Saturday, January 17, 2009
Gaza Rally at University of Arkansas; Arkansas' Complicity in White Phosphorus Attacks on Gaza
Demonstrations in solidarity with the people of Gaza and against the deadly Israeli assault continue to occur all over the globe, including the Ozarks. Yesterday about 50 people braved the very cold weather (only slightly above freezing) to protest Israel's bloody attacks on Gaza.
Abel Tomlinson, Amjad Faur, and yours truly addressed the crowd.
Here's an excerpt from my remarks:
I want to add that as Americans, and as Arkansans, we have a special responsibility in this regard. Israel simply would not be able to carry out its murderous attacks without the F-16 jet fighters, the Apache Helicopters, and the high-tech bunker-busting missiles that we supply it. And then there are the bombs containing white phosphorus. White phosphorus is used as a weapon to create a smoke screen hide military operations. But if it hits humans, it can burn the flesh down to the bone.
Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white phosphorus in areas of Gaza heavily populated by civilians and it has demanded that Israel stop, as such use constitutes a violation of international law. Palestinian doctors treating burned patients in Gaza say that the burns they see are unlike anything they have seen previously. On Monday, medics in Gaza said at least 60 Palestinians, many of them children, had been burned by suspected phosphorus shells. I urge you to look for reports on the internet, to see what children burned by white phosphorus look like. You will be horrified. And yesterday, Israeli bombs started fires in a hospital and in a UN compound, and hospital and UN officials claimed these fires were started by phosphorus bombs.
Friends, we are complicit in these war crimes. Israel gets its white phosphorus shells from the US, and these come Pine Bluff Arsenal, in Arkansas, which is the only active site where such weapons are loaded. We need to demand that the US immediately cease supplying weapons to Israel, until it agrees to live in peace with its Palestinian neighbors, and we should put particular pressure on our elected representatives from the state of Arkansas, as well as President elect Obama and soon to be Secretary State. Please write to them and demand that we stop shipping weapons from our state, weapons that are burning children's flesh, to the bone.
Not in our name. In the words of Jeff Lebowski, this aggression will not stand, man. Peace.