Letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Israel's War Crimes in Gaza
Dear Senator Warren,
We very much appreciate your outspokenness as a progressive voice in the Senate on behalf of ordinary citizens over banking interests.
However, we were disturbed to read about your recent statements regarding Israel and its attack on Gaza. We strongly urge you to rethink the positions you expressed, which are at variance with the facts and do not advance the goals of a just peace.
To interpret Israeli actions as merely "the right to defend itself" ignores the long history of occupation and siege imposed on the people of Gaza. It belittles the killing of more than 2100 Palestinians - the majority of them civilians, as the UN and respected human rights organizations have documented.
Moreover, a careful review of the chronology of this latest conflict reveals that it was instigated by Israeli actions, not by the indiscriminate rocket fire of Hamas. And the charge that the Palestinians use "human shields" has been debunked by serious investigators. In fact, the Israeli use of this practice has been amply documented.
In our view, it is not "progressive" to justify the slaughter of civilians in Gaza. It is not "progressive" to remain silent when Israel seizes more and more Palestinian land for settlements that are universally regarded as illegal under international law. It is not "progressive" to enable ongoing human rights violations and war crimes through the continued uncritical appropriations of more military aid to Israel.
The time is long overdue to re-examine our policy of supplying billions of dollars of arms to Israel every year. We believe that your co-sponsorship of the US-ISRAEL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ACT (S.2673) sends exactly the wrong message to Israel in the light of its recent attack on Gaza and the on-going siege it maintains.
We ask that you speak up for Israeli accountability, adherence to international law and compliance with existing statutes regarding the permissible uses of exported US weapons. We also ask that you vocally support Secretary of State Kerry's objections to the latest Israeli land grab in the West Bank.
Massachusetts Peace Action
11 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138