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(en) US, Pittsburgh ARA, POG, and PSC co-author statement on Middle East crisis

Date Thu, 20 Jul 2006 19:58:48 +0300


Middle EastOn June 9th, 2006 the Israel Defense Forces (I.D.F.)
shelled the Gaza Strip, hitting a beach and injuring dozens and killing
10, including seven members of a family of eight who were out on a
picnic. In response, the military wing of Hamas officially ended its
self-imposed one-sided ceasefire. On June 26th, the Popular
Resistance Committees led an attack with the aid of Hamas across the
border with Israel. The attack on an Israeli military position resulted in
the death of two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian militants, and
most importantly, the capture of one Israeli soldier.
This statement was co-authored by Anti-Racist Action, the Palestine
Solidarity Committee, and Pittsburgh Organizing Group. We have also
organized a march for Wednesday, July 26th at CMU in Oakland.
More info forthcoming..

------
June 19th, 2006

Statement regarding the current crisis in the Middle East

On June 9th, 2006 the Israel Defense Forces (I.D.F.) shelled the Gaza Strip,
hitting a beach and injuring dozens and killing 10, including seven members
of a family of eight who were out on a picnic. In response, the military
wing of Hamas officially ended its self-imposed one-sided ceasefire. On
June 26th, the Popular Resistance Committees led an attack with the aid of
Hamas across the border with Israel. The attack on an Israeli military
position resulted in the death of two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian
militants, and most importantly, the capture of one Israeli soldier.

On June 28th, Israel began what was called Operation Summer Rains. The
stated goal of the operation was the return of the captured soldier. The
I.D.F. attack began by destroying infrastructures in the Gaza Strip,
including a power station and several bridges. The Israeli government
ordered the arrest of members of Palestinian government and parliament,
dismantling the Palestinian government which was elected in January 2006.
Effectively, the people of Gaza have been re-occupied by Israeli forces.
These attacks on the civilian infrastructure and indiscriminate attacks on
civilian areas of the Gaza Strip amount to collective punishment, a
violation of international law and the most basic standards of human
decency.

On July 12th, militants from Hezbollah crossed the border from Lebanon into
northern Israel capturing two Israeli soldiers and killing eight others. In
response, the I.D.F. began air strikes on the civilian population centers in
Southern Lebanon and in the city of Beirut. Nearly 50 civilians died in the
first day of bombing. On July 15th Israel initiated a blockade of Lebanonand
invaded its southern border with troops and tanks. They have destroyed
airports, trapping the civilian population of Lebanon in. In only a few
short days, the list of atrocities has grown long. In one instance, 12
members of one family were killed in an Israeli air strike that hit their
home. In the village of Dweir, Israeli planes bombed the home of a local
Muslim cleric, killing him, his wife, and eight of their children. As of
this writing, the death toll has climbed to about 250 in a single week.

As the current crisis escalates, it must be recognized that what is
happening is not new. The atrocities committed in Palestine, in Lebanon, in
Iraq, and elsewhere, none of this is new. The wars that have been fought,
from even before the 1967 Six Day War to the current wars in Iraq and
Lebanon, are merely flashpoints in what has been a sustained and ongoing war
from the West on this region of the world. We can speak of deaths and
atrocities in Gaza during the recent invasion, but we can't forget the
deaths and atrocities committed every day in Gaza from the last 39
years.

We can talk about the terrible bombings in Lebanon over the last week, but
we can't forget that this small country has been a battleground for over 30
years. We can point to the high estimates of Iraqi casualties reaching the
hundreds of thousands, but we can't forget the million who died from
sanctions in the 1990s. Nothing that we can see today is new, only the
latest incarnation of the war for dominance that raged for much of the
last century.

As individuals and organizations who believe in freedom from oppression,
war, and occupation we strongly condemn the acts of aggression on the part
of the State of Israel. We call for an immediate end of ALL forms of
occupation of the lands and everyday life of the Palestinian people. We call
for an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanon, and we
call for self-determination and freedom for all Palestinians.

This statement was initiated by members of the following groups:

* Anti-Racist Action
Palestine Solidarity Committee
* Pittsburgh Organizing Groupalone.
-------------------------------------
Copied from Infoshop News
================================
* antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiatives
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