Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Third Thursday: Call on Congress to support a just peace in Israel and Palestine

Organizations in the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy send out action alerts monthly, focusing on different issues so that members of Congress hear consistently that their constituents support a just and lasting resolution to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict.

As violence escalates throughout Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, it is abundantly clear that the underlying causes of this human tragedy must be addressed. All aspects of Israel's illegal military occupation – including the barrier in the West Bank and the blockade on Gaza – will need to end, in order for a just and secure future to result.

July 9, 2014 marked the 10-year anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion on the legality of Israel’s construction of the separation barrier[1]. In its opinion the ICJ declared that the barrier being built by Israel in occupied Palestinian territory is illegal, that it should be torn down, and that those who have suffered as a consequence of its construction should be compensated. Yet 10 years later, the barrier remains, cutting into Palestinian territory and separating Palestinians from schools, work, and neighbors. Given its projected route, it is estimated that, if completed, around 85 percent of the barrier will run inside the West Bank, de facto annexing West Bank land and water resources to Israel.

Take action to end the violence – for today, and for the future. Let your senators and representative know that as a person of faith, respecting the dignity of every human being you call on them to:

  • Demand an immediate ceasefire by all parties.
  • Condemn all violence against civilians, both by Palestinians and by Israeli forces. It is clear that rockets from Gaza target civilian areas in Israel. It also must be made clear that in Gaza, where 1.8 million[2] people live in a 140-square-mile area, with borders controlled by Israel and Egypt, civilians are often in harm’s way from Israeli fire, regardless of the intended target.
  • Insist on an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, including full dismantlement of the barrier built on Palestinian land, and an end to the Gaza blockade.
  • Recognize that U.S. diplomatic and financial support enable the occupation. The U.S. provides over $3 billion per year in military aid to Israel.
  • Condition military aid to Israel on its compliance with U.S. law and policy. Questions must be raised about how U.S. military aid to Israel is being used in order to ensure that it is not enabling human rights violations including those arising from the construction of the separation barrier, and contributing, for example, to the support of settlements in contradiction of U.S. policy.

10 years after the ICJ ruling, 47 years into the occupation, now is the time to say: Enough. Call on Congress to stop U.S. complicity in suffering and to support U.S. policy for a just peace.

Use this link to send a letter to your senators and representative.

For more information:

“The Humanitarian Impact of the Barrier,” July 2013, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory.

“Separation Barrier,” B’Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

ALSO:

1) Fr. Jack Sullivan MM has provided us with a roundup of news items on the current crisis; this list is posted here on our website.

2) We recommend reading this post from the Institute for Middle East Understanding: FAQ on failed effort to arrange ceasefire between Israel and Hamas




[1] While the barrier is sometimes referred to as the “wall,” it is constructed in different ways along its route. “The Barrier consists of concrete walls, fences, ditches, razor wire, groomed sand paths, an electronic monitoring system, patrol roads, and a buffer zone,” as explained in “The Humanitarian Impact of the Barrier,” July 2013, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory.

[2] CIA World Factbook, July 2014 estimate.

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