The Pacific Green Party of Oregon (PGPO) condemns the targeted attacks on civilians in the recent wave of violence in Gaza. We call for an immediate ceasefire, an immediate end to the invasion and occupation of Gaza, the absolute protection of civilian populations, and the respect for equal rights for all in the region. Seventy percent of the population in Gaza is comprised of refuges displaced at gunpoint in 1948, when Israel was established by colonial powers.
Hamas and Israel are deliberately targeting civilian populations in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which forbid targeting civilians and civilian objects such as homes, places of worship, and medical facilities, as well as hostage-taking.
The increased oppression of the Palestinians under the Netanyahu government has become even more heinous with Israel now cutting off electricity and delivering food, water, and fuel to the Gaza Strip, a violation of international humanitarian law prohibiting sieges on civilian populations. We urge all parties to cease attacks on civilians immediately.
The PGPO also urges media outlets to engage in fair representation of the conflict, noting that the Israeli government acts as much as a terrorist organization, with superpower backing, as Hamas. The indiscriminate clearing of Gaza will only create more hatred and instability, just as the invasion of Iraq did 20 years ago.
The United States allocates $8 billion annually in military and foreign aid to Israeli authorities, which have been plagued with corruption scandals and have systematically oppressed Palestinians for decades. This oppression includes preventing Gaza refugees from returning to their homes in present-day Israel, enforcing a harsh 16-year blockade that restricts the flow of essential supplies in and out of Gaza, and limiting the freedom of movement for Gaza residents. It also encompasses the denial of building permits, the demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for settlements, and the support of settler violence against Palestinian villages. Similar violations are also occurring in the West Bank. Instead of using its influence for justice and peace, U.S. policymakers are busy brokering normalization deals between the most right-wing Israeli government in history and dictatorial Arab governments.
We urge the US government to halt all military and foreign aid to Israel until it respects equal rights for all persons living in the region. For peace in the region, we need to condition financial aid on respect for human rights and Israel's complete withdrawal from the 1967 boundaries in compliance with international law.
For that purpose, we support the Boycott and Divest Movement, which was so effective in ending apartheid in South Africa, an initiative Senator Wyden is seeking to criminalize.
As former Israeli Peace negotiator Daniel Levy mentioned, "If Israel is going to exist in that part of the world, then it has tied its fate to the Palestinians in that part of the world. And it cannot be zero-sum, because what we are doing is just creating more and more hatred." The only solution for the peace and safety of both Arab and Jewish people is mutual respect; all funding to Israel must be conditioned to respect equal rights to exist and thrive and the withdrawal from occupied territories.