USLAW Statement on Crisis in Gaza
by Co-Convenors, U.S. Labor Against the War
SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORKING PEOPLE OF PALESTINE & ISRAEL
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
We recognize that any statement on this crisis is likely to be controversial. The situation in Palestine and Israel itself provokes strong feelings and heated debate. But, as the statement says, silence in the face of such suffering is unsupportable for an organization devoted to peace and social justice.
At the core of this statement is the principle of international working class solidarity, which does not take the side of any government but rather takes the side of all the working people of the region.
In releasing this statement, we are not proposing to change the mission or primary focus of USLAW. But, just as we recognize that the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan are interrelated, we also understand that real peace and stability in the Middle East will not be achieved without a resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians. The present crisis could easily spiral out of control and lead to a wider war. The role played by our government is central to this conflict and its resolution.
We are greatly disturbed by the escalation of conflict in the Middle East, particularly Israel’s military assault on Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on the planet, and by its ongoing collective punishment of the people of Gaza. The bombing that Israel has undertaken has led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians and the wounding of many hundreds more. Those who seek peace and justice must not remain silent in the face of this aggression and the suffering it has inflicted. We believe that such actions do not and will not serve the interest of peace and greater humanity in the region. Neither Israel nor Hamas is justified in attacking the civilian population of the other.
The U.S. government supplied Israel with the military means to carry out this attack and has generously underwritten the Israeli government and military with tens of billions of U.S. tax dollars. Our government’s failure to condemn this latest action makes it complicit. The economic crisis which daily deepens in the US requires that we seriously reorient our foreign policy and stop spending hard earned taxpayer dollars on proxy wars and reinvest the needed resources right here at home.
The U.N. Security Council, issued the following call:
The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern at the escalation of the situation in Gaza and called for an immediate halt to all violence. The members called on the parties to stop immediately all military activities.
The members of the Council called for all parties to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and to take necessary measures, including opening of border crossings, to ensure the continuous provision of humanitarian supplies, including supplies of food, fuel and provision of medical treatment.
The members of the Council stressed the need for the restoration of calm in full, which will open the way for finding a political solution to the problems existing in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement.
We support the call for an end to the violence. We note, however, that the Security Council’s inability to take effective actions to uphold the UN Charter, its own previously adopted resolutions and international law – in great part due to the objections of the U.S. – has been part of the problem.
We urge all parties to agree to an immediate cease fire and seek peaceful and lasting solutions. Recent history demonstrates that bombings, rocket attacks, blockades and military invasions won’t provide the best road to peace and security for the peoples of the region. Quite the contrary, such actions perpetuate the cycle of death, destruction, fear and heightened insecurity among the people of all countries, including us here in the US, USLAW was founded on the principle of international solidarity, opposition to militarism and respect for international law. We reject the use of military means to resolve international conflicts. The road to peace and security can never be paved with war.
We are guided by the belief that international working class solidarity offers a path to mutual understanding and peace. Working people of the U.S., Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine and throughout the Middle East must reach across the borders of our differences to create a common ground for mutual understanding that will create the peace, prosperity and security to which we all are entitled.