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AUGUST 14, 2002
11:37 AM
CONTACT:  Green Party of the US
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
Israeli Forces Are Targeting Nonviolent Palestinian, Israeli, and International Peace Workers
Greens demand an end to brutality against nonviolent activists in the occupied territories and a reversal of Bush's support for the Sharon agenda
WASHINGTON - August 14 - Members of the Green Party of the United States have expressed concern that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has targeted activists from around the world who are working for peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as Palestinian and Israeli peace activists.

"Clearly, nonviolent protest and our solidarity is the only way that the occupation will end," said Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Connecticut Greens and member of the Green Party's International Committee. McCabe has assisted Palestinian and international relief workers in Bethlehem and Ramalah.

"Sadly, the IDF's violent response today to these courageous internationals is what peacefully resisting Palestinians have known on a steady basis for over 35 years," McCabe added. "Although they endure the same wretched conditions as Palestinians while in the Occupied Territories, many of the internationals can go home, back to safety to shore up for the next round. Palestinians living under occupation have no safe place. They risk their lives every day just to remain in their homes, on their own land."

According to eyewitness reports on August 7, Israeli police and soldiers used percussion grenades, tear gas, and helicopters to quash a nonviolent demonstration at the Huwara checkpoint near Nablus by Palestinian, American, French, and Irish members of the International Solidarity Movement, including New York members of Jews Against the Occupation.

McCabe noted that "this isn't the first time the IDF has used U.S. guns to fire on U.S. citizens."

Greens have criticized the bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress and the White House for Israel's continued illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, which has led to the escalating slaughter of innocent people on both sides, invasion and assassination, and the bulldozing of Palestinian homes to make way for Israeli settlements.

"The media show us pictures and footage of the terrible, self-defeating murder of innocent Israelis by Palestinian suicide bombers," said Holly Hart, Green candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa and member of People for Justice in Palestine. "But few Americans are aware of the heroic efforts by many Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict through nonviolent negotiation and resistance to Israel's sustained onslaught."

Columnist Robert Novak, writing in on June 17, revealed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's candid comments about his government's goals in a closed-door meeting with U.S. Senators during Sharon's visit in June: "Sharon pointed to no Israeli-Palestinian deal for at least 10 years" and "committ[ed] himself to a hundred-year war against Arabs."

Sharon startled the Senators by calling for increased immigration to Israel and reminding them that "the ancient boundaries of the 'Land of Israel' [Judaea and Samaria, including the West Bank] are guaranteed to the Jewish people by Holy Scripture."

"The only way we'll see Israel reverse its illegal treatment of Palestinians and withdraw from the occupied territories is through massive pressure from the U.S., including a threat to end aid to Israel," said Charles Pillsbury, Green candidate for Connecticut's 3rd Congressional District. "Unfortunately, there is nearly unqualified bipartisan support for the Sharon agenda, except for a very few courageous Congressmembers such as Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D.-Ga.), who has been targeted for defeat in her bid for reelection this year for her views. Sharon is not only supported by Jewish pro-Israel lobbies but by even more powerful conservative pro-Israel Christian fundamentalists -- the very people who are dictating Bush policy."

The Green Party of the United States has joined human rights groups, the European Federation of Green Parties, the Palestinian Authority, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in repeated calls for an international protection force for all civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.


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