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From Israel: Stop the War Madness

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Gush Shalom ad in Haaretz

Friday July 14, 2006.


Those who refused
To talk with
The Palestinian government
And declared a blockade
On the Palestinian people -
Got a conflagration in
The Gaza Strip.

Those who refused
A prisoner exchange
And sent tanks
Into Gaza -
Got a conflagration
Both In the north
And in he south.

Those who refuse
To talk even now -
May get a conflagration
Throughout the Middle East.

And in the end,
In spite of everything -
They will talk.


Adam Keller, July 13
"Ministers approve various plans and courses of action proposed by the General Staff" was the dry radio report of last night's cabinet meeting. In the morning, the mass-circulation papers,Yediot Aharonot and Ma'ariv, translated this into enormous banner headlines GOVERNMENT DECLARES WAR!" followed by jingoist editorials and commentaries. Only the Liberal Ha'aretz had dared to dissent, in a cautious dovish editorial - "Say 'No' to Lebanon War II". (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/737837.html).

Considered in isolation, Hizbollah's attack on the Israeli patrol, the killing and capturing of soldiers would indeed constitute "an unprovoked aggression". But without the daily carnage in Gaza going on under the nose of an indifferent international community, it is highly unlikely that Hizbollah would have done anything of the kind. (And for that matter, the Gaza mess would not have started without the preceding months of daily killings in the West Bank and a totally one-sided international boycott on the elected Palestinian government, and the entire Pallestinian people.) The only hope: that now the world will be a little bit wiser and not let the conflagration spread any further.

The next hour's radio bulletin already carried the news of Beirut International Airport being put out of commission, and of the Lebanese death toll reaching 27 (including twelve members of a single family) and which would get considerably higher during the day, and of an Israeli woman being killed in the northern town of Nahariya and naturally getting far more attention than the "enemy" casualties. The considerable Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip (also including a whole family - father, mother and five children) was totally pushed to the background, yesterday's war and yesterday's bloodshed.

And then we found in our emails a call penned during the night by a group of Jerusalem youngsters, calling upon all of us well-established groups to bestir ourselves and come out in immediate protest and outcry:

Picket the Defence Ministry Today, 6.00 pm!

"Summer Rains" precipitatre a flood of blood!

Start negotaition for prisoner excahnge! Stop the killing! Stop the war! End the occupation!

In this demonstration we will call upoon the government to stop the escalation and military offensives, and conduct negotiations leading to a real political change.

The government chooses to use cruel military force and collective punishment against the civilian populations of Gaza and Lebanon in order to pressure the captors of Israeli soldiers. Aside from being immoral and verging on war crime, this policy will prove ineffective in returning the captives or effecting calm.

The latest events in Gaza and Lebanon are directly related to the Government of Israel's campaign against the elected leadership of the Palestinian people. This policy prevents any chance of creating a channel of communications and diplomatic negotiations with our neightbors, and leaves the arena to those who want endless fighting. The only true solution is negotiations for the end of the conflict.

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Gush Shalom (Translated from Hebrew, the name means "The Peace Bloc") is the hard core of the Israeli peace movement. Often described as "resolute", "militant", "radical" or "consistent", it is known for its unwavering stand in times of (more...)
 
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It is about power.... by Amanda Lang on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 at 12:24:22 AM