This is the cry heard around the world in response to massacre in Gaza and killing throughout Palestine/Israel. People everywhere have poured into the streets, outraged to know a defenseless population is trapped under bombing, invasion, and siege. War crimes have been enabled by U.S. weapons, funding, and “no daylight between us and Israel” political policies. Women Against Military Madness joins the world in saying, “Listen to us and end U.S. complicity with war crimes!” The Capital switchboard:202-224-3121 will connect you with the offices of your U.S. Congressional members.
Palestine solidarity demonstrations have been taking place daily in the Twin Cities. Above: Street march in Minneapolis Photo: Anonymous. Below: More people are joining the decades-long Friday “End the Occupation of Palestine Vigil” in St. Paul. Photo: Kim DeFranco.
The WAMM Middle East Committee demands that the Biden administration immediately end all political and military support of Israel and its genocidal war on the people of Gaza.
We denounce the hypocrisy and doublespeak of our political leaders in the face of the horror that is being unleashed on Gaza, resulting in the death and injuries of thousands of people – mostly women and children, the utterly devastating destruction of homes, hospitals, schools, even bakeries, and the lack of food, water, medicines, electricity, and fuel because of the imposition of a draconian siege by Israel, which is not even letting in the fuel that hospitals.
As of this writing, November 3, the death toll is well over9,000, 40 percent of them children. There are blackouts cutting off communication with the outside world and within Gaza.
The aid allowed into Gaza is completely inadequate to supply even a small fraction of human needs and acts as fig leaf to cover crimes against humanity while at the same time, Israel continues to bomb the people with the complicity of the U.S. and with the use of U.S. weapons. What has been commonly described as an open-air prison is being turned into a death camp. In this scenario, Israel and the U.S. do not value the lives of hostages either as they are held by Hamas.
In addition to the $3.8 billion that the U.S. gives to Israel every year, we vehemently oppose the additional billions that Washington wants for Israel, the Ukraine, the U.S. border wall, and Taiwan to continue this military madness. The Israeli component of this money will be used to fund more of the thousands of bombs being dropped on Gaza right now, as well as aircraft carriers, other military equipment, and thousands of U.S. troops sent to the area to threaten the entire region.
We join the millions of people around the world who are in the streets every day demanding an end to the ongoing slaughter to eliminate the Palestinian people with the massacres we’re witnessing in Gaza and the murder by settlers in the West Bank just being the most recent phase of what is metaphorically referred to as “mowing the grass,” a euphemism for ethnic cleansing.
Because this could not go on without the full support of the U.S. government, it is especially up to us, the people of the U.S., to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza and all the heroic people of Palestine who have bravely resisted the obliteration of their collective identity, history, and culture for 75 years. With them, we call for justice, self-determination, not to be cast into exile again, and to have the right of return to their native land.
~ Middle East Committee of Women Against Military Madness
Emergency Legal Briefing Paper Center for Constitutional Rights The United States is not only failing to uphold its obligation to prevent the commission of genocide, but there is a plausible and credible case to be made that the United States’ actions to further the Israeli military operation, closure, and campaign against the Palestinian population in Gaza rise to the level of complicity in the crime under international law.
Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City 1988
by Lucia Wilkes Smith
The “plastic” bullet passed from the manufacturer in Pennsylvania, through the hands and into the gun of an Israeli soldier. It was fired into the gut of the 12-year-old boy. It passed from him, via the surgeon, to me. The bullet had been inside him and delivered out, like a precious thing to be held in my hand. And, now, I’m going home. To the U.S., full circle.
When I learned the Ahli Hospital in Gaza City was damaged by an explosion or bomb during the tragic back-and-forth violence touched off by the October 7th attack against Israel by Hamas, I immediately remembered that I had visited that very hospital. At the time of the first intifada, I had traveled in Israel, the Occupied West Bank, and Gaza with a group organized through the World Council of Churches. I immediately located the journal I had kept during my travel there. The narrative is disjointed because the visit was upsetting. My notes remind me that our group of 12 travelers from around the U.S. was told repeatedly that the Arabic word “intifada” could mean to shake a rug, “to shake away the dust, the burden, that oppresses you.”
The intifada was largely nonviolent with Palestinians halting all of their economic activity throughout Israel, Jerusalem, and the Occupied Territories (which included the Gaza Strip at that time). This had significant impact on the Israeli businesses. Palestinian-owned shops did open for their customers’ needed supplies during morning and early afternoon hours only. In Gaza City, our travel group was witness to demonstrations and piles of tires burned in the streets creating great plumes of acrid smoke. The Palestinian people didn’t seem to have weapons, but the Israeli soldiers were well-armed.
When our group visited, November 30, 1988, Ahli Hospital was focused on treating people injured by the Israeli soldiers who beat or shot anyone they found throwing stones at an Israeli tank or writing the date of the next demonstration on a wall. We were told that soldiers sometimes blocked ambulances heading to Ahli Hospital.
On the first day Israeli soldiers used “plastic bullets” (manufactured in and shipped from Pennsylvania) in Gaza, 36 wounds were treated in Ahli Hospital. The day we visited we couldn’t talk with a man who was sedated in anticipation of surgery. A soldier had shot him in the buttocks, but the bullet was dangerously close to the base of his spinal column and had to be removed through an abdominal incision.
I was most disturbed to be introduced to two 12-year-old boys who were recovering after being shot in the stomach and in the thigh by Israeli soldiers firing “plastic bullets.” We were told by hospital staff that the metal core of a plastic-coated bullet was revealed in the x-ray of the one boy’s stomach. The bullet was removed intact, cleaned up, and shown to our group of American visitors. It was about ¾ of an inch long with a black plastic coating. I know this because I held it in my hand.
