As Israel continues operation “Pillar of Defense” in Gaza, the US-based NGO Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has called for an immediate cessation of the air strikes and naval bombardment into Gaza and an end to the ongoing siege there.
In a statement issued on 14 November 2012, the human rights organisation declared: "Jewish Voice for Peace urges Israel not to exploit its asymmetric power to exacerbate the instability in the region. We urge President Obama to take a stand against these attacks and to use the power of the United States to insist that Israel pursue all diplomatic measures possible for the sake of life, safety and security on all sides."
"JVP also urges the end of rocket attacks from Gaza into civilian communities in Israel, which we believe is never justifiable, and which only serve to derail efforts for a just resolution to the conflict," it said.
This IDF operation in Gaza has been named in reference to a biblical passage (Exodus 13.21) in which a God-given pillar of cloud protects the Israelites as they wander in the desert after leaving bondage in Egypt.
Jewish Voice for Peace said in response: "It is unseemly to invoke the protection afforded the Israelites wandering in the desert when Israel is the dominant military power in the region. JVP rejects the possibility that such a military operation and escalation of violence will be of any protection for Israelis or Palestinians. As Israel continues to control Gaza by air, land and sea, Israel holds responsibility for the well-being and safety of Palestinian civilians in Gaza who will be traumatised, injured and killed through this escalation of violence.
"JVP calls on our chapters, members, and supporters to join us in redoubling our efforts to advocate for an end to the US’s unconditional military aid to Israel and to intensify our calls for divestment from all companies that profit from this escalation of violence and Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza."
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national US-based organisation dedicated to promoting a foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law.
With offices in New York and California, over 100,000 supporters and 30 chapters, a Rabbinic Cabinet, and a youth wing, JVP’s board of advisors includes Tony Kushner, actor Ed Asner, writer Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and other respected rabbis, artists, scholars and activists.
* You can follow live updates from Gaza here: https://twitter.com/theIMEU/watching-gaza
* Background: Professor Paul Rogers, 'The Gaza Conflict in Context': http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/8362