Grassroots Action Center

Urge Congress and the Administration to Prevent Genocide in Gaza
This week, disturbing reports emerged about mass graves in Gaza with hundreds of victims including women, the elderly, and wounded.  Some Palestinian victims were reportedly found stripped naked with their hands tied, prompting renewed concerns about possible war crimes amid ongoing Israeli airstrikes. While evidence of gross human rights violations continues to emerge, last week congress passed legislation to give Israel twenty-six billion dollars in additional military aid.   

Last month, the world’s leading organization on food emergencies reported that Gaza faces the broadest and most severe food crisis in the world.  Over a million Palestinians are facing catastrophic levels of hunger and starvation between now and July.  The United Nations has reported that the decline in nutrition status is globally unprecedented and that the children in Gaza are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen.  And in a paper this month, entitled “Inflicting Unprecedented Suffering and Destruction”, Oxfam USA stated that a meaningful and safe humanitarian response is made impossible by the government of Israel.

While famine looms, Congress and the Administration have banned funds from UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the largest established aid organization in Gaza capable of alleviating this growing crisis.  UNRWA provides Palestinian refugees with education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency services.  It currently employs over 30,000 Palestinians and is the only way to access healthcare, hospital services, medical clinics, and schools for many of the 5.9 million registered Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the broader Middle East.

 In January, the International Court of Justice ordered that the Israeli government must take measures to prevent genocide and that the provision of humanitarian aid and basic services is required, among other things. The US is a signatory to the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide, yet has enabled Israel’s continuing collective punishment of the Palestinians of Gaza diplomatically and through the provision of military aid - ignoring the massive loss of life and destruction of communities in Gaza as well as the Israeli, American, and international community’s obligations to prevent genocide affirmed by the ICJ.   

In ratcheting up its already massive military funding for Israel while cutting off support for UNRWA, the US is only further implicated in acting contrary to its obligation to prevent the crime of genocide.  As the US provides military assistance and aid to Israel and denies necessary humanitarian and relief assistance through the longest-serving and most expansively capable agency positioned to provide it, the US continues to contribute directly to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza.

Urge your members of Congress to call for a ceasefire, condition military aid on adherence to international law, reinstate funding for UNRWA, and press for humanitarian access to Gaza.

The 2010 General Assembly called on the US government to adhere to its laws that prohibit assisting the government of any country that engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations or that uses U.S. weapons against civilians and civilian infrastructure.  The assembly also called on the U.S. government to exercise its international influence, including the possible withholding of military aid as a means of bringing Israel to compliance with international law and peacemaking efforts.  

Urge the Administration and your Congressional representative and US Senators to uphold the US obligation to prevent genocide in Gaza by calling for a ceasefire, supporting continued financial contributions to UNRWA, and rejecting further military aid and assistance to Israel until it complies with the ICJ ruling and adheres to international law.

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