Palestine: A Call for Decisive Action (fwd)


Richard Moore

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Date:         Tue, 29 May 2001 08:11:44 -0700
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject:      Palestine: A Call for Decisive Action (fwd)
To: •••@••.•••

from a friend...

--------- Forwarded message ----------
To: •••@••.•••
Cc: •••@••.•••
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 03:10:35 -0400
Subject: Palestine: A Call for Decisive Action (fwd)
X-Mailer: Juno 4.0.11
From: "Michelle J. Kinnucan" <•••@••.•••>


I know Thom personally, he's a good guy who's been in the
struggle for a long time. His call deserves a good response.
Please forward it to your friends. Thanks.


A Prescription For A Real Democracy:

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Thom Saffold" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 10:03:45 -0400

Dear Friends,

The Call to Action below is followed by an update.  Please
read it, consider it, and reply if you are interested.  As
the update indicates, the response in less than a week has
been overwhelming!  In fact, this morning I received an
endorsement and offer of full support from Dr. Hanan




Because Israeli violence against civilians in Palestine has
worsened, many American allies of the Palestinian cause want
to do more than write letters, demonstrate, present
programs, or send humanitarian aid. They want to do
something more dramatic to stop Israeli attacks on
Palestinian neighborhoods and people, with bombs and
bullets, or closures and curfews, and to stop the United
States from massively rewarding Israel for its brutality and
protecting its occupation of Palestine.

If this describes your feelings, this call is for you.

Plans are underway to create an international citizen’s
peace-making force. This is an invitation to join that
campaign, or to support it financially.

You have read that some governments have suggested a UN or
other NGO-type peacekeeping force, but it is not happening.
There was similar talk in 1992 about sending a force to
war-torn Bosnia, but, again, there was no action.

In August of 1993, a thousand young Italians organized
themselves and almost a thousand others from around the
world to journey to Bosnia as a peace army. I was one of 54
Americans who heeded the call. That experiment in peace
making helped bring the world’s attention to that conflict,
and led to military intervention to bring the massacres
there to a halt. If we had had thousands more volunteer
"peace warriors," we could have brought the fighting to an
absolute end, without military intervention.

The West Bank and Gaza are much smaller than Bosnia. If we
had even 500 people, trained and committed to putting
ourselves in between Palestinian civilians and the Israeli
army and say "In the name of humanity, STOP!" how could the
Israelis resist?

An Israeli woman, Neta Golan, did that very thing to protect
Palestinians from her own nation’s troops and settlers, as
they picked olives. As the Christian Peacemaker Teams motto
says, Neta "got in the way" by putting her life on the line
for true peace.

What if 500 people from the United States and other
countries did the same thing as her, and as 2000 people did
in Bosnia?

I teach the history of the Civil Rights campaigns of
America. The Palestinian cause is as just as was the Civil
Rights Movement in the United States. The forces of Martin
Luther King, Jr. did not cakewalk their way to the degree of
freedom Black Americans now enjoy. They had to risk their
lives by facing police dogs, fire hoses, billy clubs,
bullets, beatings, arrests, abuse in jail, etc.

In that struggle, people like Dr. King and many people most
of us have never heard of put their lives on the line, not
just for Black Americans in the 1960’s, but for humanity, to
show our species a different way of resolving conflict, the
way of nonviolent direct action.

Friends, the Palestinian struggle is a Civil Rights
Struggle, and just as Dr. King challenged people all across
the nation to join him in places like Birmingham and Selma,
the spirit of that cry is calling many of us to go to

Imagine that the year is 1939 or 40 instead of 2001. We know
that the German government is waging war against Jews. They
have not yet developed their Final Solution at Wannsee, but
will. We have a chance to take decisive action, even though
a war wages, action that will save the Jews from their

People like us failed then. The failure of the world to care
enough about the Jewish people then created some of the very
attitudes and worldview that motivate nationalistic Jews to
wage war on Palestinians—they do it, they think, for their
own "security."

We owe it to Israeli Jews, as well as Palestinians, to put
our bodies on the line and in the name of whatever we
consider holy or ethical to put an end to the fighting and
provide truly democratic (people power) leadership to bring
the conflict to a just conclusion. The war the Israeli
government is waging is not only against Palestinians, but
also against humanity and, I say, against their own faith
and against their own security. If they continue along the
present path, I fear, they will provoke only escalating

Although this idea has been floated on this and other e-mail
lists, no one has taken concrete action. I am making it a
project through the Direct Action Center of Washtenaw

I have been in contact with Neta Golan and other Jewish
Israeli and Palestinian activists who will support this
campaign. Several people have already volunteered, and the
Italians who helped organize the Bosnian campaign appear to
be interested, as well.

