Rabbibrian's Blog

A Voice for Justice and Peace in Israel/Palestine

The second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead: Lift the Blockade!

Posted by rabbibrian on December 22, 2010

“As an American, I do not want my tax dollars to enable Israel to behave in a manner that is so clearly counter to moral conscience, human rights and international law.  Please call upon the Israeli government to end its blockade of Gaza immediately.  I urge you to use all diplomatic means at your disposal – including the cessation of military aid – to ensure that Israel complies.”

This coming Monday, December 27, will be the second anniversary of the first day of Operation Cast Lead.  Now, two years later the people of Gaza still live in an “open air prison” subject to a blockade by Israel.

Now is the time for us, as American citizens, to call on our President to take bold action to end the blockade.  Taanit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza, a project that I co-founded with Rabbi Brant Rosen, is calling on American citizens to send a letter to the President calling on him to take bold action,  to end the blockade  of Gaza.  I invite you to participate in this campaign.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to urge you to do everything in your power to end Israel’s four and a half year blockade against Gaza.

The human toll of this blockade has become utterly intolerable. Israel’s limits on export and import has destroyed Gaza’s economy.  According to international and Israeli human rights organizations, 80% of the Gazan population is dependent on international aid.  61% of the population is food insecure and more than 10% of Gaza’s children are chronically malnourished.

Israel’s blockade has also had a devastating effect on freedom of movement in Gaza.  Gisha, a leading Israeli human rights organization, has documented that the closure of Gaza’s borders has drastically impaired family life and the ability of Gaza’s residents to gain an education and receive medical treatment.

Since “Operation Cast Lead,” 78% of homes that sustained major damage have not yet been rebuilt and scores of Gazans are forced to live in tents or other temporary quarters.  Due to the damage sustained by Gaza’s water purification plants, 50 to 80 million liters of untreated or partially treated sewage are released into the sea every day.

As an American, I do not want my tax dollars to enable Israel to behave in a manner that is so clearly counter to moral conscience, human rights and international law.  Please call upon the Israeli government to end its blockade of Gaza immediately.  I urge you to use all diplomatic means at your disposal – including the cessation of military aid – to ensure that Israel complies.

I acknowledge that Hamas poses a security threat to Israel – but the collective punishment of Gaza will not bring Israel the security it seeks. True security will only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israel and all relevant Palestinian parties, including Hamas.

In your inspiring 2009 Cairo speech, you stated, “the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel’s security…  Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be a critical part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.”

Now is the time for you, as President, to make these words a reality.

Sincerely,

To participate in this campaign, click here.

Taanit Tzedek needs your support to continue.  Please click here to make a contribution.

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One Response to “The second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead: Lift the Blockade!”

  1. Chris Berel said

    I see no reason to lift the blockade. It appears that Hamas will continue to arm itself. The rights of the typical Gazan to cement does not trump the typical Israeli’s right to life.

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