(Distributed by the Green Party of the United States, http://www.gp.org)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
For further information, contact:
Bruce Dixon, 678-298-9463 x3
Press Secretary, Georgia Green Party
Georgia Greens cite reports of IDF atrocities
In correspondence addressed to state legislative appropriations leadership, the officers of the Georgia Green Party today urged that “the state of Georgia sever its economic ties with the Apartheid state of Israel”, and called specifically for the end of Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange collaboration with Israeli police agencies (http://www.georgiagreenparty.org/QDC/Actions/GeorgiaBudgetWritersUrgedToDivestFromIsrael).
Under this program, Georgia State University facilitates international travel and training between Georgia police agencies and police agencies from Israel, who enforce the Apartheid conditions in occupied Palestine. The Party warns such training would involve the sort of ‘counter-terrorism’ tactics which could only cost Georgia taxpayers expensive settlements in wrongful death and civil rights violations.
This past week’s report by a UN Commission on Human Rights has focused renewed attention on the daily atrocities which make the Israeli settlement of Palestine possible.
“Our state and federal tax dollars support Israeli’s militarized occupation of Palestine. Our government’s spending choices have made each of us complicit in the IDF’s murder of six Free Gaza activists this past Summer. Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity in general and the Palestinian people in particular,” said Adam Shapiro, a member of Atlanta’s Congregation Bet Havrim and the Co-Chair of the Georgia Green Party. “I grew up believing that the state of Israel would serve as a safe haven for oppressed Jews. It is a sad irony then, that Israel is instead the oppressor. Those Jews who choose to defend Israeli aggression do not speak for all of us. And our silent complicity with those who would justify these crimes is tantamount to our serving as the Good Germans of our time.”
Isolated by hostile military patrols and bombarded by artillery and U.S. built, Israeli flown warplanes, the Gaza community endures without medicines and with scant food. A series of Gaza Peace Flotillas have used unarmed ships seeking to break the Israeli military blockade of Gaza, bringing humanitarian aid, including food and medicines to the besieged Palestinian community. The flotillas have been met by escalating military attacks. In May in International waters, Israeli commandos hijacked the Gaza Peace Flotilla sailing through the Mediterranean Sea with a military assault by sea and air. By the time the Flotilla reversed course, returning to its port in Turkey, six of its crew had been ‘summarily executed’. Among them US citizen Furkan Dogan.
The UN report found that much of the Israeli force used “was unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive and inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers”; that “at least six of the killings can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions”; and that Israel violated numerous international human rights conventions, including the Fourth Geneva Conventions.
The September 22nd report is based on the report of 121 eye witnesses, although IDF personnel refused to cooperate. The Mission reviewed Turkish autopsy reports on the recovered bodies and detailed forensic reports which they prepared. An examination of forensic evidence corroborated eye witness accounts that peace activists aboard the Mavi Marmara were executed while lying face down on the deck.
“I shuddered when I heard the news, knowing that if not for her father’s health, it could have been Cynthia they shot,” said Patrician Crayton, Georgia Green Party cochair, Atlanta grandmother and local tv host, referring to former Georgia Congress Member Cynthia McKinney who in 2008 carried the Party’s nomination as the Green candidate for President of the United States. McKinney spent a week in an Israeli prison when she participated for a second time in ongoing campaign by the Gaza Peace Flotilla. Her suitcase full of crayons and paper for the children of besieged Gaza were also seized at that time.
In a 95-36-11 vote which concluded August 1st, the Green National Committee adopted changes to the Party’s national Platform endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign urged since 2005 by Palestinian Civil Society, as well as a one-state resolution in which the human rights of all, Jewish, Palestinian and otherwise would be protected. Support for the BDS campaign now included in the Party’s Platform was first expressed by the Party with the adoption on November 20th, 2005 of Resolution #190.
“I am proud that the Green Party stands tall with the highest traditions of the Jewish community, with our shared support for social justice for all. Its time we Jews remember what made the ‘good Germans’, good,” said Shapiro. “And we must break that silence before it is too late.”
— 30 —
For further information, link to:
Letter to Georgia Appropriations Chairmen