For immediate release – July 30, 2014 – It is with heavy hearts that we compose this statement. At the time of this writing, the Israeli military’s ground, naval, and aerial bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 1,280 Palestinians. The vast majority of these victims were civilians, according to the United Nations. Palestinian rockets and anti-tank fire have killed two Israeli civilians, one Thai migrant worker, and 53 Israeli soldiers (one Israeli soldier has been reported as “missing” by Israel and “captured” by Hamas).
We deplore and condemn the use of violence by anyone, anytime, anywhere. For, each of these casualties is a child of God; each has a name; each has a family; each has a life story that has come to an abrupt and tragic end.
These deaths do not occur in a vacuum. The current onslaught takes place within the context of a seven-year old Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade of Gaza and forty-seven year old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
Most of Gaza’s residents, moreover, are from families that were driven from their homes in Palestine in 1948, when the state of Israel was created, and have since not been permitted by Israel to return. Those Palestinians and their descendants who did manage to stay in Israel after 1948 are subject to institutionalized discrimination and increasing hostility from right-wing Israelis.
In the face of this oppression, Palestinians everywhere must struggle for their dignity, human rights, and equality. Right now in Gaza, every Palestinian is literally struggling to stay alive.
Israeli aggression against Palestine, both in the past two weeks, and over the past several decades, has been largely enabled by American military aid and international military sales. The US government gives Israel $3.1 billion a year to purchase the most advanced weaponry in the world. European Union countries, as well as Brazil, India, and Chile have also sold advanced weapons to the Israeli military.
We support efforts to prevent the distribution of weapons to Gaza.
We likewise call for a blockade of weapons to Israel.
We are therefore joining the six Nobel Peace Laureates and thousands of others in endorsing the Palestinian call for an arms embargo on Israel. We will continue endorsing this call until the current bloodshed, blockade, occupation, and exile come to an end.
We ask that you join us in this action and in continuing to pray for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.
In peace and hope,
American Muslims for Palestine
Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America
Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
Christians Witnessing for Palestine, Friends of Sabeel
Citizens for Justice in the Middle East—Kansas City
Disciples Justice Action Network
Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network
Friends of Sabeel-North America
Friends of Sabeel-Sacramento Region
Interdenominational Advocates for Peace
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council Co-Founders, Rabbi Brant Rosen and Rabbi Alissa Wise
Jews for Justice in Palestine
Keep Hope Alive, Bay Area, California
Middle East Task Force of Chicago Presbytery
Palestine-Israel Action Group of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting (Quakers)
Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Quaker Palestine Israel Network
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
United Methodist Kairos Response
West Hills Friends Church, Portland, Oregon
For the latest list of groups joining this call, click here
For more information or to add your organization’s name to this statement: