Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, 2:30PM
Demonstration to Protest US-funded Israeli War Crimes in Gaza
1717 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44115
(across from the Jewish Community Federation)
Demonstration organizers will host Allison Weir, journalist and founder of www.IfAmericansKnew.org, as keynote speaker at the protest Friday, 1/2/09 at 2:30PM. (She will also address a state-wide, Columbus rally on Jan 5, 5PM.)
Friday's demonstration is an appeal to the US and Israeli governments to end the siege and military attacks in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Palestinians in Gaza have been under siege for nearly two years and have been suffering a terror attack by the Israeli (US-funded) military since, Dec. 27. Global demonstrations are focusing at Israeli embassies. Demonstration organizes consider the Jewish Community Federation a symbolic representative for the nation of Israel and invite the entire community to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
"We hold sorrow for all the deaths, especially civilians," said spokesman, Don Bryant, on behalf of the demonstration organizers, Middle East Peace Forum, The Greater Cleveland Arab Community, the Council on American Islamic Relations, and the Interfaith Council for Peace in the Middle East.
This is Allison Weir's third trip to Cleveland in three years.
She is founder of If Americans Knew, an organization that provides information on topics of importance that are substantially misreported or unreported in the US media; our primary focus is on Israel-Palestine. In particular, we analyze media coverage of this issue, and have conducted a number of statistical studies.
State of Ohio Public Action Against Israeli Attacks on Gaza
(AT THE CORNER OF BROAD AND HIGH STS.
CJP's Statement on Gaza:
The Committee for Justice in Palestine at The Ohio State University is against Israel's collective punishment of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Their use of excessive violence and aggression against the Palestinian people to target Hamas militants is unacceptable and violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which details the protection of civilian persons in times of war. The deadly air strikes come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip, beginning in 2006, which has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life. It is the most populated area in the world, and although the Israeli army claims to target only Hamas militants, civilian casualties are inevitable.
Israel claims its air strikes and use of force are necessary to protect Israeli citizens and secure its borders. However, the Israeli siege on Gaza and its tight control of Gaza's water access, airways, and borders have completely suffocated the Palestinian people living there. Since the siege, eighty percent of Palestinians are now living in poverty. Over seventy percent of the children are malnourished. Extreme shortages of fuel and electricity have a direct negative impact on businesses, schools, and hospitals. The Israeli army's ground forces have indiscriminately taken the lives of innocent civilians including women and children for the past three years. However, the military prowess of the well-funded Israeli army and the Palestinian people is extremely disproportionate. The Palestinian people do not have military tanks, superior weaponry, and F-16s which Israel uses on a frequent basis. The UN Resolution 3236 recognizes Palestinians' right to self
determination, as well as the right to national independence and sovereignty. It calls on all states to recognize these inalienable rights.
The Committee for Justice in Palestine demands an immediate end to the siege on Gaza as well as an immediate end to the Israel's excessive violence against the Palestinian people. We demand all border crossings open to allow humanitarian supplies such as food, water, fuel, and medical supplies, which they desperately need. The Red Cross described the situation in Gaza's hospitals as chaotic, with medical teams "stretched to the limit". In the past four days there have been almost 400 casualties, and thousands critically wounded. Medics say several of those wounded will inevitably die due to a severe lack of operating tables, surgeons, and medical supplies.
Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert has declared its air assault on Gaza the "first in several stages" of operations aimed at ending militant rocket fire. Ground forces of Israel's Defense Forces are already deployed at the borders. If the violence against Palestinians escalates further, it will result in a major loss of Palestinian life, and Gaza's infrastructure will be reduced to rubble. Therefore, we demand the U.S. government to act now. They must demand an end to the violence in Gaza, as well as halt all foreign aid to the Israeli government, which is directly used for military purposes to oppress the Palestinian people. All state governments are accountable for their actions. Israel must be brought to the International Court of Justice for contravening international law and continually violating human rights. The international community must act now and put pressure on all states to do so as well, in order to prevent any further casualties and
destruction in Gaza.
We condemn all acts of violence against all citizens in Israel and Palestine. However, we cannot idly stand by and watch the Palestinian people collectively suffer under the Israeli Occupation.