Open Letter from American Jews


On July 6, in a full-page ad in The Times of London, 300 British Jews cried out against the collective punishment of the people of Gaza with the anguished question, “What Is Israel Doing?” Several weeks later, as the Middle East sinks deeper into chaos, that question is ever more urgent.

Hezbollah’s attack on an IDF outpost was a violation of international law. And after Israel attacked Lebanon, Hezbollah fired missiles at Israeli cities, killing and injuring civilians. This is not morally acceptable, whatever the provocation.

But Israel’s response — an explosion of violence and collective punishment directed against airports, bridges and populated neighborhoods of Lebanon — is an even greater crime. And now Lebanon, like Gaza, is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

In the face of so much violence and suffering, the United States’ vetoes of UN Security Council resolutions calling for a cease fire are immoral and irresponsible.

We call upon U.S. Jews and others to join us in support of Israeli peace groups who write: “The only way to guarantee a different future of peace and security is by ending the occupation and establishing a relationship of equality and respect between Israelis and Palestinians and between Israelis and the neighboring nations.”

We call upon the U.S. government to use its influence with Israel to stop the collective punishment of the people of Gaza and Lebanon; to work with the international community to impose a cease-fire and prevent any further loss of civilian life; and to work for the immediate start of direct, good-faith negotiations.

Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories and massive human rights abuses against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples are opposed by many Jews in Israel, the U.S., and throughout the world.

Attacks on civilians will not bring peace, security or justice to Palestinians, Israelis, or Jews anywhere.

Click here to sign the petition.  [Thanks to Jonathan Kramnick, and also Alan Sokal.]