By Othman Shibly, DDS
It is another sad day where the loss of innocent lives happened. Few > days
ago it was in Pakistan and today in the Middle East. Where our > civilians
and peace activists were killed in their mission to bring humanitarian
aids to a 1.5 million people in Gaza who are suffering from siege and
blockade by Israeli government.
Israeli government justification for the siege is that Hamas is ruling
Gaza. So they want to put pressure on Hamas by making the life of
civilians miserable. Israeli government is trying to do political > change
in Gaza through inflecting suffering on civilians. This is > perceived to
be an act of terrorist state when groups or states use civilians to > reach
out to their political goals.
This attack on the Freedom Flotilla is unjustifiable. We may have
different stories how the tragedy happens. Nevertheless, the facts are
that Israeli army boarded the Turkey ship in the International water > with
force and deadly weapons. This perceived to be a piracy act of a > state.
The results were 15 peace activists dead. Let us not forget that > Turkey
ships in the middle ages went to Spain and saved Jews from the > inquisition
period. And yesterday Israeli army attacked those Turkish ships. > Let us
remember that Jewish leaders in the middle ages used to tell Jews in
Europe to move out from Europe and seek the country the carry > cresent flag
(Ottomans) to save themselves from oppression in Europe. And now > Turkish
people have been killed.
This collective punishment against all population of Gaza is > inhumane and
lack passion and caring for children, women and elderly. This must be
I know talking about Israel is sensitive to some of our Jewish > friends. I
really value your friendship and part of my value is to share my > honest
feeling and draw your attention to your moral obligation in such
tragedies. I respect and value every one of you. It is > understandable to
have different historical perspective of the story of conflict in the
middle east nevertheless we should have similar story for peace for > both
sides based on the International and UN agreements. The board of > Rabbis
was very vocal in criticizing the WNY peace Center because of the > feeling
that WNY peace center was critical of Israel. I want to see now > will the
board of Rabbis be critical and vocal to Israeli government when they
approved the attack on the ships, when Israeli government continue
inhumane treatment of civilians in Palestine. This is a moment of > truth.
Our country is the most supporter and contributor to Israeli > economical
and military power. So as Americans we are guilty by letting our US > aid
goes toward an inhumane treatment and siege and blockade of 1.5 > million in
GAZA. It is our military equipments that were used on the attacks on
unarmed civilian ships the Freedom Flotilla.
I would like to call upon an emergency meeting for the Board of > governors
and the executive counsel to discuss this human tragedy and steps > that are
necessary to be taken based on our moral and spiritual values. These
steps may include a request of our government to ask Israeli > government
1 to lift more than 3 years of inhumane blockade and siege of Gaza
2 to avoid using our military equipments against civilian targets > such as
3 independent investigation of the tragedy and bring those > responsible for
the killing or ordering the killing to the court for justice
Let us pray and. Hope that peace overcome war and love overcome hate > and
freedom for all overcome occupation. Let us pray that promoting of > hate
against any religion or culture be stopped.
Peace and love for all
Attached notes and references:
"The Muslim Public Affairs Council today called upon the Obama
administration to condemn Israel's deadly attack on a convoy of > unarmed
international peace activists bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, > which has
at least 10 people dead. Media reports indicate over 60 people were > also
wounded after Israeli Defense Forces descended on the aid convoy in
international waters while sailing for the Gaza Strip."