GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
For Immediate Release:
Monday, January 19, 2009
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, email@example.com
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mounting Israeli atrocities require immediate US pressure on Israel, say Greens in a challenge to President-elect Obama
The key to peace: ensuring democracy, equality, and human rights for all in Israel-Palestine
WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders said today that President Obama must press Israel to end the occupation as part of any lasting truce in the siege of Gaza.
"For a truce to hold, Israel must not only end the siege of Gaza but also take steps to end the occupation of Palestinian lands, obey international law, and ensure the safety of every Palestinian and Israeli civilians. But Israel is unlikely to take these steps without pressure from the US. President Obama, after his inauguration, has the power to persuade Israel to abandon its military goals and guarantee human rights and equality," said Hajja Romi Elnagar, a member of the Green Party of Louisiana.
The Green Party has called for a halt in US military assistance to Israel. The party also urges boycott and divestment until Israel observes international law, ends the illegal 42-year occupation and systematic destruction of Palestinian civil society, and abolishes its apartheid-like system within Israel as well as in the occupied territories (http://www.gp.org/press/pr_2005_11_28.shtml).
Greens noted that Israel has barred Palestinian-Israeli candidates from upcoming elections because their parties opposed the Gaza operation and advocate changing Israel from a Jewish state to a state for all its citizens. Over 20% of Israel's population are non-Jews.
"The main burden of any ceasefire must fall on Israel, a nuclear power with one of the most powerful armies in the world that has enjoyed billions in aid from the US. Over 1,200 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza invasion from bombings in heavily populated areas that have hit civilian buildings. Under two dozen Israelis have been killed, most of whom are soldiers. Israel has subjected Palestinian areas to concentration-camp conditions and daily brutality, bulldozed homes and farms, and evicted Palestinians to make way for Israeli Jewish settlers," said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party's 2008 candidate for Vice President of the United States (http://www.rosaclemente.com).
Greens pointed to reports that the Israeli Defense Force is using illegal white phosphorus bombs in Gaza.and is testing experimental US weapons systems in the assault ("Is Israel Using Illegal Weapons in Its Offensive on Gaza? by Amira Hass, Ha'aretz, January 16, http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055927.html). The IDF has dropped bombs on civilian targets (including a UN school, shelters, and supply storage centers) despite the fact that it was given coordinates to their locations to prevent such strikes (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056258.html).
Israel has also blocked journalists, human rights organizations, food deliveries, medical personnel, and medical supplies from entering Gaza, cut off water and electricity, and bombed a sewage plant. 2008 Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney participated in an effort to deliver medical supplies until the delivery boat she was traveling on was surrounded by Israeli gunboats and rammed by one of them (http://www.gp.org/cynthia/index.shtml).
The Green Party of the United States supports an immediate UN-sponsored, multinational peacekeeping force to protect civilians and to oversee implementation of all UN resolutions and the dismantling of the occupation (http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/democracy.html#307394).
"The worst that Barack Obama can do is to maintain the Middle East policies of previous Democratic and Republican administrations. If Mr. Obama embraces the rule of international law and redirects funding from aid to Israel to support for a peacekeeping force, ensuring the provision of medical and other supplies to the occupied Palestinian territories, and rebuilding Palestinian infrastructure, he'll go down in history as a peacemaker," said Jill Bussiere, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
Tally of Green election victories http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/election-results.html
Green candidate news http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/candidate-news.php
Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections