(CHICAGO 08/26/2014) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, today welcomes with relief and joy the truce agreement in Gaza that will end Israel’s nearly two-month long assault on 1.8 million Palestinians. Yet, AMP reminds the public that while the border will be open for certain items, Israel’s siege on Gaza and it’s occupation of Palestinians are still in effect.
The Block the Boat - La Coalition, which includes American Muslims for Palestine, successfully kept an Israeli Zim Haifa vessel from unloading its goods this morning at the Port of Los Angeles.
About 250 activists showed up at the LA port at about 6:30 a.m. and blocked the entrance to Pier A. The Block the Boat - LA Coalition worked in cooperation with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which refused to unload the ship.
Last week, the Block the Boat coaltion in the San Francisco Bay Area prevented an Israeli Zim Haifa ship from unloading for four days at the Port of Oakland. The American Muslims for Palestine is a key organizers in the coalitions.
"This action was a response to the call from the Palestinian General Federation Trade Union (PGFTU), which is asking workers around the world to refuse to handle Israel goods," said Taher Herzallah, AMP national campus coordinator. "This is a BDS action and our success shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is growing in this country. It is imperative to keep the momentum going."
Israel wipes out families as it indiscriminately attacks civilians
On Saturday, Israeli forces committed "a new massacre" in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City. Images of dead chlidren, women and men huddled together lying on the streets is reminiscent of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon in 1982. Israeli forces killed 66 people in the Shujaiyya neighborhood, according to media reports.
Israeli Occupation Forces have killed 410 Palestinians and wounded more than 3,000 since Israel began its assault on July 8. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has said more than 61,000 people have sought safe haven in UNRWA facilities - more than the number of people seeking shelter throughout all of Operation Cast Lead, Israel's three-week assault in 2008-'09 that killed 1,409 Palestinians.
The American Muslims for Palestine along with several national and regional Muslim organizations, including the Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) have signed onto a joint petition demanding an end to Israeli aggression and its occupation of the Palestinian people. Several hundred individuals also have signed on. Add your name.
August 2, 2014
The Israeli aggression against the civilian population of Gaza has surpassed all levels of brutality and cruelty. For over three weeks, the Israeli government has unleashed a violent campaign that has so far resulted in more than 1600 deaths (including more than 400 children, 300 women and dozens of elderly people), and more than 9,000 wounded (over 2500 children and 1600 women). No building, however sacred, was spared: more than 8,500 homes, 76 mosques, 2 churches, and 25 hospitals and health clinics were destroyed. Ambulances, doctors, nurses and paramedics, schools, universities, UN buildings, libraries, shelters, food markets, playgrounds, graveyards were also bombed, in addition to 152 educational facilities.
According to Israeli authorities 95 percent of the sixty declared Israeli fatalities are military, while according to the UN about three-quarters of Palestinian casualties are civilians. Consequently, top UN officials and human rights groups have conducted investigation and accused Israel of “war crimes,” and even called for the UN to impose an arms embargo against Israel.
Therefore, we, as American Muslim organizations, academics, Imams, community leaders and activists, affirm our unequivocal support for Palestinian rights to freedom and dignity while forcefully condemning the illegal and oppressive occupation structure.
In short, we call for:
1) An immediate end to Israeli aggression and occupation: This distressing fact must be central to all efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The unceasing violence against the Palestinian people that has taken place for decades must end immediately. It should include the end of the siege and blockade of Gaza, the opening of all border crossings, and the release of thousands of political prisoners in Israeli prisons. The world, as contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, must take responsibility and provide protection and security to the defenseless Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation and control.
Given the pervasive and one-sided Israeli narrative regarding “Operation Protective Edge,” Israel’s current assault on Gaza, AMP wishes to contextualize the issues in efforts to break through biased media reporting and Israeli propaganda. We hope this framework helps your discussions within your mosques, Islamic centers and with the media. The report is organized into two parts. Part I will be a list of brief talking points about Gaza. Part II will offer the historical and political context to the issue for those who want a deeper understanding.