As the number of dead and wounded mounts in Gaza, The Episcopal Peace Fellowship joins dozens of faith-based organizations signing onto the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s statement calling for an arms embargo of Israel:
It is with heavy hearts that we compose this statement. At the time of this writing, the Israeli military’s ground, naval, and aerial bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 1,280 Palestinians. The vast majority of these victims were civilians, according to the United Nations. Palestinian rockets and anti-tank fire have killed two Israeli civilians, one Thai migrant worker, and 53 Israeli soldiers (one Israeli soldier has been reported as “missing” by Israel and “captured” by Hamas).
We deplore and condemn the use of violence by anyone, anytime, anywhere. For, each of these casualties is a child of God; each has a name; each has a family; each has a life story that has come to an abrupt and tragic end.
These deaths do not occur in a vacuum. The current onslaught takes place within the context of a seven-year old Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade of Gaza and forty-seven year old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza…
Israeli aggression against Palestine, both in the past two weeks, and over the past several decades, has been largely enabled by American military aid and international military sales. The US government gives Israel $3.1 billion a year to purchase the most advanced weaponry in the world. European Union countries, as well as Brazil, India, and Chile have also sold advanced weapons to the Israeli military.
We support efforts to prevent the distribution of weapons to Gaza.
We likewise call for a blockade of weapons to Israel.
We are therefore joining the six Nobel Peace Laureates and thousands of others in endorsing the Palestinian call for an arms embargo on Israel. We will continue endorsing this call until the current bloodshed, blockade, occupation, and exile come to an end.
For the full statement from the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which was a catalyst in the recent Presbyterian decision to divest of Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions given their ties to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, please visit their website here.