Wednesday, July 19, 2006

 

Action Alert for Peace Between Israel & Lebanon

Melissa Tuckey, Mike Maggio, and I -- poets and activists in DC Poets Against the War -- participated in the rally called by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in front of the White House last night. The rally called for a cease fire and called on Israel to stop its collective punishment of the Lebanese people. So many people there, including the poet Zein El-Amine, have family in Beirut and Southern Lebanon. The fear and deep concern, as well as the anger, were palpable. Our hearts go out to all the civilians in the whole area who are victims now of this fighting. Peace and negotiations. Cease fire. Now.

Melissa wrote a great notice urging us to contact members of the U.S. Congress to ask for a balanced approach, rather than the pro-Israel one they are allegedly considering. Please read her plea below:

Dear Friends,

I attended a rally last night in front of the White House in support of a ceasefire in Lebanon and learned that Congress is composing a statement in reaction to this crisis and expected to act very soon. It is expected they will pass legislation condemning Hammas and Hebollah and supporting Israel's incursion's into Gaza and Lebanon. This is an extremely dangerous situation. The World Health Organization estimates as many as 900,000 civilians in Lebanon will be made homeless by this week's attacks.

While I personally don't feel the actions of Hammas or Hezbollah in kidnapping soldiers is defensible, I also dont believe that this response by the world's third most powerful military (Israel) against the civilian populations in Gaza and Lebanon is acceptable. The situation is indeed complicated, and there are legitimate complaints on both sides, however, if we want peace in the region, we must recognize the human rights of all people and this surely includes the people of Gaza and Lebanon.

Please take a moment TODAY to contact your representatives and senators to urge they compose a balanced statement-- requiring accountability on all sides. Israel recieves 2 billion dollars a year in U.S. aid, and is our most favored trading partner. The US does indeed have influence.

I sent my letter via Congress.org (very easy) and I'm also following up with a phone call to the Congressional switchboard-- 888-355-3588. It takes five minutes to respond, or you can spend the next ten years complaining....

love always,

Melissa

P.S feel free to forward this message.

My Letter:

Dear Legislators,

I am writing to urge you to take a balanced approach on the issue of peace in the middle east. While, no one can condone the actions of Hammas and Hezbollah in taking Israeli soldiers as hostage, neither can Isreal's actions be condoned-- collective punishment of civilian populations is serious violation of human rights and international law. Not only that but such actions only serve to fuel the terrorist movement and add to instability in the region. To take one side, condenming Hezbollah and Hammas, without calling for a ceasefire on the Israel's part will only inflame tensions and embolden extremists on both sides.

I believe that we have a special responsibility with regards to Israel, as its number one funder giving it billions each year as well as special trade status. Such favors should not come without responsibility.

The World Health Organization estimates as many as 900,000 Lebanese will be displaced from their homes in response to current bombings. The use of the illegal chemical weapon white phosperous has been reported in both Gaza and Lebanon. These sorts of actions are fueling anti-american, anti-Israeli sentiment and creating a very dangerous geopolitical situation.
We still have not figured out how to peacefully resolve the situation in Afghanistan or Iraq. Taking on Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, while turnimg a blind eye to human rights violations in Gaza, will only lead us deeper into the quagmire.

Please, I ask that you take measured and thoughtful action to encourage a ceasefire and call for a diplomatic solution.

Sincerely,

Melissa Tuckey

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