The Long Island Activists are shocked and dismayed by the most recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Palestine and remain gravely concerned by the continued use of disproportionate force by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) against mostly peaceful Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While no Israelis were killed or injured during this campaign, over a hundred Palestinians have died, and more than a thousand were left wounded in their steadfast opposition towards the Israeli government’s unlawful settlement activity in the West Bank and ongoing blockade of Gaza.
As this senseless carnage continues to fan the flames of terrorism that have gripped the region for decades; we strongly condemn Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for cajoling the Trump administration into policies that contravene international law and backpedal on America’s obligation to serve as a neutral arbiter between both parties. Though stacks of burning tires and kites may pose a nuisance at land crossings, they should never serve as a pretext or justification for the commission of extraterritorial, extrajudicial murder.
Further, while we empathize with the oppression and plight of the Palestinian people, we must also admonish de-facto Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal for their continued incitement of violence against Israelis. Non-violent protest and other forms of civil disobedience are the only practical ways for promulgating peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Our group joins a growing chorus of Progressive groups and Jewish organizations including JStreet, Jewish Voices for Peace, If Not Now, Bend the Arc and Breaking the Silence; all of whom demand a peaceful solution to this conflict by encouraging our elected officials and candidates to condemn any escalation of violence by Israelis or Palestinians. We demand that the Israeli government end its settlement expansion activities in the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza, which has resulted in a humanitarian disaster that has devastated the lives of two million Palestinians. Lastly, we implore Israel and Palestine restart implementation of the Oslo Accords and Annapolis Process without further delay, and for the mutual benefit of their respective peoples – the overwhelming majority of whom wish to live side-by-side in peace and security.