August 3, 2006
By Leslie Cagan,
Dear UFPJ member groups,
Over the past few weeks it’s been heartening to see so many local and national groups organizing emergency vigils, marches, call-in days, rallies, and other activities expressing opposition to U.S. support for Israel’s attacks in Lebanon and Gaza and demanding a cease-fire. We also thought you might be interested to know that True Majority, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), TIKKUN and other organizations have issued their own statements calling for a cease-fire and urging people to take action.
Yesterday, August 2nd, UFPJ and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation put out an action alert calling for two weeks of sustained pressure on Congress to demand support for
cease-fire resolutions and an end to weapons deliveries to Israel. Especially in the wake of the Qana massacre, we felt that one specific contribution our two coalitions could make would be to mobilize our national networks to increase the small, but remarkably growing, support in Congress for ending the war. In case you didn’t see yesterday’s call, a copy is included below.
Some things you can do this week to make this effort as successful as possible:
the joint UFPJ /U.S. Campaign call by forwarding the action alert to your members and allies. Two national organizations, Peace Action and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, did so yesterday, and others have today. Let us know you’ve done so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Ask the members of your group to call Congress this week to back the Kucinich and Jackson-Lee cease-fire resolutions.
3. Organize an emergency local action next week to pressure Congress. Depending on the position of your Members of Congress, local organizers should decide whether a protest, vigil, meeting, or nonviolent civil disobedience is the most effective tactic.
4. Post details of planned activities at. Please be sure to notify UFPJ’s congressional coordinator, Sue Udry, if you are planning or have had a meeting with your member of Congress: email@example.com
Please do everything you can in the short-term to stop the bloodshed.
United for Peace and Justice
Please forward widely!
A Joint Call from United for Peace and Justice & the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (www.endtheoccupation.org)
Qana Victims Killed by Israel with U.S. Weapons
Demand that Congress Support Cease-fire Resolutions and End Weapons Deliveries to Israel Now!
THIS WEEK: Call Congress and the White House Every Day
NEXT WEEK: Emergency Week of Action, Aug. 7-11
On Sunday Israel bombed a residential apartment building in the Lebanese village of Qana, killing 57 civilians, including 37 children (see below for details).
When U.S. soldiers killed civilians in Fallujah and other densely populated areas of Iraq, the Bush Administration claimed the “war on terror” justified such actions. But nothing justifies bombing innocent civilians, no matter who does it or in what country.
It is likely that U.S. weapons provided to Israel with U.S.-taxpayer dollars killed the villagers of Qana. According to The Washington Post, a bomb fragment found at the Qana bombing site read “For use on MK-84, Guided Bomb BSU-37/B.” MK-84s are free-fall unguided bombs; Boeing-produced Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) are attached to MK-84s to convert them into GPS-guided “smart” bombs. Between 2002-2004, the Pentagon notified Congress of impending sales of 6,000 JDAMs and 2,590 MK-84s to Israel through its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program — valued at $346 million.
There is no military solution to the current
conflict. The Iraq war hasn’t brought peace or security to the people of Iraq or the U.S. Bombing civilian populations has not and will not bring greater peace or security to the people of Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel.
The only way out of the carnage is an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, followed by multiparty negotiations to resolve the underlying political disputes based on human rights and international law. Most of the world agrees, but the governments of the U.S., Britain, and Israel have so far rejected calls for an immediate cease-fire.
So long as Washington provides military and diplomatic support to Israel’s indiscriminate killing of civilians, a cease-fire will not be possible. It is time for the people of this country to speak up! United for Peace and Justice, along with UFPJ member group the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, calls on you to take action to press Congress and the White House to back an immediate cease-fire and prevent Israel from using U.S. weapons to commit war crimes.
TAKE ACTION THIS WEEK: Call Congress and the White House
Call your Congressperson and the White House every day this week and demand an immediate cease-fire and a Presidential report to Congress on Israel’s misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure in violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act.
Call 202-456-1111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to reach the White House! Call Congress at 202-224-3121 for the Capitol switchboard.
TAKE ACTION NEXT WEEK:
Emergency Week of Action, Aug. 7-11
During the week of Aug. 7-11, while Members of Congress are home on recess, organize local pressure on your Representatives and Senators to demand an end to support for Israel’s human rights violations, an immediate cease-fire, a just peace, and the end of weapons deliveries to Israel.
Depending on the position of your Members of Congress, local organizers should decide whether a protest, vigil, meeting, or nonviolent civil disobedience is the most effective way to express opposition to U.S. support for Israel’s attacks.
Your delegation should include, if possible, constituents who were evacuated from Lebanon so that they can provide eyewitness accounts.
* Check our online calendar to find an event near you or to post details on an event you are organizing. If you don’t see an event in your area listed, please check back over the next few days or organize one of your own!
* Click here and here for resources on the legislation mentioned below, action alerts with talking points, and policy briefs and news articles on Israel’s misuse of U.S. weapons.
* Find the addresses of your Congressmembers’ district offices.
* You can use this template to fax a constituent meeting request to your Members of Congress.
* Tips on how to conduct a meeting with your Members of Congress.
ISSUES TO RAISE WITH YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:
1. Support Kucinich & Jackson-Lee Resolutions for Immediate Cease-Fire & Just Peace
On July 19, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced H.Con.Res.450, calling for an immediate cease-fire and multi-party negotiations with no preconditions. On July 25, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced H.Res.945, calling for the cessation of targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, secure humanitarian corridors to be opened in Lebanon, an immediate cease-fire, and a comprehensive and just resolution to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Ask your Representatives to sign on as a co-sponsor of these resolutions, or thank them if they’ve already done so. Ask your Senators to introduce a similar resolution in the Senate. Pressure on Congress has already resulted in 34 Representatives signing on to the Kucinich resolution, while 16 have signed on to the Jackson-Lee resolution.
