In June of 1967, Israel began its Occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Not In My Name (NIMN), a Chicago-based organization of Jews and supporters, and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) will hold a Special Vigil from Noon to 1:30pm this Sunday, June 9, 2002, at 800 N Michigan Avenue. We will be joined by members of the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslims communities, together with other faith-based and progressive organizations.
Our messages will be simple:
In the 35 years since, and in violation of international law, Israel has relocated almost 400,000 of its own citizens into this occupied territory. In doing so, it has displaced thousands of Palestinians from their homes, destroyed thousands of acres of olive groves and orchards, stolen the water from under their land, and strategically placed settlements and bypass roads in order to trisect the West Bank. In order to defend these illegal settlements and to ensure that a sovereign Palestinian nation can never be formed on these lands, Israel has imposed the longest military occupation in modern history. Millions of Palestinians have been brutalized, and thousands killed, in this process.
Now caught in a viscous and bloody cycle of violence, which continues to take the lives both Palestinians and Israelis, the Israeli leadership has the responsibility to end the occupation it began 35 years ago. The United States, whose annual gift of $3 billion of military aid ensures that Israel can continue the occupation, has the responsibility to end this yearly aid package in order to force Israel to comply with international law.
Only after the occupation itself has ended will it be possible to expect Palestinian resistance to the occupation to end. Only under these conditions can both Palestinians and Israelis expect to be able to live in safety and peace.
The organizers of the Vigil warmly welcome all people of good will to join us in our quiet and dignified testimony to our commitment to work together, as Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others; as communities among communities; as people whose futures are intertwined; to work for peace and justice for all people in Palestine/Israel.
- 30 -