Chicago Jews Hold Vigil on Friday, August 31, 2020 to Voice Opposition To Israeli Policies
Not In My Name, a Chicago-based organization of Jews critical of Israeli policies toward Palestinians, will hold our weekly vigil at 435 N. Michigan Ave. at 12 Noon on Friday, August 31, to protest Israel's continuing Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
This week we take particular note of the following egregious violations of international law and basic human rights that were committed by the Israeli government:
- The extra-judicial execution of the secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Abu Ali Mustafa Zibri. Such executions (which now number over 30) are violations of Article 3(d) of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to which Israel is a High Contracting Party, and which prohibits at any time and in any place "the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples." We echo the words of the Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, who write, "The assassination policy violates the right to life, the most fundamental of all human rights, enshrined in international and Israeli law." (August 30,2020)
- The military incursion into the town of Beit Jala, wherein the Israeli Defense Forces entered the Lutheran Church and Orphanage and, from position on its roof, fired on civilians below. We note that the justification for this action was to protect the Jewish settlement of Gilo, which itself is built on land expropriated from Palestinians in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which states, "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."
- The demolition, by tanks and bulldozers, of 14 houses in the Gaza Strip refugee camp of Rafah. This horrendous criminal act left about 100 people homeless. Said Abu Jazar, 62, said he was sleeping when bulldozers approached his home. "I did not even have time to change my sleeping clothes or take my heart medicine," he said. [Toronto Star, August 28, 2020] Such collective punishment is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
"None of these acts will end the cycle of violence," said NIMN member, Joel Finkel. "In fact, they appear to be designed to do exactly the opposite. The invasion of Beit Jala is particularly dangerous because if Israel is allowed to protect an illegal settlement in this case, it will be able to justify similar invasions of Palestinian villages throughout all of the Occupied Territories."
Mr. Finkel added, "We are very moved and impressed by the courage and humanity exhibited by the eleven members of the International Solidarity movement, who faced down Israeli machine guns and carried food and medicine to the frightened people of Beit Jala. These Israeli, German, and French peace activists exhibit the very best human qualities in the dark shadows of the very worst."
Not In My Name also notes the direct involvement of the US government, which offers $3 billion in military aid to Israel each year. The helicopters used in the extra-judicial executions are Apache Longbows, manufactured by Boeing, and Lockheed manufactures the missiles.
- We call for an investigation to review whether their use by Israel violates the Arms Export Control Act.
- We call for an immediate suspension of all military aid that supports the occupation.
- We call for an immediate end of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
- We call for an immediate presence of international observers in all the occupied territories to monitor the behavior of the occupying military forces.