Monday, January 12, 2009

Poetry and Conflict: Gaza

"With so much power, the hardest thing is not to kill."
-- Aleksandr Kerensky

Dear friends of Split This Rock,

It is with great sadness we greet you as the conflict in Gaza intensifies.

DC Poets Against the War opposes the use of force against civilians and supports the Geneva Convention. We therefore oppose Israel's use of military force in Gaza, the use of rockets as a means to settle disputes, and the use of blockades to prevent food, doctors and medical supplies from entering Gaza. We join the world in calling for an immediate ceasefire and we are disappointed in the Bush administration's refusal to speak out against this massacre.

We recognize that this is an emotional issue for many with friends and relatives living on both sides of the borders. We join the peacemakers in both Palestine and Israel in calling for ceasefire, and diplomacy.

We join peacemakers in calling for a change of direction in US foreign policy towards the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and an end to occupation.

We hope that through constructive dialogue here at home we can develop more nuance, more consensus, more willingness and motivation to work together to end this terrible and ongoing conflict.

Meanwhile, we wanted to share a few resources for those who want to learn more or to act:

Activist Organizations and Resources for Peace:

J Street:
J Street is the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.

US Campaign to End the Occupation: The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a diverse coalition working for freedom from occupation and equal rights for all by challenging U.S. policy towards the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is based on human rights and international law, providing a non-sectarian framework for everyone who supports its Call to Action.

Coalition for Justice and Accountability:
A group of activists from the Washington, DC metro area who have come together to resist US and Israeli wars and occupations carried out and maintained with the goal of dominating the Middle East and controlling its land and resources.

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights (Palestinian NGO in Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza Strip) for news from inside Gaza:

Gaza Siege

A site set up for resources related to Gaza, includes background on the Gaza conflict, lots of analysis, Humanitarian aid organizations, etc. (warning graphic front page).


Protests, memorials, and other actions are happening throughout the US (and world). To find an event near you go to:

Calendar of Protests

Phone the Obama Transition team to ask him to speak out for a ceasefire and for a more balanced and just approach to this conflict
(202)540-3000 (they are keeping a tally of calls).


Poets for Palestine
A recently released book of poems and art edited by Remi Kanazi which includes a diverse range of voices, from a peace perspective. If you find this crisis challenging your humanity-- this book is an excellent resource:

Understanding the Palestinian Israeli Conflict, a primer (book) by Phyllis Bennis,available via interlink books. A great resource for understanding the conflict from an international law perspective, with an easy to read Q & A format. A good starting place.

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