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Not In My Name
PMB 206
2859 Central St
Evanston IL 60201
312-409-4845

Chicago Jews Denounce Hamas Bombing & Israeli Occupation

Not In My Name is a Chicago-based organization of Jews and supporters who are opposed to Israel's continued illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.  We are sickened by the escalating violence in Israel/Palestine, which continues to claim the lives of innocent civilians.  The recent suicide bombings in Israel are heinous crimes that can be justified under no circumstances.  The grief they produce will quickly be turned into violent retribution.

Israeli atrocities are as sure to follow these bombings, just as these were sure to follow the Israeli murders of five Palestinian school children in the Gaza Strip and the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Abu Hunud.

In fact, these bombings were predicted before they happened.  Alex Fishman, writing in the Israeli daily, Yediot Aharonot (Nov. 25, 2001), noted that, "Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he [was] thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman's agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority… the respective leaderships of the PA and Hamas came to the understanding that it would be better not to play into Israel's hands by mass attacks on its population centres.  This understanding was, however, shattered by the assassination [Nov. 24]—and whoever decided upon the liquidation of Abu Hunud knew in advance that that would be the price.  The subject was extensively discussed both by Israel's military echelon and its political one, before it was decided to carry out the liquidation."

As a result, dozens of innocent Israeli citizens, many of them youngsters, are dead, and hundreds are wounded.  Our grief and anger is overwhelming: beyond our capacity to articulate.  We have to ask, how are Israelis supposed to react to such atrocities?

Israel has now imprisoned every Palestinian within her/his village, thereby making traveling to a neighboring community an act punishable by immediate execution.  The brutality of the longest military occupation in modern history, which has killed hundreds and maimed thousands, increases daily.  We have to ask, how are Palestinians supposed to react to such atrocities?

How are we supposed to react?  It is a difficult to see how either Palestinian or Israeli can possibly see the humanity of the other.  This is what 34 years of occupation has done.

It is apparent that the Israeli policies of brutal military occupation, expansion of settlements on Palestinian land, and a conscious destruction of its only possible negotiating partner (the PA), is a strategy that has failed.  It has only led to death and destruction for everyone.  Israelis are less secure.  Palestinians are impoverished and imprisoned.  Hatred and blood lust grows by the day.

Not In My Name calls for a change is this policy, a change that can stop this hideous cycle of violence.  Israel must end its occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.  It must act immediately and unilaterally.  The decision to maintain or dismantle the military occupation is a decision that only Israel can make.

Unless the US and European powers intervene to prevent another Kosovo, unless the US ends its vital economic and material support for the Israeli occupation, unless the Israeli people stand up to their leaders and put an end to this insanity, we can only predict that more blood will flow.

We are convinced that Israel must end the occupation in order to act in the best interest of its own citizens, in the best interest of the Palestinian people, and in the best interests of world Jewry.

[December 4, 2001]

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