As stated on their website (http://www.womeninblack.org/en/vigil), Women in Black “is a world-wide network of women committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence.” Julia Aires, a founder of the Green Party of Florida, and former GPF co-chair, was also a founder (with Diane Kamleiter) of a Florida local WiB chapter, “Women in Black Gulfcoast.” Below is a statement co-authored by members of WiB Baltimore(MD), Union Square(NY) and Bay Area (CA).
U.S. Women In Black Say
U.S. Policy on Israel Must Change:
END U.S. COMPLICITY IN ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND WAR!
Israel’s massacre of Gaza civilians and massive destruction of homes, hospitals, schools and public works cannot be justified. The most recent attacks on Gaza have killed and injured many thousands of women, children, and non-combatant men. This tiny, impoverished territory, which Israel first occupied and over which it continues to exercise virtually total military control, has been described as “the world’s largest open-air prison.” Closed borders make it impossible for civilians fleeing Israel’s bombings to escape. Israel’s previous attacks and ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights have increased the suffering immeasurably.
As part of the international Women in Black movement begun in Israel in 1988, we believe that the only way to create a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians is for Israel to end its illegal occupation and control over Palestinian lands and to participate in internationally sanctioned negotiations among the affected parties, including women. While claiming to serve as an “honest broker,” the U.S. continues to pursue its one-sided military support of Israel (over $3 billion in military aid a year) and political policies that fail to exert serious pressure on Israel to end its illegal settlements and ongoing violence against Palestinians.
As participants in Women in Black vigils across the U.S, we call on our representatives to condemn, cease supporting and stop funding Israel’s military attacks and continued violation of human rights. The U.S. must end its complicity in Israel’s policy of bombing and invading Gaza (“mowing the grass”) as the ultimate approach to dealing with Palestinian resistance. The U.S. must demand that Israel end the occupation, comply with international law, restore water and electricity to Gaza and pay for and facilitate rebuilding of the homes, schools, hospitals and other institutions Israel has demolished.