Not In My Name, a gathering of Chicago Jews critical of Israeli policies toward Palestinians, condemns the continuing escalation of violent acts targeted at the Palestinian people, who have suffered under a military occupation for the last 34 years. As this occupation has become more brutal, and as more land has been stolen from them, it is of little wonder that the Palestinian people have become both angrier and more willing to fight back against their oppressors.
While we condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the targeting of innocent Israeli civilians, and consider such acts to be criminal, we do not, in any way, consider them to be justification for the brutal and criminal acts perpetrated by the Israeli government. Rather, we see them more as a response to the state-sponsored terrorism, expropriation of property, destruction of livelihoods, and daily humiliation that face the Palestinian people on a daily basis.
We condemn the extra judicial execution of Mustafa Zibri, a leader of a branch of the secular Palestinian nationalist movement. Such executions are a violation of Article 3(d) of this Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to which Israel is a High Contracting Party, 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 condemn the Israeli military incursion into the Palestinian town of Beit Jala. The Lutheran Bishop Munib A. Younan, writes that the church building, an orphanage with 50 children, and an Inter-religious center and guesthouse was taken over by the IDF at 1:30 a.m., who then took up positions on the roof from which they were firing at the people below. [Personal communication] We point out that the justification for this action is to protect the village Jewish settlement of Gilo, a Jewish settlement that, in actual fact, has been built on land that has been stolen from the people of Beit Jala in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. If such military action if is justified in this case, it will be justified throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. This is an extremely dangerous escalation of the war that Israel is now waging on the people of Palestine.
We condemn the partial-destruction of the school in the village of Abu Nujeim, east of Bethlehem, the uprooting of 20 trees from its backyard, and the destruction of the village's water network.
We also condemn the unannounced 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.
Individually, any of these three actions would be considered a serious crime in any civilized society. Taken together, they constitute the actions of a crime gang. As part of an ongoing, and escalating pattern of criminality, they must be condemned as state-sponsored terrorism.
While, as Jews, and as American Jews, we condemn these actions, we also point out that the US government grants almost $3 billion dollars to Israel for military aid. The helicopters used for executions are Apache Longbows, manufactured by Boeing. They are used in a manner contrary to US law. Lockheed makes the missiles they use.
Not In My Name calls for an immediate suspension of this military aid that is used to support the occupation.
Not In My Name calls for an immediate presence of international observers in all the occupied territories to monitor the behavior of the occupying military forces.
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