VOW Calls on the Canadian Government to Act on GAZA
Dear VOW members,
We are all extremely disturbed by the killing of innocent civilians in the bombing of Gaza. We recognize that Israelis are also experiencing distress from retaliatory rocket fire by Hamas.
We know that a temporary pause in the bombings will not be enough: there must be a plan to address root causes. Many people do not know that prior to the current bombing Hamas and Fatah formed a unity government and were ready to negotiate with Israel. The Israeli government refused to negotiate. After the tragic recent murders of Israeli and Palestinian teens the bombings and rocket fire began, with almost all the death and destruction from Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Israel recently agreed to a ceasefire proposed by Egypt, however Hamas was not consulted nor did the ceasefire proposal address the root causes. Hamas has set out its conditions for a ceasefire that involve an end to the conditions of the siege they are living under. (Link below)
As a condition of the former ceasefire of 2012, which has largely been maintained until the last few weeks, the government of Israel promised to end the siege on Gaza. This has not happened. Conditions in Gaza under the siege are unlivable. We are appalled at the imprisonment of Palestinian children, wanton seizures, destruction of property and nearly complete lack of mobility of Palestinian civilians. Collective punishment and civilian attacks are illegal under international law.
This is now the 3rd assault on Gaza in six years. It is having horrific consequences. Death, destruction, and suffering will not help Israel to achieve long-term peace and security, nor will it help Palestinians to advance their society. Indeed people on both sides will be left to suffer the physical and psychological damage for generations. It is essential that Israel and Hamas negotiate directly for terms that will end the siege and lead to a livable future for the people of Gaza.
The Board has sent a letter to the Canadian government (and all party leaders) as well as to the Israeli Ambassador. These letters are posted on our website.
We urge you to express your concerns to your MP. You can find the link to contact info for your MP here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseofCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC
In addition we urge you to sign and circulate the on-line petition VOW has created: here
You can find background information here: (AFSC backgrounder)
The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, founded in 1960, has always worked for peaceful resolution of conflicts and adherence to international laws and conventions.
In particular, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace works to promote the participation of women in all peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction, as is mandated by several United Nations Resolutions. We encourage the inclusion of women in dialogue, discussion, and action to support a more peaceful and just future for all in the region.
Time to raise our voices!
There are many excellent articles and video clips that provide background and context that you are not hearing on the mainstream news. Here are some:
Hamas offers Israel 10 conditions for a 10 year trucehttp://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/report-israel-conditions.html
The Real News: And this Real News video clip with Phyllis Bennis is excellent: http://www.commondreams.org/video/2014/07/21
We are going through hell: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12135
(and a past show from 2011 on Canada’s military sales to Israel: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6353)
Palestinian Voice: Hanan Ashrawi: http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/plos-hanan-ashrawi-deliberate-massacre-gaza-24639854
Reaping what we have sown in Gaza: by Amira Hass http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/07/21-0
Who is Winning? By Uri Avnery: http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1405694550/
You may wish to listen to and comment on this Current clip: