To: Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Members of Australian Parliament
We, the undersigned Citizens and Residents of Australia and the World,
stand together to condemn the atrocities being committed by the Israeli
military against the peoples of Lebanon, and call on Prime Minister
John Howard and his Government to stand together with us and call for
an immediate cease fire by BOTH sides of this conflict.
The brutal bombing and invasion of Lebanon is an act of
Israeli state terrorism, Israel’s indiscriminate bombing if civilian
targets in Lebanon is a serious violation of Human Rights, and
constitutes another terrifying example of the heightened reliance on
military force by both Israel and the United States in their ongoing
struggle for hegemony in the Middle East.
Hundreds of civilians have been killed in Lebanon including
many children, and scores are missing. The number of refugees is
estimated at more than half a million and rising. The attacks on
Lebanon’s infrastructure – power stations, factories, bridges, and
ports – will take decades to rebuild. The people of Lebanon are already
weary from reconstructing their country after years of civil war and
the last ruinous Israeli invasion in 1982. Israel has proven that it
has no concern for the lives of the innocent by its attack on UN
outposts, Red Cross convoys and fleeing civilians.
There is no military solution to the current crisis. War
and occupation threaten all life in the region and around the world—and
will never bring security to anyone. We call for an immediate
cease-fire against Lebanon.
Given the vacuum of political leadership from the
governments of the world in the face of U.S. and Israeli intransigence,
we feel it is incumbent on ordinary citizens to organize and support
peaceful means for bringing economic and political pressure on Israel
to end its assault on Lebanon and also on the Palestinian territories.
It is urgent that individuals and non-governmental groups apply such
means until Israel fully complies with international law and respects
the fundamental human rights of all people.
While we unequivocally condemn the killing of civilians in
Israel, it must be recognized that Israel's destructive and
expansionist policies are primarily to blame for the perpetual "Middle
East crisis.” To call Israeli atrocities in Gaza and Lebanon simply a
“disproportionate response” helps justify Israeli war crimes by making
Israel the victim and obscuring both the short and long-term sources of
this catastrophic violence.
We call on Mr Howard to demand an immediate end to the
assault on civilians and the destruction of Lebanon, as we realize that
by his silence in this matter he makes each and every Australian
complicit in the deaths of innocents and the destruction of a country.
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