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January 08, 2009


The Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD), with whose fine work I've long been associated, has just begun collecting signatures for a sign-on statement about the crisis in Gaza. You can read the text and find out how to add your name below.

Over the years CPD has played a unique role in mobilizing progressive intellectuals and peace and social justice activists to speak out on important international issues. Before the fall of Communism, CPD built bridges between U.S. peace activists and opponents of U.S. imperialism and the democratic dissident movements in the Soviet bloc countries, work for which CPD coordinator Joanne Landy, my old and dear friend and comrade, was rewarded a MacArthur grant. More recent CPD statements have denounced both the U.S. blockade and embargo imposed on Cuba and the Cuban regime's anti-democratic practices; opposed any attempt to attack Iran militarily and the theocratic repressions of the Tehran regime; called for solidarity with trade unionists in Iraq being repressed with the connivance of the U.S. occupier; and, in solidarity with Czech peace activists, opposed construction of the planned U.S. missile base in the Czech Republic.

Now, in response to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Gaza, CPD has adapted a statement prepared by New Jersey peace activists for publication in the Montclair Times and turned it into a national sign-on statement. I urge you to join me in signing this urgent declaration and in making a contribution to assure it the widest possible publication. The full text of the CPD declaration is below, followed by a link to sign on to it via Internet:

Statement on the Crisis in Gaza

In its massive military attacks on Gaza, Israel has again engaged in actions contrary to morality, international law, the cause of peace, and to the long-term best interests of the people of Israel. And, once again, the United States government has been the enabler of Israeli actions:

  • The bombers that unleashed death and destruction on Gaza were U.S.-supplied F-16s.
  • The attack helicopters were U.S.-supplied Apaches.
  • The government that blocked international demands for an immediate cease-fire was Washington.
  • And the source of more than $3 billion a year in tax-payer funded military aid to Israel has been the United States.

No country should have to face rockets fired at its citizens, and we condemn Hamas's launching of rockets into Israeli civilian areas. But the solution is not raining bombs and missiles down on one of the most densely populated sites in the world, making massive civilian casualties inevitable, and which, apart from its immorality, guarantees only another generation of hatred towards Israel.

The solution -- as the Israeli peace movement, human rights groups, and the United Nations have urged -- is to lift the economic blockade imposed on Gaza and end the Occupation.

This blockade holds one and a half million Palestinian civilians hostage, and creates a horrendous humanitarian crisis. Malnutrition is rife, people have died from being denied the right to travel for medical care, and electricity and clean water are scarce. Meanwhile the 40-year Occupation not only continues, but is also strengthened by increased settlements.

We condemn the policies of our government that support the ongoing oppression and murder of the Palestinian people.

We urge the incoming Obama administration to refuse to give Israel the U.S. blank check it has long enjoyed.

And we call on everyone to join in telling the President and Congress that we want an immediate end to U.S. military aid to Israel. We do not want our tax dollars or the leaders who speak in our names to continue supporting the attacks on the Palestinian people.

To see a full list of signatories thus far, click here.

To add your name to this statement, click here, or send an e-mail to CPD at [email protected]

And please circulate and post this urgent declaration widely. Ask your friends to sign. And make a contribution to help place this statement as an advertisement in national media by sending a check to: Campaign for Peace and Democracy, 2790 Broadway, #12, NY, NY 10025

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