reposted: Jewish Voice for Peace
I wear many hats. I’m a dad, a videographer, a Jewish Israeli, a veteran. But I’m telling you my story, and asking you to forward this email and ask your friends to sign this letter to President Obama about US military aid to Israel, as a human being, as a citizen of the world, and as someone who deeply cares about the people in Israel and Gaza.
My wife, kids and I live just on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel, where life during the past weeks for the most part carried on as normal.
There were four sirens in the eight days of the Israeli operation, which means we had to move into a room in the house that has reinforced concrete walls. In our case, we went down to our apartment building’s bomb shelter for 10 minutes—as far as I know every apartment building in Israel has one. Fortunately, the kids took it well and were not scared.
In the south close to the border with Gaza where I’ve been working, life is much, much different. People who could do so temporarily moved northward and stayed with family and friends out of rocket and mortar range.
Being outdoors when the siren goes off in the south is quite scary. Most rockets are relatively small, up to 12 pounds of explosives, and cannot bring down a building. But in the open space they splatter lots of metal fragments.
The bigger long distance rockets that were fired at lower intervals were the "Fajar" Rockets that carry 90 lbs of explosives. They cannot bring down a building but can destroy an apartment and killed 3 people in an apartment building. People in bomb shelters are considered to be safe.
Dear President Obama,
We are Americans from small towns and big cities, and we are Palestinians and Israelis a world away. We are the women, men, and children who are suffering every single day in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and we are the people from across the world who seek to end that suffering. We are mothers of soldiers and children of refuseniks. We are Jews and Muslims, Christians and atheists, and people of the many other traditions of the world.
And we are all united by our determination to see a truly just peace take root in Israel and Palestine. That goal became even more elusive during your first term, but the American voters have just given you a second chance to make history.
Our request is simple.
Fifteen church leaders have bravely spoken out in a letter to Congress--stating a principle that should be obvious: Israel, the biggest long-term recipient of US aid, should not be above the law. Mr. President, please condition US aid to Israel on compliance with US and international law. It must not be used to violate the rights of Palestinians.
Anything less is a danger to Palestinians, to Israelis, to Americans and to the entire world.