May 19, 2021
For the last two Saturdays, Traprock and other peace and justice activists have joined weekly anti-racist and peace vigils on the Greenfield Common. On the two Saturdays closest to this year’s Tax Day, their banners, signs and leaflets focused on the dangerously swollen military budget.
They also opposed the extensive military aid provided by the US to Israel, saying:
“Stop the $3.8 billion in US military aid given to Israel each year.
No tax dollars for violating the human rights of Palestinians.”
May 14th was the 73rd anniversary of the declaration of the state of Israel, a date Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or “The Catastrophe.” At that time, tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed, and more than 750,000 were driven from their homes. Some of those forced from their villages settled in the part of East Jerusalem that has been the focus of Jewish settler take-overs of Palestinian homes.
The Israeli war on Palestine has continued and worsened daily,with airstrikes dropping US made bombs into residential areasand onto hospitals, causing hundreds of deaths in Gaza and the West Bank, and untold pain and trauma for survivors, especially children.
Considered a nearly unlivable environment before the assaults, Gaza now faces “a humanitarian crisis that is touching nearly every civilian in the crowded enclave of about two million people.” (New York Times online, May 18, 2021). Attacks have “damaged 17 hospitals and clinics in Gaza, wrecked its only coronavirus test laboratory, sent fetid wastewater into its streets and broke water pipes serving at least 800,000 people.”
An estimated 45,000 Palestinians have been made homeless.
The Traprock board of directors has issued the following statement:
“With the peoples of the world, including the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, the National Lawyers Guild, Jewish Voice for Peace, hundreds of peace and justice organizations, and the UN Security Council (except for the U.S.), we call for:
· an end to Israel’s use of military force against Palestinians in the occupied territories, in violation of international law;
· an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem and its crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people;
· the right of return of Palestinian refugees, in keeping with international law; and
· an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, in violation of three U.S. laws governing military aid.
Traprock urges all sharing these positions to contact their national legislators demanding action and a rejection of currently planned additional arms sales to Israel. We must make our voices known!