The day prior to our visit, 11 people were treated for gunshot wounds. The son of a hospital cook had been beaten to death by the soldiers. This was in 1988 – long ago, when I was hopeful. We met with several Israeli citizens, religious leaders of Jewish, Muslim, and various Christian denominations. We shared our concerns with many Israeli Jews who sought the just treatment of Palestinian people. At the time, I truly believed the Israeli people would have the power to change government policies.
I was wrong.
Lucia Smith is active with Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) and a member of the WAMM Middle East Committee.
Speaking To Us from Palestine/Israel
Hoping to escape bombs, but with nowhere to go, women and children flee in Gaza.
I am going to bed tonight in full certainty that as I sleep, Israel, a member state of the UN, abetted, armed, and egged on by the U.S. and the other G-7 countries that rule the world, is committing genocide in Gaza…Confining two and a half million people to a tiny area (while cynically and cruelly advising them to “leave”), cutting off all food, water, and electricity, declaring that all Gazans are Hamas, thus making even children legitimate targets, carpet bombing for days to “soften” the terrain…
And yet, again, we must remember that Hamas and its excesses are the product of a century of systematic and brutal destruction of the Palestinian people by a Zionist project determined to displace the Palestinian people, take its lands, turn their country into an exclusively Jewish state and Palestine into Israel, and eliminate all traces of their collective existence, history, and culture. – Jeff Halper, the founder and director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demotions (ICAHD), Jerusalem
Human Rights Newsletter
Israel targeted a group of journalists in Lebanon who are covering the events in the north, killing one and injuring several. They also targeted ambulances and medical personnel in Gaza, killing nine medics. Israel, having cut off water, medicine, food, fuel, and electricity to 2.3 million Palestinians, asked that 1.1 million of them leave their homes and head south (South Gaza and then into Egypt). The Israeli army then bombed those (a minority) who actually complied with their orders to leave, thus killing 70 and injuring over 200 (again wiping out whole families trying to flee). The carpet bombing continued and as medicine and water and food run out, an environmental and health catastrophe is unfolding…
Millions took to the streets today in 40 countries around the world (yes, even in Germany and France). Here in the West Bank eleven unarmed protesters were killed and dozens injured Friday. –Mazin Qumsiyeh, founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability, Bethlehem
My dear friends in the Western world –
We woke up this morning to the news of Israeli air raids on Gaza conducted indiscriminately as Israel was getting ready to meet the French president, the last of the Western leaders who visited Israel since October 7… as I mentioned in my earlier reflection, the leaders of the U.S. and Europe came rushing to the support of Israel whose ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, which started with the Palestinian Nakba in 1948 and has been ongoing ever since, could not have been possible without the support of those same countries…
Those 2.2 million oppressed people under siege are not “human animals” as they were called by Israel. They are actually humans who have been dehumanized, as if they were children of a “lesser God.” They have reached a tipping point and could not take the oppression and the deprivation of freedom anymore. – Samia Khoury, resident of Beit Hanina, in East Jerusalem. Excerpt from a letter,“ The Gaza Surprise”
Message from resident of Hebron area, West Bank
The situation is very bad, there is no education, there is no time, we are in a war, Israeli raids every night, arrests and shooting, the roads are closed, the economic situation is very bad, and we can only pray to God. Children are being killed on the bypass roads. Very tragic scenes, horror, destruction, organized state terrorism. This is, in short, the situation that has existed since October 7. – Name withheld
October 23 (Letter to Gaza)
Dear Fellow Palestinians,
We can’t imagine the terror all 2.4 million of you face…Your children are writing their names on their arms so that they can be identified after they are killed…
It is no solace to know that more people are aware that your literal sacrifice is to shape a new Middle East under Zionist and Western imperial hegemony. It is no solace that more people know about the coveted gas fields of Gaza (some of the richest in the Eastern Mediterranean). Gaza genocide for gas anyone? Does the world care about the plans to create an alternative to the Suez Canal passing from Eilat to Gaza after it is depopulated or its residents “thinned” out per the Zionist doctrine of maximum geography with minimum demography.
I know it is no solace to you to see Jews, Christians, Bahai, etc. show “solidarity.” It is no solace to have so many prayers and wishes for peace when children are in mass graves or under the rubble and injured people can’t be treated because there are no medicines or surgical material (anesthesia, needles, etc.)…
We thought we can help you and we try. Yet [you exhibit] your heroism and dignity as you die in your hundreds every day and the living risk their lives and with their bare hands extract the dead and the living. – Mazin Qumsiyeh, founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability, Bethlehem
Message from Ahmed Issa, resident of Gaza
They have been implementing all the stories I have read about the Nazi era, from Schindler’s List to Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl… I literally may lose my life any minute.
“uncivilized, human animal” [Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant description]
P.S. I’m currently in Gaza with my wife Nada and two children, Bassam and Adam. I have lost my apartment in Gaza City. Israel bombed my apartment. I evacuated to my parents’ house. It was horrific to get bombed and lose all of my memories. Urgent message later – bomb attack. I just came from a flattened house. Just now. It was very close, like 30 meters (100 feet) away. Over 40 people lived there. It is very hard to dig to get the people out. The firefighters were looking for a sign of life by hearing if anyone is screaming. It is a horrifying experience. We need this genocide to stop. – Ahmed Issa, resident of Gaza, received his MSc degree in Britain.