Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, opposes Israel's ongoing military operations in Gaza that endanger the long-term safety of Israel's citizens.  The death and havoc caused by these actions sabotages the possibility of an orderly withdrawal and transfer of power in Gaza, thwarts the efforts of those Palestinians who are committed to non-violence, and foments bitterness and hatred towards Israelis.  We join in solidarity with the more than 150,000 Israelis who gathered in Tel Aviv at Rabin Square on May 16 to demand a withdrawal from Gaza and the resumption of negotiations. 

Israel has the right and the obligation to guarantee the security of its citizens.  At the same time, as is true for any nation's armed forces, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bears a responsibility to protect all civilians, regardless of its strategy and goals.  The actions of the IDF in Gaza go far beyond security concerns.  The destruction of homes in Rafah - with minimal or no warning - has made thousands of people homeless, and growing numbers of innocent Palestinians have been killed or gravely injured.  These actions represent a reckless disregard for human rights, which we must condemn. 

The deaths of Palestinian civilians as a result of IDF operations in Gaza and acts by Palestinian insurgents such as the recent desecration of the bodies of Israeli soldiers are parts of a vicious cycle of violence and retaliation, with little political gain for either side and tremendous loss of life on both sides.  We call for a cessation of violence, a repudiation of the abuse of human rights, and the immediate resumption of peace negotiations for a viable two-state solution, with security guarantees for both peoples. 

Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live.  Deuteronomy 30.19

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