BFP Statement on Escalating Violence in Israel and Palestine, Oct. 2015:
Willful killings of both Israeli Jews and Palestinians have been rising in the Jerusalem, the Occupied West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Israel. Brooklyn For Peace condemns all violence regardless of who perpetrates it and we mourn all victims.
As Americans, we pledge to redouble our efforts to bring the Israeli occupation of Palestine to an end, by campaigning to end the US government’s military, diplomatic, and economic support of Israel until it complies with international law and respects the lives and human rights of all peoples.
We must also speak the truth. Actions taken by the Israeli government have exacerbated an already dangerous situation. Activities condoned or ignored by Israeli authorities continue to fan the flames of hatred. For example:
- The 48-year-long Occupation of the West Bank, dispossession of Palestinians, destruction of their lands and homes, use of collective punishment, and continued expansion of Jews-only settlements, with no end in sight, have created a tinder-box of resentment;
- The Israeli government incites Jews to shoot to kill Palestinians, rather than arresting alleged wrong-doers, leading to open season on Palestinians in public spaces—many of these victims are children or teenagers;
- Israeli forces have escalated the use of excessive lethal force against peaceful protests in occupied Palestinian territory;
- Israeli forces conduct nightly incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, arresting civilians, children, and journalists, who are then held indefinitely and without charge;
- Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons, establishing checkpoints, and arresting Palestinian citizens, including children;
- Arbitrary restrictions on the movement of Palestinian citizens make work, school, and family life even more difficult;
- Israeli settlers have attacked, wounded, and killed Palestinian civilians, sometimes while Israeli police watch;
- Restrictions placed on access to Al Aqsa (East Jerusalem) interfere with who may pray and when. At times Muslim clergy have been barred from the mosque;
- Israeli police invaded Al Aqsa (East Jerusalem) early in the morning of September 13, 2015. They destroyed property, arrested people, and trampled on Muslim holy space with boots and weapons;
- Israeli officials have called for Jews to arm themselves, encouraging vigilantism as Israeli civilians, particularly settlers, shoot Palestinians while claiming self-defense.
- The Israeli government has continued to show little regard for Palestinian life. The pronouncements of Cabinet ministers, military officials, and Prime Minister Netanyahu make it clear that eradication of Palestinian society, not justice, is the main objective.
By its silence, the US government is effectively condoning and facilitating these acts and encouraging them through increasing military aid, economic assistance, and diplomatic cover. This makes the genocide possible.
The corporate media have abetted this criminal behavior by their one-sided coverage, disregarding Palestinian deaths and Israeli violence. From reading the mainstream media no one would learn that the Palestinians have suffered six times as many killings at the hands of Israelis as the Israelis have suffered at the hands of Palestinians.
Brooklyn For Peace demands the withdrawal of Israeli presence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in accordance with international law; an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands and an end to the siege and blockade of Gaza; equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and justice for the Palestinian refugees in accordance with international principles. Only then will the basis be laid for a peaceful future.
Posted November 28, 2015
Click here for this Statement as a PDF