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ISRAEL: Uphold law and human rights

Letter by Linda Frank, Tacoma / The News Tribune on June 1, 2011 at 11:00 am | 40 Comments »
June 2, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: “Netanyahu: Israel ready for painful compromises” (TNT, 5-24).

We don’t need more Israeli promises for “compromise.” We need for Israel to uphold law and human rights. And as Gen. David Petraeus has said, Israeli impunity is problematic for U.S. interests and security.

All of Israel’s settlements on occupied Palestinian land are illegal under the post-Holocaust international laws that aimed to protect civilians from overreaching powers of governments. Art. VI, Sec. 2 of our Constitution makes international law U.S. law.

And all of the occupied Palestinian territories that Israel has militarily controlled since 1967 do not “belong” to Israel. Post-Hitler international law prohibits the acquisition of territory by force.

International law also prohibits apartheid, a crime against humanity (UN ICSPCA). With special laws that favor Jewish Israelis in Israel, and those illegally settled in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel is officially an apartheid regime.

Because our government continues to applaud Israel’s breaches of law and human rights with guaranteed diplomatic cover at the United Nations, plus $3 billion annually in military aid, our only hope for bringing equal rights and freedom to Palestinians, and security for all people in the region, is BDS: boycott, divestment and sanctions of companies that profit from Israel’s oppression.

Author Alice Walker, who calls the push for ending Israel’s oppression “the freedom ride of this era,” supports BDS. So does Desmond Tutu, who urges us to act. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice,” says Tutu, “you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

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