Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza:
Draft Statement of Purpose and Principles
Amnesty International has called the blockade of Gaza a “form of collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza, a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
Human Rights Watch has called the blockade a “serious violation of international law.”
Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter has said the people of Gaza are being treated “like animals,” and has called for “ending of the siege of Gaza” that is depriving “one and a half million people of the necessities of life.”
The world’s leading authority on Gaza, Sara Roy of Harvard University, has said that the consequence of the siege “is undeniably one of mass suffering, created largely by Israel, but with the active complicity of the international community, especially the U.S. and European Union.”
The law is clear. The conscience of humankind is shocked.
Yet, the siege of Gaza continues.
It is time for the people to act!
The Mile-Long March toward Freedom
The Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza will dispatch thousands of people from around the world to Gaza.
On January 1, 2010 we will march the Long Mile across Erez checkpoint alongside the people of Gaza in a nonviolent demonstration that breaches the illegal blockade.
The march draws inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi called his movement Satyagraha—Hold on to the truth. We hold on to the truth that Israel’s siege of Gaza is illegal and inhuman.
Gandhi said that nonviolence requires more courage and is more effective than violence. We want to prove the truth of Gandhi’s beliefs with our deeds.
We are not afraid, we won’t turn back, we won’t let Gaza die.
Gandhi said that the purpose of nonviolent action is to “quicken” the conscience of humankind. We want to bring humankind not just to deplore Israeli brutality but actively to stop it.
Those of us residing in the United States also draw inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement.
If Israel devalues Palestinian life then—just as northern whites went down South during Freedom Summer—we must interpose our bodies to shield Palestinians from Israeli brutality.
If Israel defies international law then—just as federal marshals were sent in to enforce the law of the land against racist southern sheriffs—we must send nonviolent marshals from around the world to enforce the law of the international community in Gaza.
We take no sides in internal Palestinian politics. We side only with international law and basic human decency.
We conceive this march as the first step in a protracted nonviolent campaign.
The siege is illegal.
The wall is illegal.
The settlements and house demolitions are illegal.
The closures and curfews are illegal.
The roadblocks and checkpoints are illegal.
The detention and torture are illegal.
The truth is that if international law were enforced the occupation would be unsustainable.
The march can succeed only if we arouse the conscience of humanity.
If we bring thousands to Gaza and millions more around the world watch the march on the internet, we can end the siege without a drop of blood being shed.
If the whole world is watching, Israel can’t shoot.
Please join us.