Friday, July 18, 2014

Israel's Ground Invasion of Gaza: Responses and Resources for Justice Advocates

The following information was provided today by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Peace Not Walls project. The members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod Working Group on the Middle East (WGME) encourage everyone in our member congregations to consider the actions proposed, and to use the resources provided to learn more about the current developments in Israel/Palestine.

An Israeli rocket is fired into the Gaza Strip after Binyamin Netanyahu instructed
the military to begin a ground offensive. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

Israel began a ground invasion of Gaza yesterday. Taking the time to help keep your friends and family informed and ready to do advocacy is very critical at this time. Please share this with your friends and family.

Action steps

Stand with our companions and write and call your members of Congress today:

Call on Congress: Stop Gaza Assault

Share this ELCA statement with others in your congregation:

ELCA presiding bishop joins call for peace in the Holy Land

Additional resources / articles to share

July 17, 2014 - The Times of Israel: "Netanyahu finally speaks his mind" by David Horovitz

"At his Friday press conference, the prime minister ruled out full Palestinian sovereignty, derided the US approach to Israeli security, and set out his Middle East overview with unprecedented candor. His remarks were not widely reported; they should be."

July 16, 2014 - The New York Times: "The Toll in Gaza and Israel, Day by Day" by Karen Yourish and Josh Keller

Photos, maps, and data - day by day.

July 11, 2014 - Mondoweiss: "Palestinian rockets: The conversation no one is having" by Pam Bailey

"In the shorter term, the question of “who started it first” depends greatly on when you start the clock. Take any rocket attack from Gaza, and go back in time a few weeks or months. You’ll quickly find an Israeli act of aggression –raids, shootings or abductions. . . . "

July 17, 2014 - The New York Times op-ed: "How the West Chose War in Gaza -- Gaza and Israel: The Road to War, Paved by the West" by Nathan Thrall

“The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement. The road out of the crisis is a reversal of that policy.”

July 18, 2014 - Haaretz: "Why the West Bank isn’t erupting against Israel" by Amira Hass

"The Palestinian public lost its faith in its leadership's schizophrenic discourse, which denounces the occupation on one hand, and abides by its dictates on the other."

July 18, 2014 - The Independent: "Israel-Gaza conflict: Medical charity official likens job to ‘patching up torture victims in an open-air prison’" by Robert Fisk

"Comments by senior Médecins Sans Frontières official expose ethical dilemma of humanitarian work in conflict zones."

July 17, 2014 - The Washington Post: "When Israel raised the heat on Gaza before, civilian casualties soared" by Ishaan Tharoor

"Israel's past offensives against [Hamas], which has ruled Gaza since 2007, have led to considerable loss of civilian life with few lasting strategic gains against Hamas, which while cornered, is deeply entrenched in Gaza, an impoverished territory of 1.7 million people crammed into a space just twice the size of Washington D.C."