War and Peace in Palestine and Israel

About 40 people marched in downtown Syracuse to support the Gaza Freedom March, December 28, 2009. Photo: Andy Mager

We hope that the articles presented by CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel in this special section of the Peace Newsletter offer both information and inspiration to those who read them. Our intention is to provide an overview of the issues and realities of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, since the US media provides no coverage of the peaceful resistance to the Occupation among Israelis and Palestinians, as well as in the US, we are including articles highlighting the movement for peace. The US government is deeply complicit in Israeli military policy by providing enormous amounts of US tax dollars as aid, and by failing to support UN sanctions and the recent findings of the Goldstone report on war crimes committed both by Israel and Hamas.

Please join us in the work of changing US policies which support the Israeli Occupation, supporting the Israeli and Palestinian peace movement, and providing education to those in our communities. There is an international movement to end the Occupation, exemplified by the Freedom March for Gaza, which was attended by 1300 activists from all over the world, including Tim Rodriguez from Cortland.  On 12/31/09 this march was refused entrance to Gaza from Cairo, Egypt, the only possible point of entry.  While the march didn’t get through, the message of international support rang clear. Solidarity marches were held in cities around the world, including the one in Syracuse on 12/28. This is an issue of vast international concern.  Please join us in our work. Call Andy Mager at SPC, 472-5478, for information about meetings and activities.

CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel

Founded in the wake of the December '08 Israeli attack on Gaza, CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel is a community educational and organizing project. Coordinated by the Syracuse Peace Council, CNYWJPPI includes people active in the NCNY United Methodist Conference Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/ Israel, the Islamic Society of Central New York, Al Huda Muslim American Society Mosque, and Syracuse Jews for Peace.

The following are the principles of agreement which form the basis of our group. The people of Israel and Palestine must themselves ultimately decide how to resolve their protracted struggle. We aim to be among those, regionally and internationally, helping them find a just resolution, one that provides self-determination and security to all peoples in the region.

By providing economic and military support for illegal and aggressive policies of the Israeli government, the United States historically has played a destructive role in the region. Each year US taxpayers provide roughly three billion dollars in military aid to Israel. The US
repeatedly vetoes UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel’s inhumane policies toward Palestinians.

Given the lack of accurate information readily available to people in the US about the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the CNYWJPPI aims to provide grassroots education—and political pressure—needed to re-orient US policy toward a just peace in the Middle East.

In order to understand Palestinian experience and perspectives, the Nakba (loss of Palestine) and events of 1948 are critical. In order to understand Israeli experience and perspectives, the history of Western anti-semitism and the Holocaust are critical.

Committed to nonviolence and negotiation, we oppose militarism. We oppose terrorism—political violence directed at civilians—whether small or large scale, whether on land or from the air, whether carried out by individuals, non-state groups, or governments and militaries.

We insist on:

compliance with international law and respect for the human rights of all peoples in Palestine and Israel. We support UN Resolution 194 calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
freedom of movement for Palestinians within the Occupied Territories and between Gaza and the West Bank (during their transition to self-determination), including the abolition of checkpoints within the West Bank.
he complete end of the Israeli occupation and economic blockade of the Occupied Territories. This includes the immediate end of home demolitions, the release of all political prisoners, and the timely removal of Israel's wall and Israeli settlements from the West Bank.
negotiations for a just peace by the freely-chosen representatives of both Israelis and Palestinians, including an equitable distribution of water resources.
the immediate end to all US military aid to any Middle East nation, including Israel, which violates human rights or international law.