No Time for Silence …

The dual tragedies playing out in Gaza and Iraq are graphic reminders of the catastrophic costs of militarism. Each has multiple causes, but paramount among them, American military power and Washington’s decades-old build up of Israeli military power have caused unimaginable suffering among civilian populations.

Neither story is at an end. And the need to speak up for peace and diplomacy remains urgent. Since 2001, the United States government has dealt with the problem of “terrorism” by engaging in various forms of warfare against other countries and groups, while building up the military might of its Israeli ally. And the results have been costly, harmful and counter-productive.

The staggering oppression of Palestinians, the millions of people in the Muslim world killed, injured or displaced, and the level of anger now directed at the United States attests to the immorality and futility of this approach.

Responding to the crisis in Gaza and Iraq, we call for:

• Cessation of US bombing in Iraq and a cease-fire in Gaza and Israel

• Immediate end to the blockade of Gaza

• Increased humanitarian assistance to victims of violence in Iraq and Gaza

• Suspension of US military aid to Israel and an arms embargo across the region

• United Nations sponsored diplomacy which includes all regional parties

What can be done?

Members of Congress are back in district this month. This is an excellent time to express concern over US policy in Gaza and Iraq — meet with your Reps, send a letter to the editor of your local paper, demonstrate, or vigil. UFPJ is urging that in whatever action you organize, you incorporate concerns about Gaza and Iraq. Please keep us posted on your plans: rustiandgael@unitedforpeace.org

The tragedy in Ferguson is the logical extension of a militarized US foreign policy applied at home. When you outfit police like an army, they end up treating the community as “the enemy.” Our police are learning to adopt the same callous indifference to death in urban communities as our military is trained to adopt in causing death and destruction in urban communities of other countries. This must be halted and reversed. We must again raise Dr. King’s prophetic 1967 warning that the violence visited by US forces upon the Vietnamese and the police violence visited upon people of color and the poor at home flowed from the same poisoned well. Click here to tell the Pentagon, Congress, and the President: No More Weapons of War for Local Police!

Resources for action.

Gaza

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation*– national coalition of 400+ groups working to end U.S. support for Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Jewish Voice for Peace — works to achieve a lasting peace that recognizes the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination.

If Americans Knew — educates the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media.

Mondoweiss — news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East from a progressive Jewish perspective.

The Electronic Intifada — an independent online news publication and educational resource focusing on Palestine, its people, politics, culture and place in the world.

*The US Campaign to End the Occupation is helping constituents across the country to organize in-district meetings with their Congressional offices to challenge Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. The US Campaign is also working with groups and individuals who are planning direct actions, including bird-dogging members of Congress at events held during the August recess. If you would like to coordinate your actions, please contact Mike Coogan at development@endtheoccupation.org or call 202-332-0994.

Iraq

Moveon.org — 8 Things To Know About The Crisis In Iraq

FCNL — Responding to the Crisis in Iraq — Without Bombs

Progressive Democrats of America – The Situation in Iraq: What we Know

Ferguson

Amnesty International Alert

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