Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith groups demand US stop arming Israel

The mother and aunt of Palestinian girl Layan al-Silk, killed in an Israeli attack, mourn during her funeral in Gaza City on 31 July.   Ashraf Amra APA images

More than two dozens faith groups representing Christians, Muslims and Jews are calling for an arms embargo on Israel and an end to the $3.1 billion a year in military aid the US gives to the country.

The statement comes as the death toll from Israel’s horrific bombardment of Gaza reached 1,437, surpassing the total from “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel’s assault on the besieged territory in 2008-2009.

“We deplore and condemn the use of violence by anyone, anytime, anywhere,” the faith groups say, “for each of these casualties is a child of God.”

“The current onslaught takes place within the context of a seven-year old Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade of Gaza and the forty-seven-year-old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza,” the statement says.

It also notes that most of Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinian residents “are from families that were driven from their homes in Palestine in 1948, when the state of Israel was created, and have since not been permitted by Israel to return.”

“Palestinians everywhere,” including those within Israel facing institutionalized discrimination and mounting racism, “must struggle for their dignity, human rights and equality. Right now in Gaza, every Palestinian is literally struggling to stay alive,” the groups say.

The statement takes pains to be even-handed; the faith groups say they also “support efforts to prevent the distribution of weapons to Gaza.”

“We will continue endorsing this call until the current bloodshed, blockade, occupation, and exile come to an end,” they conclude.

Last week, the Obama administration approved an Israeli request for a resupply of mortar shells and grenades despite the soaring death toll from Israel’s attacks which, human rights groups say, specifically target civilians.

The full statement and the names of all the groups endorsing it are published by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Join the call

The faith groups urge the public to sign a petition calling for an arms embargo on Israel, organized by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee.

The petition will be presented to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in September.

Earlier this month, dozens of international cultural and political figures, including six Nobel Peace Laureates, endorsed a similar call, urging an and to the arms trade with Israel.

Tags

Comments

picture

The $3.1 billion/year does two things. Serves to bolster US foreign policy in the ME and makes the weapons industry richer since Israel has to buy US weapons via subsidies. That money in turn is funneled back to the politicians pockets who ensures the cycle remains intact!

picture

We cannot vote for any candidate that takes Israel Lobby money. We are few but are growing fast. Be Warned!

picture

The U.S. must stop arming and providing billions of dollars to Israel until they stop kikking hundreds of Gazan cilviians. The disparity of power and violence makes it a mockery to even call the Israeli-Gazan event a struggle, war, or anything like those terms.

picture

For children
To the family of the one thousandth victim of Israel's genocidal slaughter in Gaza

picture

What is wrong with EGYPT? What is happening do they forget that easy who is the enemy? Where are the people of Egypt, why are their voices not been heard? Egypt is the closest Muslim country who can take the Zionists out but apparently they are scared of them and kissing their asses. Allah is watching PALESTINE is a test to all Muslims and is US MUSLIMS who fail them may Allah SWT save them from this Nazi criminals. Amin

picture

Egypt made peace with Israel many years ago. Israel is not their enemy. The current government in Egypt overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood, which was affiliated with Hamas. So they are not an ally of Hamas. However Egypt has been facilitating negotiations between Israel and representatives of the Palestinian unity government. Being the same religion does not automatically make people allies, and religious differences do not make them enemies.

picture

Egypt's Mubarak took power and made peace to stay alive otherwise he would have been dead as Sadat. The Mossad worked with him to stop any try at a revolt for many years.

picture

T the people of Gaza, our hearts are bleeding for you. This whole thing is like watching a horror movie. Somebody please if you have the power to stop this bloodbath on the people of Gaza. I beg you to intervene.

picture

We are speaking of human decency here. Israel is not only committing war crimes but offenses against humanity. Decent people of any religious faith know that Israel is wrong and that the occupation of the Palestinians and the apartheid being forced upon them is morally wrong.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.