loss of so many innocent lives, call for a lifting of the inhumane siege that continues to imprison an entire population, and support an investigation of how U.S. funds to Israel are being spent.

Those actions, more than any fine words he may speak during his talk at Cairo University, will do wonders to repairs our relations with the Arab world that were so tattered during the Bush years.

In peace,
Allison, Audrey, Blaine, Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janna, Janet, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Lydia, Medea, Nancy, Pam, Paris, and Rae

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