Call on Congress to stop U.S. complicity in suffering and to support a just peace in Palestine and Israel.
Background: 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. In its opinion the ICJ, a body of the United Nations, declared that the barrier being built by Israel in occupied Palestinian areas 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. 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.
As violence escalates throughout Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, 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.
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:
- Call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties (read a statement by MCC and 33 other agencies).
- Condemn violence against civilians by all parties. 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 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.
- Support an end to the Israeli military 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 enables the occupation. The U.S. provides more than $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 as to whether U.S. military aid to Israel is directly enabling human rights violations, including those arising from the construction of the separation barrier.
Faith reflection: “[Christ] has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:14). Physical barriers, such as walls built on occupied land, and spiritual barriers, such as valuing one people group over another, cannot stand in God’s presence.
Action: Ten 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.
In addition to sending a letter to Congress, please help MCC respond to ongoing needs in Gaza.
Alert prepared July 17, 2014 by Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, director, email@example.com.