"Israeli troops just killed 60 unarmed protesters, and shot 1300 more. 1300. They do it gleefully -- you can watch a video here. It's a massacre -- another installment in 50 years of brutal racist military repression of the Palestinian people. Other states have faced sanctions for far less. Sanctions on South Africa helped free its black people, it's time for the world to rally behind sanctions on Israel to free the Palestinians." Israel has marched steadily away from reason and peace and towards the far right. A member of Parliament called for the beating of Ahed Tamimi, the young Palestinian girl who slapped a soldier after her cousin got shot in the face -- and the Defence Minister himself threatened punishing her entire family!
"Israel's many enablers will knee-jerk accuse Avaaz and our many Jewish staff and leadership of hating Jews. But our team and our members love the Jewish people, as we love all people. The Holocaust was real, the Jewish community has long been horrifically oppressed and still faces anti-Semitism worldwide.
"Many of those who founded Israel wanted it to be a beacon of a better way. But their vision has been betrayed, and Israel has come to be led by a brutally racist and repressive regime -- it deserves the world's condemnation. Not just in words, but action:- Advertisement -
"Virtually every other tool has been tried, for decades, to encourage the Israeli regime to treat Palestinians better, and they just keep treating them worse. Targeted sanctions, covering things like Israeli blood diamonds, a boycott on arms sales (Israel sells weapons to some of the world's most brutal regimes) as well tech and cultural sanctions (like banning Israel from sporting events and the Eurovision song contest) may finally affect the calculus of the regime.
"Two of the most dishonest and dangerous leaders in the world today are Donald Trump and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Like extremists everywhere, they dream of a world where sensible people lose their judgment and are pulled into two warring camps, one of which is led by them. Let's show them it won't work -- that ordinary people won't be sucked into their hate and propaganda, and that we can still see racism and brutality for what it is, and respond. That they can't take our humanity from us, and we won't let them succeed in taking freedom and dignity from the Palestinian people."
Sign the petition here.
Avaaz, launched in 2007, is an international NGO which "empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change." After 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi's arrest and imprisonment Avaaz partnered with Ahed's father, Baseem, in a petition demanding "the release of Ahed and all Palestinian children wrongly held in military prisons." It currently has over 1,700,000 signatures. The Avaaz team prepared a fact sheet with information that shines a spotlight on Israel's treatment of Palestinian children which can be seen in the OEN article, Palestinian Kids Shot, Abused, Imprisoned by Israeli Soldiers: How to Help