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(1) Open Letter to Lebanon... (2) UNSC Resolution Talking Points
Open Letter to the People of Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq & UN Security Council Resolution Talking Points
Saturday, August 12,2006 00:00
by endtheoccupation

Open Letter to the People of Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq

&

UN Security Council Resolution Talking Points


Open Letter to the People of Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq

The US

Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Steering Committee and staff have
written an "Open Letter to the People of Lebanon, Palestine,
and Iraq, and to those who
stand for peace in Israel
from People in the US Who Believe that Only Justice Will Bring Peace".

We urge all

member groups and organizations of the US Campaign to sign this letter.
Each signatory group or organization would
have 7 words
to describe itself so that the people in the region can get a sense of who we
represent.

We also urge

you to disseminate this letter widely for signature to organizations that
support peace and justice as well as to artists and public figures.  United for Peace and Justice, a nationwide
coalition with over 1,400 member groups, has already signed this letter.  The preliminary deadline for signatures is
Sunday midnight August 13.  

On Monday, we

will be publishing the letter and its signatories here in the US, in the Middle East,
and throughout the world.

In solidarity,

The Steering Committee

and Staff of the US
Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

August 2006

"Our

lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Open Letter


To the People of Lebanon, of Palestine, and of Iraq, and to those who stand for peace in Israel

From People in the United

States Who Believe that Only Justice Will Bring Peace

Dear Sisters and Brothers Living With War,

We write to you in anguish, to express what cannot possibly be contained in
words.  We need a new language to speak about what humanity means and
still can mean, what our humanity must create in this danger.

We send our solidarity, our commitment, our love. We write to let you know that
there are many in this country who are organizing, educating, protesting, and
engaging in civil disobedience, working night and day to call for an end to
this horror, to change US policy and reverse complicity in Israel’s war,
working for recognition of your sovereignty, your rights, your lives, your
truths.

We are filled with anger

at the US role in supplying Israel
with weapons - in violation of the government’s own Arms Export Control Act -
and at US policies that gave Israel
more time to continue its attacks.


We are women and men of all ages, from all parts of the country, all
professions, all faiths, all races, all national backgrounds. We are not
reflected in the mainstream media because of the stronghold of fear and lack of
information strangling the imagination and collective public voice of this
country. But we are here and we want you to know you are not alone. We work in
small community groups, in nationwide coalitions, in places of worship and as
artists, writers, teachers -- from all walks of life. We want you to know that
when we see and hear the news we are imagining your families, your homes, your
hearts, your hopes, your terror. We want you to know.

We grieve for all lives

lost in the Middle East, believing that all
lives are precious and equal, whatever the race or creed. We are working hard
for peace with justice. The pro-war forces arrayed against us are far
more powerful than us. The road to peace is far too long, and many will suffer.
But we vow to do all we can to bring an end to the US role in this violence.


* We are putting pressure on our elected representatives to support an
immediate ceasefire and then negotiate a just peace.  Although the war on Iraq still
produces its unbearable toll of daily death, many more voices in Congress
oppose the war since we came together to try to prevent the war and then to
oppose it.  And although Congress still expresses its misguided and
uncritical support for Israel’s
actions in Palestine and Lebanon, our
efforts have contributed to unprecedented debates on the causes of conflict.
And we will not give up.

* We are educating US citizens on the consequences of our Government’s
foreign policy. We organize teach-ins in places of worship, trade unions,
schools and other public forums. We ground our teaching in universal human
rights and international law. Many of us promote the call to support boycott,
divestment and sanctions against Israel until it upholds
international law, as called for by Palestinian civil society in July 2005 and
by Lebanese cultural figures in July 2006.

* We seek to give voice to the suffering and the steadfastness of the people of
Palestine, Iraq,
and Lebanon,
and to the stand taken by Israeli and US citizens who refuse to serve in armies
of occupation and who work for justice and peace.

* We seek as well to expose and redeem the damage to our own country. We know
that militarism destroys our economy, our communities and our humanity. We know
that many who fight our government’s wars are the young and poor who feel they
have no other options.  We know that our schools, our jobs, our democracy,
and our civil rights are held hostage to the military economy that currently
drives our government. Our struggle is thus one of solidarity, not of charity.

* We take our protests to the streets in demonstrations and vigils - outside
Israeli Consulates, US Federal Buildings, and in all public spaces.  We
cannot remain silent and simply let our countrymen and women watch other
countries and other peoples burn.

We will work until our country stands for peace and justice in yours and
throughout the world.

Signed by the following organizations

The Steering Committee and

Staff of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a nationwide coalition
of 200 groups and organizations

United for Peace and

Justice, a nationwide coalition of 1,400 organizations

Click here to

endorse.


UN Security Council Resolution Talking Points

Dear US Campaign members

As you plan actions this

week to demand an emergency ceasefire there are likely to be many questions
about the draft resolution at the UN Security Council. As it stands today, the
draft will bring neither justice nor peace. Indeed, it will prove impossible to
implement. We need to keep calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire.
The talking points below can be used to explain why:

1. The resolution requires Hezballah to "cease all

attacks" while Israel
is only required to cease "all offensive military operations". Thus
the resolution is not a ceasefire at all, but a one-sided call for Hezbollah to
stop.  Israel
could continue its devastating attacks on Lebanon’s infrastructure as
"defensive" measures - and no peacekeeping forces will want to
venture into such dangerous terrain.

2. The resolution does not call for Israeli withdrawal from

Lebanese territory. It ignores the 7-point program presented by the Lebanese
government, which is backed by a national consensus, including Hezballah. That
would include an immediate ceasefire, Israel’s
withdrawal from south Lebanon,
monitoring of the withdrawal by UNIFIL (the UN’s peacekeeping forces in Lebanon), and
putting the Lebanese army in control of the southern part of the country.

3. The resolution reinforces the claim that the "root

cause" of the violence was the capture by Hezballah of Israeli soldiers on
12 July 2006.  In fact, there have been
countless violations of the blue line established on the Lebanese-Israeli
border after Israel’s
unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon
in 2000. UN peacekeepers have documented 10 times as many violations by Israel as by
Hezballah in the past six years.  The
broader context - including the fact that Israel holds several Lebanese
prisoners as well as nearly 10,000 Palestinian prisoners - is ignored.

4. The language equates deaths and destruction of civilian

infrastructure "on both sides." It ignores the disproportionate
civilian deaths and destruction of infrastructure caused by Israeli bombings.
Well over 90% of all civilian deaths, combined with nearly a million Lebanese
displaced are all a result of Israeli attacks.
Whole neighborhoods, roads, the airport and ports, bridges, power
plants, milk factories, and grain silos have all been decimated. Deliberate
attacks on civilians and civilian targets on this scale are crimes against
humanity.  See Human Rights Watch recent
50 page report: "Fatal
Strikes: Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon
"

5. The resolution calls for the unconditional release of the two

Israeli soldiers, only "encouraging" the release of the Lebanese
prisoners in Israeli jails.

6. The resolution provides for international forces only on the

Lebanese side of the border, whereas Israel has invaded Lebanon repeatedly in
the past, most notably in 1978 and 1982, and has continued to violate its
territory and airspace, with some estimates placing Israeli over-flights at as
many as 11,000 since 2000.

7. Finally, the resolution makes no mention of the real root

causes of the Arab-Israeli conflict: the continued occupation by Israel of the
Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem and its siege of Gaza, the continued
Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, and the denial of the right of
Palestinian refugees to return and compensation, rights upheld by international
law.

 

 

 
To
donate, click here: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=149

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