[WSMDiscuss] Fwd: [vikalp-sangam-list] Fwd: International artists and citizens calling to end Gaza siege

Ashish Kothari ashishkothari at riseup.net
Tue May 12 13:57:05 CEST 2020

Colleagues, pl. see, you may want to endorse (latest by tomorrow).


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Ashish Kothari
Apt 5 Shree Datta Krupa
908 Deccan Gymkhana
Pune 411004, India
Tel: 91-20-25654239; 91-20-25675450
Twitter: @chikikothari

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	[vikalp-sangam-list] Fwd: International artists and citizens 
calling to end Gaza siege
Date: 	Tue, 12 May 2020 11:21:33 +0530
From: 	Harsh Mander <manderharsh at gmail.com>
To: 	friends of aman biradari group 
<friends-of-aman-biradari at googlegroups.com>, friends of aman biradari 
group <friends-of-aman-biradari at googlegroups.com>, Vikalp Sangam elist 
<vikalp-sangam-list at googlegroups.com>

Dear friend,
Most of you  know about the violence of the Israeli State on the people 
of Palestine.
It is said many countries are exploiting the pandemic to introduce 
authoritarian and surveillance measures.
I hope you will sign the statement
Best wishes

From: *InCACBI* <incacbi at gmail.com <mailto:incacbi at gmail.com>>
Date: Fri, 8 May 2020 at 19:15
Subject: International artists and citizens calling to end Gaza siege


Hope this finds you well! Even as the coronavirus pandemic has affected 
the entire world, its impact is significantly more devastating for 
communities facing repression, occupation and poverty. Gaza, which has 
been under Israel’s brutal siege for the last 13 years and where medical 
infrastructure has been broken down by the apartheid regime, the threat 
from the virus is beyond imagination. There are *63 ventilators and 78 
ICU beds for a population of 2 million people*. It is urgent to build 
international pressure to end this siege. In this regard, Palestine 
solidarity groups are asking artists and cultural practitioners to sign 
the letter I am sharing below, calling for *the end of Israel's siege of 
Gaza, for military embargo and right of return, amid the coronavirus 

This letter is *confidential* and will be made public on May 14th, two 
years since Israel’s massacre in Gaza. If you would like to *sign type 
your name  at the bottom* *of statement* and send to 
*InCACBI* <incacbi at gmail.com <mailto:incacbi at gmail.com> by 13^th  May


Long before the global outbreak of COVID-19 threatened to overwhelm the 
already devastated healthcare system in Gaza, the UN had predicted 
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/02/gaza-becoming-uninhabitable-as-society-can-no-longer-support-itself-report> that 
the blockaded coastal strip would be unliveable by 2020. With the 
pandemic, Gaza’s almost two million inhabitants, predominantly refugees, 
face a mortal threat in the world’s largest open-air prison.

Two years ago today Israeli snipers killed 
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/15/palestinians-to-bury-58-people-killed-in-us-embassy-protests> sixty 
Palestinian men, women and children in Gaza, with total impunity. The 
overwhelmingly peaceful Great March of Return weekly mass 
demonstrations, currently on hold due to the threat of coronavirus, were 
met with brutal violence.

Well before the ongoing crisis, Gaza's hospitals were already stretched 
to breaking point 
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/23/doctor-mads-gilbert-gaza-shifa-hospital-camera-kalashnikov> through 
lack of essential resources denied by Israel’s siege. Its healthcare 
system could not cope with the thousands of gunshot wounds, leading to 
many amputations.

Reports of the first cases of coronavirus in densely-populated Gaza are 
therefore deeply disturbing. As several health professionals recently 
“Epidemics (and indeed, pandemics) are disproportionately violent to 
populations burdened by poverty, military occupation, discrimination & 
institutionalised oppression.”

Yet Israel’s blockade impedes 
<https://gisha.org/UserFiles/File/LegalDocuments/Gisha_Adalah_Mezan_letter_April_2020_Israeli_obligation.pdf> the 
flow of medical equipment, personnel and fundamental humanitarian aid. 
International pressure is urgently needed to make life in Gaza liveable 
and dignified. Israel's siege must be ended. And most urgently, a 
potentially devastating outbreak must be prevented.

What happens in Gaza is a test for the conscience of humanity. We back 
Amnesty International’s call 
<https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/> on 
all world governments to impose a military embargo on Israel until it 
fully complies with its obligations under international law. We 
recognise that the rights guaranteed to refugees by the Universal 
Declaration of Human Rights must be upheld for Palestinians as well.

In these times of international crisis, we must stand for justice, 
peace, freedom, and equal rights for /all/, regardless of identity or 
creed. We may be staying at home, but our ethical responsibility shouldn’t.


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