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 Enough is enough

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KAKAMMPI



Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: Enough is enough   Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:12 am

Dear friends,

The bloodshed in Gaza is escalating −− the death toll now stands at over 600 people and rising, almost half of them civilians and over 100 children dead.[1] As Israeli tanks, airplanes and artillery bombard targets in thickly populated urban areas, thousands more have been injured and 1.5 million terrified civilians have no escape from this prison−like enclave −− the borders have been sealed. Hamas continues to fight and fire rockets deep into Israel, killing 5 Israeli civilians.

Our worldwide call for an internationally−guaranteed ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides has begun to ring out loud and clear, winning the support of leaders in Europe, the Middle East and beyond: hopeful outlines of a deal are emerging.[2] But Israel is rejecting a truce for now and escalating its offensive, while US President Bush is opposing a fair UN ceasefire, trying instead to impose a skewed alternative that could legitimize Israel's suffocating isolation of Gaza.[3]

Enough is enough: these civilian deaths can't go on, and we can't let Bush and co block a fair, negotiated ceasefire. 250,000 of us have signed the ceasefire petition, let's make it half a million −− we'll publish it in a hard−hitting ad in the Washington Post and deliver it in meetings with UN Security Council members −− follow the link below to see the ad, sign the petition, and forward this message to all your friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/98.php?cl_tf_sign=1

Our efforts really can make a difference −− Israel's own foreign minister admits that international pressure, if intense enough, could ensure a ceasefire. As the international community debates and delays, civilians are dying by the day. The top UN official in Gaza says, "There's nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized." Opposing a United Nations resolution, Bush reportedly proposes to exclude Hamas from any ceasefire deal and leave Israel a free hand, something that would guarantee that the violence continues. That's why we're targeting incoming President Obama and US decision−makers, as well as the European Union and other international leaders, to pursue a fair and stable resolution.

To be lasting, a ceasefire must protect civilians and end all attacks −− Israeli bombings and incursions as well as the rockets Palestinian factions fire into southern Israel. International supervision is desperately needed at the borders, to reopen Gaza's borders and crossings for food, fuel, medicine and goods, to prevent weapon−smuggling which has only grown under the blockade, and to monitor and enforce the ceasefire on both sides.[4]

Hamas, which won elections in 2006 and now runs Gaza, suggests it will agree to such a ceasefire.[5] It should be challenged to live up to its word just like Israel. There is no military solution for either side −− it's time for world powers to step in, advancing a fair deal to protect civilians on all sides and let them live their lives in peace and security. Sign the petition now at the link below and send this message to everyone you know −− we'll publish it in The Washington Post and elsewhere, and seek face−to−face meetings to deliver the petition with the Obama team, the UN Security Council and European leaders:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/98.php?cl_tf_sign=1

With hope and determination,

Paul, Graziela, Ricken, Luis, Alice, Brett, Ben, Iain, Paula, Veronique, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

P.S. We wrote to European, US and Arab leaders last week about our campaign, and received several responses −− now we need to escalate the pressure. For a report on many of Avaaz's other campaigns so far, see: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2

Sources:

1. Associated Press: "Israel Shells Near UN School, killing at least 30" )5 January 2009(
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ioi_0jtO9RjMwPNRoXNCndRPRq3gD95HTJE00

2. "Gaza: outlines of an endgame", Ghassan Khatib )6 January 2009(
http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/gaza−outlines−of−an−endgame

Al−Jazeera: "Arab ministers hold UN ceasefire talks" )6 January 2009(:
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/01/20091522052418539.html

Associated Press: "Diplomats seek truce as civilian toll rises" )5 January 2009(:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ioi_0jtO9RjMwPNRoXNCndRPRq3gD95HCD4G3

3. Israel Today: "Israel rejects European, UN efforts for immediate ceasefire" )5 January 2009(:
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=17938

Yediot Aharonot: "Israel examining international treaty to isolate Hamas" )5 January 2009(
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L−3650522,00.html

4. These parameters are advocated by a broad range of experts and policymakers. See for example International Crisis Group's Ending the War in Gaza report )5 January 2009(:
http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=5838&l=1

5. Reuters: "Hamas seeks truce but says lifting siege a must" )5 January 2009( http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L5111105.htm

Strikingly, the US Army War College has just released a substantial report supporting the view that Hamas can and must be brought into negotiations and is capable of sustaining a long−term truce, or even peace with Israel. Linked via:
http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/node/10703

The inside story of the civil strife between Fatah and Hamas and the Bush administration's involvement in this debacle is best−told in The Gaza Bombshell, an investigative article published in the leading US magazine Vanity Fair in April 2008:
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804

This news item from November 2008 provides more background to the story of how the Israel−Hamas truce collapsed:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/05/israelandthepalestinians
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