"Our lives begin to end the
day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King, Jr.
To the People of Lebanon, of Palestine,
and of Iraq, and to those who stand for peace
From People in the United States Who Believe that Only
Justice Will Bring Peace
Dear Sisters and Brothers Living With War,
We write to you in anguish, to express what cannot possibly be contained
in words. We need a new language to speak about what humanity means and
still can mean, what our humanity must create in this danger.
We send our solidarity, our commitment, our love. We write to let you
know that there are many in this country who are organizing, educating,
protesting, and engaging in civil disobedience, working night and day to call
for an end to this horror, to change U.S.
policy and reverse complicity in Israel's war, working for
recognition of your sovereignty, your rights, your lives, your truths.
We are filled with anger at the U.S.
role in supplying Israel
with weapons - in violation of the government's own Arms Export Control Act -
and at U.S. policies that
more time to continue its attacks.
We are women and men of all ages, from all parts of the country, all
professions, all faiths, all races, all national backgrounds. We are not
reflected in the mainstream media because of the stronghold of fear and lack of
information strangling the imagination and collective public voice of this
country. But we are here and we want you to know you are not alone. We work in
small community groups, in nationwide coalitions, in places of worship and as
artists, writers, teachers -- from all walks of life. We want you to know that
when we see and hear the news we are imagining your families, your homes, your
hearts, your hopes, your terror. We want you to know.
We grieve for all lives lost in the Middle
East, believing that all lives are precious and equal, whatever
the race or creed. We are working hard for peace with justice. The pro-war forces arrayed
against us are far more powerful than us. The road to peace is far too long,
and many will suffer. But we vow to do all we can to bring an end to the U.S. role in
* We are putting pressure on our elected representatives to
support an immediate ceasefire and then negotiate a just peace. Although
the war on Iraq
still produces its unbearable toll of daily death, many more voices in Congress
oppose the war since we came together to try to prevent the war and then to
oppose it. And although Congress still expresses its misguided and
uncritical support for Israel's
actions in Palestine and Lebanon, our
efforts have contributed to unprecedented debates on the causes of conflict.
And we will not give up.
* We are educating U.S.
citizens on the consequences of our Government's foreign policy. We organize
teach-ins in places of worship, trade unions, schools and other public forums.
We ground our teaching in universal human rights and international law. Many of
us promote the call to support boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it
upholds international law, as called for by Palestinian civil society in July
2005 and by Lebanese cultural figures in July 2006.
* We seek to give voice to the suffering and the steadfastness of the
people of Palestine, Iraq,
and to the stand taken by Israeli and US citizens who refuse to serve in armies
of occupation and who work for justice and peace.
* We seek as well to expose and redeem the damage to our own country. We
know that militarism destroys our economy, our communities and our humanity. We
know that many who fight our government's wars are the young and poor who feel
they have no other options. We know that our schools, our jobs, our
democracy, and our civil rights are held hostage to the military economy that
currently drives our government. Our struggle is thus one of solidarity, not of
* We take our protests to the streets in demonstrations and vigils -
outside Israeli Consulates, US Federal Buildings, and in all public spaces.
We cannot remain silent and simply let our countrymen and women watch
other countries and other peoples burn.
We will work until our country stands for peace and justice in yours and
throughout the world.
Signed by the following organizations
Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Steering Committee and Staff.The US Campaign is a nationwide coalition of
200 member groups
United for Peace and Justice, a nationwide coalition of 1,400 organizations
Signed by the following artists, writers, and public figures