CODEPINK Women For Peace will be traveling to Gaza on March 6th. The purpose of their mission is to provide "humanitarian and emotional support to women and women's organizations and exert pressure on US, Egyptian and Israeli governments to lift the blockade and promote peace and human rights in the region."
In advance of their trip, CODEPINK has created a petition that asks signers to write President Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to request that he meet with the women of Gaza. As an American Jew who opposes Israel's inhumane treatment of Palestinians, I answered CODEPINK's call, signed the petition, and wrote a letter to Mr. Mitchell. The letter that follows is my personal statement to Mr. Mitchell and not the statement of CODEPINK.
Dear Mr. Mitchell,
American corporate media and special interest groups who favor Israel have hidden the suffering of Palestinians from the American public for far too long. But now, thanks to valiant journalists and a new global media that disseminates truth NOT controlled by America and Israel, AIPAC, Christian Zionists, and myopic U.S. Jews, more Americans are learning the truth about Israel's brutality toward the Palestinians.
More Americans are realizing every day that tens of billions of their hard earned dollars are being awarded to a nation whose primary intent is to exterminate the Palestinians and enjoy sole domain over a historically shared land.
As an American Jew, I'm deeply ashamed of Israel. I've even signed a petition to renounce my Right of Return. I hold no allegiance to a nation that engages in ethnic cleansing or to a people who commit the same horrors upon innocents that were once committed upon them. Has Israel no shame? Has America no shame?! And you, sir? Will you be so moved by the shame of this perversion to use your newly acquired power to end it?
Please understand, Mr. Mitchell, that I acknowledge Israelis have also suffered in this debacle. But in comparison, the Palestinians have suffered and continue to suffer decidedly and horribly more. If the United States doesn't intervene soon on behalf of the Palestinians, they face potential extinction.
Hopefully, in light of the forthcoming change in Israeli leadership and the recent change in ours, this is the optimal time to push for a new humane agenda. I implore you Mr. Mitchell to meet with the women of Gaza. I implore you to go to Gaza and use your honored Presidential appointment, your humanity, and your gifts of diplomacy to save and protect Palestinians from further annihilation.
Defer our tax dollars from the perpetrator, Israel, to the Palestinians and provide them the necessities for living that Israel systematically denies. Former President Jimmy Carter, who I believe is America's greatest living statesman, has publicly proclaimed his faith in you as a diplomat and a man of honor.
Please Mr. Mitchell, prove President Carter correct. Be that man of honor and end America's support of this genocide. If you truly possess the wisdom and humanity that President Carter claims, then please visit Gaza. Please visit the West Bank. Please speak with the women and children. See the checkpoints. See the lack of sanitation. See the water system in disrepair. See the rubble. Visit the graves. Observe and comfort the wounded. Witness the brutality the Palestinians endure -- AND END IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!!! The time has long since come! Salam. Shalom. Linda Milazzo American Jew Los Angeles, CA
The trip to Gaza will be led by CODEPINK cofounders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans. Sponsoring groups include the National Congress of Black Women, Global Exchange, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, American Muslim Voice and Women's Intercultural Network. Further information is available here.