Local media campaign and vigil remember and protest Israel’s 2008 assault on Gaza
(The following is from a Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign press release.)
On Dec. 27, the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza, Seattle-area activists are launching a Metro bus ad campaign to expose the use of U.S. taxpayer money to support Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people.
Inspired by similar public advertising campaigns in Chicago, San Francisco, Albuquerque and other cities, the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is launching the advertising campaign aimed at securing equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis, as well as an end to United States military aid to Israel, which continues at a time of economic crisis and severe budget cuts that have resulted in massive unemployment. A companion website at www.stop30billion-Seattle.org suggests ways that people can get involved locally.
The initial campaign begins on 12 Metro bus routes in the city of Seattle, with the slogan “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars At Work”. The ads will run 4 weeks.
Seattle activists will also hold a vigil and protest in downtown Seattle on Monday, December 27, starting at 5:00 pm at 4th & Pine St. The walking vigil will be in memory of those killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza and in protest of Israel’s ongoing crimes against human rights.
December 27, 2008 was the first day of Israel’s three-week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians, most of them non-combatants, more than 300 of them children.
A formal inquiry by the United Nations found grounds for a criminal investigation into war crimes by Israel. The UN report concluded that Israel’s assault was not in self-defense, but was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population”. Amnesty International found evidence that Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields, and Israeli soldiers have testified publicly to other human rights violations. Yet the U.S. government has pledged $30 billion in military aid to Israel over the next 10 years, even though the U.S. Arms Export Control Act prohibits the use of U.S. weapons against civilians.
An increasing number of US citizens are becoming aware of this issue. “I had never heard the whole story of the Israeli occupation. I never anticipated US complicity in Israel’s crimes. I had no idea,” says one volunteer with the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign. “When I began to learn the truth, it was like an avalanche. I became angry. Why all the lies? Why the blackout of information? Why the silence from our government?”
Another volunteer was in the West Bank during Israel’s assault on Gaza. “I was in Ramallah during the entire Operation Cast Lead – watching TV with people from Gaza in the evening in the hotel reception area, talking with our staff in Gaza each morning to see if they had survived the night of bombings.”
The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is incorporated in Washington State.