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Resolution on Gaza adopted by Alameda Labor Council
ARTICLE_POSTED_BY Michael Eisenscher 916 views 0 likes 0 comments
ARTICLE_TAGS - #Gaza #Israel #Palestine #war crimes #IndustriALL #Netanyahu #International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) #labor #Alameda Labor Council
Author: Michael Eisenscher
Article Source: Alameda Labor Council
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This resolution was adopted unanimously by the Alameda Labor Council on August 4, 2014.
COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IS A WAR CRIME, NOT A PATH TO PEACE!Adopted unanimously by the Alameda Labor Council, August 4, 2014
The Alameda Labor Council joins with hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the IndustriALL Global Union, who have demonstrated against the gross violation of human rights and international law taking place as a result of Israel’s military assault on Gaza – the third since 2007.
According to the UN, more than 1000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 6300 have been wounded. Three-quarters of the Palestinian casualties have been civilians. Almost half are women and children. On average, five children have been killed or wounded every hour since the assault began. For every Israeli soldier and civilian casualty – so far fewer than fifty – more than 150 Palestinians have been killed or wounded.
The use of military force by Israel against a largely unarmed civilian population is wholly disproportionate to the attacks made against it. Targeting civilian populations, homes, hospitals, schools, water, sanitation and power infrastructure constitutes collective punishment.
These are war crimesunder international law.
Israel’s objectives have less to do with self-defense than to weaken Hamas (which was elected by the people of Gaza), undermine the Palestinian reconciliation process, maintain its iron grip on Gaza, and forestall any changes in the Palestinian status quo.
On July 13, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu virtually rejected a two-state solution when he declared, “There cannot be a situation, under any agreement in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,”. (Haaretz, July 16, 2014)
There will be no peace for Israelis or Palestinians if Israel refuses to either recognize an independent Palestinian state or join with Palestinians in full equality within a single state for both peoples. (972mag.com, July 11, 2014)At the time of the massive Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009 that killed more than 1400 Palestinians, U.S. Labor Against the War, with which Alameda Labor Council is affiliated, said:
We reject the use of military means to resolve international conflicts. The road to peace and security can never be paved with war.
We are guided by the belief that international working class solidarity offers a path to mutual understanding and peace.
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Genocide suffered by the Jewish people does not entitle the Israeli state to perpetrate gross human rights violations, seize property, destroy homes and farms, set up illegal settlements, and impose apartheid-like conditions on Palestinians or lay siege to Gaza.
Both racist Islamaphobia against Palestinians and anti-Semitism suffered by Jews must be unconditionally and steadfastly opposed by all those who cherish peace, justice and human rights.
Both Palestinians and Israelis should recognize that there is no military solution to their conflict. The alternative to peaceful coexistence is perpetual conflict and ultimately, mutual destruction.
The following measures should be taken immediately: (1) An immediate ceasefire; (2) Total Israeli withdrawal from Gaza; (3) End all rocket attacks on Israel; (4) Lift the Israeli/Egyptian blockade; (5) Suspend all U.S military aid to Israel; (6) Dramatically increase humanitarian aid to Gaza and provide resources needed to rebuild; (7) Remove the separation wall and illegal settlements; (8) Implement UN resolutions to enable Palestinians to have a fully sovereign independent state or negotiate for a single state in which all people have equal rights.The Alameda Labor Council will circulate this statement to its affiliates, to the California Labor Federation and AFL-CIO with a request for concurrence. Copies will also be sent to our Congressional delegation with a request that they take action consistent with these demands.
“The targeting of civilian homes is a violation of international humanitarian law, unless the homes are being used for military purposes. Attacks against military objectives must offer a definite military advantage in the prevailing circumstances, and precautions must be taken to protect civilian lives. The fact that an attempt to warn civilians has been made, does not release the attacker from its obligation to spare civilian lives. A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belie the claim that all necessary pre-cautions are being taken. People – particularly the elderly, sick and those with disabilities – are not given sufficient time to scramble out of their homes. When they do manage to run out into the street, there is nowhere to hide and no way of knowing where the next shell or missile will land.” Statement of UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay to the Human Rights Council 21st Special Session, 23 July 2014.
Submitted by Michael Eisenscher, delegate, AFT Local 1603, Peralta Federation of Teachers