Dennis Kucinich & Middle East Peace Forum

Let there be peace on earth, let it begin with me.

(I was not in attendance, and the piece was written by the shaker & mover of our group, Don Bryant.)

The Middle East Peace Forum press conference on Israeli attacks on Gaza was covered by 3, 19 and PD today; about 275 people showed up on Pub. Sq tonight for the protest of US funded Israeli attacks on Gaza- these attacks have killed 350 people, 20 children under age 16, women and other civilians and combatants, over 100 were injured- some will die because of the 2-year siege that has left hospitals ill-equiped. Maria Smith spoke on behalf of nonviolence at the rally this eve. Yoshiko Ikuta, Fuad Hamed and Abedel Baset (Freddie) also spoke and many other Palestinians, Arab-Americans, activists and people of color spoke at the rally

UPCOMING:
There is an annual peace prayer at the Islamic Center of Cleveland (at 5055 West 130th, just south of Snow Road) on Wed, New Years Eve, 11:15PM

PROTEST Israeli massacre on Friday, Jan 2, 2:30pm on public square, after Friday Prayers
call me Don for info 440-623-0492
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KUCINICH CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT UNITED NATIONS INQUIRY ON GAZA

Israeli government attacks civilians in violation of international law

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 29, 2008) — U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich today released the following statement as Israeli attacks on Gaza have gone into a third day with a pending ground invasion of Gaza by Israel:

"Today I sent a letter to Secretary General Ban ki-Moon urging the United Nations to establish an independent inquiry of Israel's war against Gaza. The attacks on civilians represent collective punishment, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm). The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice, but Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better. The world community, which has been very supportive of Israel's right to security and its right to survive, also has a right to expect Israel to conduct itself in adherence to the very laws which support the survival of Israel and every other nation," Kucinich said.

"Israel is leveling Gaza to strike at Hamas, just as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike at Hezbollah. Yet in both cases civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable. It is time for the UN to not just call for a cease-fire, but for an inquiry as to Israel's actions.

Since the commencement of aerial strikes, over 300 Palestinians have been killed and approximately 1,400 have been wounded. The dead include 20 children under the age of 16--nearly half of them killed while on a school bus, according to the United Nations--and 9 women. The attack aggravated a humanitarian crisis wrought by the Israeli-imposed blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies. With a population of 1.5 million people, the Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated territories in the world.

Kucinich repeated: "Palestinians in Gaza should not be punished for the actions of a limited number of militants--doing so contravenes Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting collective punishment.

"While Israel has a right to defend itself from Hamas's mortar and rocket attacks, it has no right to aggress against innocent people. Its disproportionate and indiscriminate assault against the people of Gaza must result in the government of Israel being held accountable under the law," Kucinich concluded.

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December 29, 2008

The Honorable Ban ki-Moon
Secretary General
United Nations
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, New York 10017

Dear Secretary General:

I write to you today with grave concern regarding the current Israeli airstrikes in Gaza as well as reports of an imminent ground attack. I call on the United Nations to establish an independent inquiry of Israel's war against Gaza.

I believe the attacks on civilians represent collective punishment, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention[1]. The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice; however Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better. The world community, which has been very supportive of Israel's right to security and its right to survive, also has a right to expect Israel to conduct itself in adherence to the very laws which support the survival of Israel and every other nation.

As you know, since the commencement of aerial strikes, over 300 Palestinians have been killed and approximately 1,400 have been wounded. The dead include 20 children under the age of 16--nearly half of them killed while on a school bus--and 9 women. The attack aggravated a humanitarian crisis wrought by the Israeli-imposed blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies.

Israel is leveling Gaza to strike at Hamas, just as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike at Hezbollah. Yet in both cases civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable. I urge you to establish an independent inquiry immediately.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

/s/

Dennis J. Kucinich

Member of Congress

[1] Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1950). Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Retrieved December 29, 2008 from http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm.
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"All in all, it's just another brick in the wall."
Pink Floyd

"There are no walls, just the ones we build". Anna

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