If your Congressperson is a member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, let them know you expect them to support an immediate end to the bombing of Lebanon. And urge them to issue strong public statements calling for an
immediate cease-fire and make those statements available to the press.
2. Stop U.S. Support for Israel’s Attacks on Gaza and Lebanon
On July 18 and 20, the Senate and House respectively passed one-sided resolutions expressing unconditional support for Israel’s attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip (S.Res.534 and H.Res.921). Tell your Members of Congress that the United States should be supporting human rights and international law, not expressing support for their violation. If your Representative was one of the few who
voted no or abstained, thank them for not supporting this biased resolution.
3. End Weapons Deliveries to Israel Now
Over the past month, Lebanese and Palestinians civilians by the hundreds have been killed by Israel with U.S.-supplied weapons. By using U.S. weapons to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure, Israel is violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which limits the use of U.S. weapons to internal policing and legitimate self-defense. Instead of stopping the flow of weapons as required by law, the United States is rushing jet fuel and satellite- and laser-guided bombs to Israel. Ask your Members of Congress to demand from the President a report on Israel’s violations of the AECA as a first step toward cutting off U.S. weapons to Israel.
Get Voices for Peace Into the Media
Now is the moment to help people see there is an alternative, and getting our voices into the media should be a central part of what we do:
* For your local newspapers: Send a letter to the editor and encourage others to to do so; try to arrange for an op-ed piece or a guest editorial; if you or someone you know has been personally touched by this crisis, try to get a reporter to do an interview.
* Call into radio talk shows: You can often talk about anything that’s on your mind and reach thousands of people.
* If you organize a visit to your member of Congress, invite a reporter to come with you.
* Be sure to let the media know about any public educational or protest events you are organizing.
BACKGROUND ON QANA AND CIVILIAN DEATHS
Israeli officials are blaming Hezbollah for the Qana deaths, saying Israel cannot be held responsible for killing civilians in “terrorist strongholds.” But according to Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, the most recent strike on Qana “suggests that the Israeli military is treating southern Lebanon as a free-fire zone… [and] seems to consider anyone left in the area a combatant who is fair game for attack.” According to Human Rights Watch, the consistent failure to distinguish between combatants and civilians is a war crime.
In three weeks the Israeli government’s bombing campaign has killed at least 750 Lebanese, the vast majority civilians; made 700,000-800,000 Lebanese homeless; and methodically destroyed Lebanon’s infrastructure.
Hezbollah fire has killed 52 Israelis, 19 of them civilians.
Everyday / Once a week
France / Paris Place de Trocadéro : Rassemblement tous les jours de 18h à 21h.
Spain/ Madrid Every Sunday – (12Noon), sit in concentration in front of the Israel embassy
Tuesday August 1st, 2006
Germany / Leipzig – (8PM) intellectual lecture / discussion at the Universaty of Berlin and Leipzig in the Hörnserben, Arndetstraße 60 04317 Leipzig
USA / Washington DC – (6PM) in front of Isreal Embassy
Wednesday August 2nd, 2006
Canada / Toronto – (5:00 – 9:00 pm) Silent vigil in front of US Consulate at 380 University Avenue
USA / Boston (5PM) peaceful demonstration and candlelight vigil at Copley Square
Thursday August 3rd, 2006
Canada / Ottawa – (7 to 9 PM) meeting at the Ottawa City Hall (on Lisgar) with immigration officials and city/provicial/federal officials to raise questions regarding family sponsorships and immigration to Canada
Canada / Toronto – (5:00 – 9:00 pm) Silent vigil in front of US Consulate at 380 University Avenue
UK / London / FUNDRAISER -(6PM) FUNDRAISER FOR URGENT MEDICATION TO LEBANON at DARBUCKA WORLD MUSIC BAR 182 St John Street London EC1V 4JZ
USA / NY – (7:30PM) Silent candlelight vigil South side of Union Square Park, New York City
Friday August 4th, 2006
Canada / Montreal – (9:30AM) Nav Canada, 1950 Montreal Road, Cornwall Ontario More information: Montreal: 514 222 0205
Canada / Toronto – (5:00 – 7:00 pm) Silent vigil in front of Israeli Consulate at 180 Bloor St West
USA, Philadelphia PA – (4:30pm) Proteststarting at Federal Building, 6th & Market Sts.
Saturday August 5th, 2006
Germany / Leipzig – (6PM) a march starting from the Nicolei Kirsche in Leipzig
UK / London – (12Noon) Assemble Hyde Park, Speakers Corner – March to Parliament Square
USA, New Haven CT – (11:30AM) at U.S. Federal Courthouse on 167 Church St between Elm and Chapel St. opposite the lower New Haven Green
USA, Los Angeles CA – (2pm) Westwood Federal Building
Sunday August 6, 2006
USA / Cambridge / fundraising concert $20 – MIT Kresge 48 Mass Ave Cambridge
USA / MA – (12:30PM) participating in a liturgy for peace at Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon Church in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Friday August 11th, 2006
USA / OH -(7:30PM) Cleveland OH 11555 Lorain avenue by AACCESS Ohio and National Arab-Amer. Medical Assn
Saturday August 12th, 2006
USA, Washington DC – (12 noon) NATIONAL EMERGENCY MARCH ON WASHINGTON at the White House
Please note: This event is sponsored by various Arab-American groups and not only Lebanese groups.