Sunday, 20 July 2014

Open Letter on the Israeli Attacks on Gaza

We, as South Africans of Jewish descent, strongly condemn the Israeli bombing of the Palestinian Gaza Strip which has already resulted in over 200 fatalities (including over 40 children) and thousands injured. This operation is in gross violation of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and of the prohibition of reprisals and collective punishment of a civilian population under occupation.

Israeli attacks, with the stated objective of halting Palestinian rocket fire and destroying the military infrastructure of Hamas, have included heavy aerial, navy and tank bombardment of the Gaza Strip.  This aggression is in the context of a seven-year Israeli blockade of Gaza which has severely damaged Gaza’s health and sanitary infrastructure, destroyed employment opportunities and led to a severe shortage of basic necessities.
The Israeli attacks on Gaza have been preceded by Israeli killings of Palestinians in the West Bank, violent Israeli home invasions, arbitrary civilian arrests, rearrests of freed Palestinian political prisoners, and a free hand given to Israeli settler violence. There is incontrovertible evidence that Israel has targeted Palestinian civilians, including many children and even killed two persons with disabilities in a Palestinian rehabilitation centre. Israel justifies the current operations using the deaths of three young Israelis in the Israeli Occupied Palestinian West Bank, whose brutal murders we deplore, but which cannot be a justification for state sanctioned civilian punishment.

We deplore the continuing rocket fire aimed at Israel. However, there is virtual unanimity that the scale of the Israeli assault is completely disproportionate. The impunity with which Israel behaves cannot be tolerated any longer. We believe the time has come for the South African Government to sever all links with Israel, including trade and investment, and to expel Israel’s Ambassador and recall ours.

·        David Sanders
·        Leslie London
·        Judy Favish
·        Shereen Usdin
·        Neil Coleman
·        Raymond Suttner
·        Zapiro
·        Laurie Nathan
·        Max Ozinsky
·        Melanie Judge
·        Ronnie Kasrils
·        Jane Alexander
·        Julian Reistein
·        Sharon Fonn
·        Jeff Rudin
·        Suzanne Rudin
·        Ed Wethli
·        Brian Hotz
·        Nathan Geffen
·        Bradley Bordiss
·        Robyn Patz
·        Alan Fine
·        Jared Sacks
·        Merle Dietrich
·        Dana Labe
·        Alison Swartz
·        Sue Goldstein
·        Leonard Shapiro
·        Heidi Grunebaum
·        Lorraine Purkey
·        Richard Hainebach
·        Marian Nell
·        Janet Shapiro
·        Tehillah Niselow
·        Ben Fogel
·        Robert Krause
·        Aliza Levi
·        Karla Green
·        Mark Kaplan
·        Zandi Sherman
·        Steven Robins
·        Meghan Finn
·        Ingrid Hurwitz
·        Paul Hendler
·        Audrey Blecher
·        Tali Cassidy
·        Mitchell Joffe Hunter
·        Renee Usdin
·        Linda Cooper
·        Melanie Alperstein
·        Lynne Lomofsky
·        Michael Moss
·        Jon Marc Seimon
·        Josh Budlender
·        David Fine
·        Jessica Sherman
·        Tony Tabatznik
·        Karen Lazar
·        Sheila Barsel
·        Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven
·        Mark Orkin
·        Vanessa Barlosky
·        Sheila Cohen
·        Laurine Platzky
·        Clive Emdon
·        Mark Feldman
·        Brenda Liebowitz
·        Laura Phillips