The Chicago Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)
Seeking a Just Peace Between
Israelis & Palestinians

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Not In My Name
PMB 206
2859 Central St
Evanston IL 60201

Punishing Palestinians will not save Israeli lives

Not In My Name, a predominantly Jewish organization based in Chicago, categorically condemns the actions of the Israeli government in Gaza.  Bombing Gaza's only electrical plant, destroying most of its bridges, and arresting one-third of the Palestinians' elected government, simply cannot bring peace and security to Israeli citizens.

As usual, diplomacy is the last resort for Israel's leaders.  These attacks have endangered the life of Corporal Gilad Shalit, the young Israeli soldier who was captured in a military raid.  Rather than consider the proposal to exchange Shalit for several hundred Palestinian women and children being held in Israeli prisons, Israel's leaders immediately closed the doors on this diplomatic option, preferring only military action.

By bombing Gaza's only electrical plant, Israel has cut electricity to more than 700,000 Palestinians.  Hospitals can no longer refrigerate medicine, sterilize equipment, or generate oxygen.  Hundreds of thousands of people have no running water.  This deepens an already serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza created by Israel to punish Palestinians.

The U.S. government has done nothing to prevent this gross violation of international law. Its only public statement has been that Israel has a right to defend itself.  It is hard to fathom how the imposition of collective punishment on the Palestinian people, and the massive destruction of the civil infrastructure, which the Geneva Conventions obligate Israel to protect, is a matter of self defense.  The U.S. government has enabled these actions, and the Occupation, through its continued economic, military, and diplomatic support.

The last 39 years of military occupation have proven that brutalizing a captive population, stealing their land and water, and taking away their ability to live normal, fruitful lives, will neither lessen their anger nor make Israelis safer.  This current action will be further proof.  It demonstrates the single-mindedness of Israel's leaders.  They limit their responses to actions that always make the situation worse.  While these leaders maintain their power and authority, the Occupation, now in its 40th year, has been ruinous for both peoples.

Not In My Name is committed to a just and lasting peace that is created by the Palestinian and Israeli people.  This can only be accomplished by ending the Occupation, which is destroying both societies.  There should be no unfortunate young soldiers like Gilad Shalit and no criminal acts like bombing population centers and civil infrastructure.  To bring about this day, we will work to end the use of our tax dollars to support the Occupation, and we will continue to support the Israeli and Palestinian people who are working hard to build peace together.

[July 1, 2020]