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Letter from Brooklyn For Peace to President Obama Regarding Israel's Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

We are writing to express our disappointment at your Administration's failure to respond appropriately to the Israeli attack on Turkish ships, carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Among the nations of the world, the United States stands apart in its refusal to acknowledge the obvious — that the Israeli attack on the flotilla in international waters, the killing of nine people, including an American, and the wounding of scores of others was a moral travesty and a violation of international law.

Once again, the United States government is invoking a double-standard, allowing Israel to engage in violent and unlawful behavior, which would not be tolerated if carried out by any other Middle Eastern country. The American role in the Security Council deliberations shows no evidence of a more equitable approach, but rather continues to provide diplomatic cover for these actions. This is another deadly escalation of Israel's harsh repression of nonviolent protests against the unlawful Occupation of Palestinian lands, paid for and implemented with American tax dollars and American military equipment and weapons.

The Israeli attack on the Gaza Peace flotilla is the logical product of a 3-year blockade, which has left 1.4 million Palestinians living under condition of extreme privation — lacking adequate food, medical supplies, educational equipment and building materials. Old people and children have suffered the greatest hardship. We firmly believe this unconscionable treatment makes Israel more isolated and less safe. By allowing US weapons and US subsidies to be used to support the collective punishment of Gaza's population as well as the continued violations of international law in Israel's occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights, our government is supporting a policy that makes targets of American citizens all over the world.

We ask your administration to take immediate steps to assure the safety and security of civilians in Gaza, just as it has taken steps to assure the safety and security of civilians in Israel.

Brooklyn for Peace is calling upon you to:

  • condemn the May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
  • support a full and independent international investigation
  • insist that Israel end its illegal blockade of Gaza
  • withhold any further US military aid until Israel complies with international law, including an end to the Occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights

It is our sincere hope that the tragic deaths of people on the MAVI MARMARA will mark the beginning of the end of the siege of Gaza and your administration's equal defense of the rights of Jews and Palestinians.

Yours, for peace with justice,

Charlotte Phillips, M.D.
Chairperson
Brooklyn For Peace

Brooklyn For Peace is a 26-year-old non-profit community organization dedicated to the fight for justice, peace, human rights, and the rule of international law.