We are preparing a 2-3 week mass International Citizens
Protection Force in August to protect Palestinians and bring
media awareness to the brutality and illegality of Israel’s
actions in dramatic ways. We go to support, strengthen, and
draw positive awareness to the brave efforts of Palestinian
and Israeli justice groups. They will provide leadership for
this effort. The campaign is dedicated also to create
on-going and continuous support for justice efforts there by
encouraging Americans and internationals to volunteer for
on-going programs of civil disobedience, development of
Palestinian economic infrastructure, etc.

Please send me your name, if you are at all interested in
exploring the possibility of joining such an audacious
group. If you want to send money, send it to:

2084 Pauline Blvd.
Apt. 2-B
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

•••@••.•••  734-668-1549

and make the (tax deductible) check out to ICPJ (or
Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice), and put DAC (or
Direct Action Center) in the memo line.

Please respond, and spread the word!

Over 90 people have now signed up to participate in the
campaign in August, and dozens of others indicate that
depending on the scheduling, they, too may join us. The
e-mails and calls are still coming in, and I have not had
time to reply to all of them yet. Also, two Italian groups
are working with Israeli activist Neta Golan on this
project, and we are negotiating to merge with a similar
program of a Dutch group, called "Lifeline Palestine." They
put out their call to action just after we did. I've also
heard from an Israeli named Charles who is organizing what
he described as a "Jewish Peacemaker Team" (modeled after
CPT in Hebron) that will recruit American Jews to go to
Palestine and do civil disobedience against the Occupation!
There's more, but it’s late.

There are four main objectives of the campaign:

1. To protect Palestinians for several days from attacks by
Israelis and to stand in solidarity with all Palestinians.

2. To present a message of concern for Israeli men, women,
and children, and for the well-being of Israel itself, and
demonstrate that our concern is not only for Palestinians.
Just as many of us Americans recognize that our military
industrial complex and imperialist culture is a danger to
our well-being and the well-being of so many people in the
world, we will express the same concern with the
militarization of Israeli culture and policies. I think we
should appeal to the essential Jewish value of justice.

3. To create a media event that will present to the American
media (the rest of the world already knows what's going on
:o)) OUR viewpoint about the Occupation and about the
Palestinian people and their struggle. We are not going
there to "lead the way" or "run the show," but to support
the wonderful work that is being done by Israeli groups,
Palestinian groups, and joint groups. In other words, we are
going to back them up, to show our confidence in their
leadership, and we will look to them for leadership. There
have never been 500 or more internationals brought together
for this purpose. We believe that the US media will HAVE to
showcase us and if we do our jobs, the reality of the
occupation and of the nobleness of the Palestinian Cause
WILL get into the newspapers.

But the people who actually go to Palestine will not be able
to do this alone. An important part of the campaign will be
to get thousands of people in the United States to help
impact the media. They, too, can be an integral part of the
mass campaign. With internet and innovations like streaming
media, they can find out what's happening almost as it
happens. Then they can call their newspapers, television
stations, NPR and other news media and BUG them to cover the
campaign. Since the safety of people in the Campaign in
Palestine will be enhanced by the maximum US media coverage,
this "Media Brigade" will be doubly important. If interested
in being part of the Media Brigade, please let me know.

4. To call attention to, support, and help strengthen
on-going projects that Palestinians and Israelis are doing,
and create new ones that have never been tried before. Not
only projects to protect and support Palestinians throughout
the physical Intifada, but projects that will: --help them
to build the kind of economy that they will need as a state,
--find ways of nonviolently forcing the Israelis to give up
the settlements, return all the land, and obey international
laws guaranteeing the right of return to any and all
Palestinians. Boycotts, disvestment of stock in companies
doing trade with Israel, working like mad to stop US aid of
any kind to Israel, and insisting that American Jews stop
supporting Israel’s illegal policies, are some possible
tactics. --focus world attention on the lives of
Palestinians living within Israel, name it the apartheid
system it is, and work for an end to it --work for a viable
two state or one state solution.

Thom Saffold

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