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Greens Demand That Israel Cease Its Hypocritical 'War on Terrorism' Against Palestinian People
12 December 2001
Washington - Activists in the Green Party of the United States are asking the U.S. to hold the government of Israel accountable for the latest wave of bloodshed, and insist that Israel seek negotiation instead of the "War on Terrorism" against the Palestinian people that Israel's own policy of assassination recently ignited. Greens condemn the current escalation of violence committed by both sides and call for an international peace force to enforce a ceasefire, and support the demand by United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson that Israel stop bombing the West Bank and Gaza Strip, assaults which Ms. Robinson said are "terrorising and terrifying the civilian population".
"Israel's continued occupation -- with heavy military supervision and imposed economic deprivation -- of the Palestinian territories continues in violation of international law and in the face of the U.N.'s condemnation," said Anita Rios, an Ohio Green organizer and member of the party's national steering committee.
"Greens condemn the suicide bombings that have killed Israeli citizens, and see such tactics as counterproductive in the movement to liberate Palestinians. But the Israeli government instigated the current wave of violence, with the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, at a time when Ariel Sharon demanded a week's cessation of violence by Palestinians before negotiations would begin."
"Assassinations are not 'self-defense' but an illegal attack on civilians," added Ben Manski, also a steering committee member of the Green Party of the United States, a Jewish American who grew up in Jerusalem and whose family left Israel at the time of the invasion of Lebanon. "The Sharon government seems determined to destroy any chance of ending Israel's half century oppression of Palestinians, and has declared the Palestinian Author ity under Yasser Arafat to be the enemy in a hypocritically declared 'war on terrorism' against an already subjugated people. Both Israeli and Palestinian civilians will continue to suffer - especially Palestinians, who h ave already suffered loss of their human rights, homes, livelihoods, and the lives of children."
Bulent Ecevit, the Prime Minister of Turkey, Israel's closest ally in the Middle East, recently revealed that Sharon has told him Israel wants to "be rid of" Arafat. Israel and the U.S. both boycotted the Fourth Geneva Convention in Switzerland on December 4 and 5, at which Israel was reprimanded by 114 states, including Britain and other European Union nations, for indiscriminate and disproportionate violence against Palestinian civilians and breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
"We are ashamed of the silence of the U.S. about Sharon's responsibility, as the leader of a wealthy and heavily armed state, for lighting the fuse that set off the recent attacks," said Annie Goeke, a Pennsylvania Green activist and chair of the party's International Committee. "Palestinian civilians are being murdered with American weapons and with the Bush Administration's approval."
The Green Party of the United States continues to demand that Israel -- and the United States, the power behind Israel -- adhere to international law and the decisions of the U.N., that it begin negotiations and the process of granting self-determination to the Palestinian people, and that it respect the right of exiled Palestinians to return home.
Greens are also concerned that Israel's new 'war' and the Bush Administration's threat to expand the military assaults against Afghanistan to other Muslim nations, especially Iraq and Somalia, will destroy the fragile all iance with some Muslim nations and lead to a long and bloody war across the Middle East and central Asia - as well as violent attacks against civilians in the U.S. and our allies.
Green Party (USA), Media Release.