LA Jews for Peace, a Los Angeles based organization committed to achieving peace in the Middle East, this week issued a policy statement which calls for United States government sanctions on Israel. Since its inception, LA Jews for Peace has called for a just negotiated resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which would insure rights for Palestinians equal to those of Jewish Israelis and end Israeli occupation of the West Bank , Gaza, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Secondarily LA Jews for Peace has demanded an end to American imperialism and militarism which has as its foundational basis the belief in American exceptionalism.
With the agreement of its members the group has pointed out the utter failure of America to end Israeli occupation and an unwillingness by Israel to accept a Palestinian state as its neighbor. These sanctions when imposed would end when the conflict is resolved through compliance with United Nations resolutions.
President Obama has retreated from his March 19, 2015 position declared to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he put forth the possibility of the United States’ reassessing its options vis a vis the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The President has retreated by refusing to place Israel on a list of nations that kill and wound children and so protecting Israel from UN scrutiny and accountability. Thus it appears that Israel will not have to account in a public forum for its atrocities in last year’s Gaza attack.
The position paper notes that the United States used sanctions to end South African apartheid and to mitigate Iran’s nuclear program. Because of the veto power of the United States in the Security Council, a veto that always sides with Israel, Israel regardless of its behavior has de facto immunity from consequences.
LA Jews for Peace joins many prominent Christian clergy and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation by calling for strict enforcement of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts.The laws prevent the United States from sending military aid to nations that are in violation of basic human rights.
There are other options of increasing severity which may be applied including freezing Israeli assets in US banks and limiting Israeli financial transactions.
LA Jews for Peace hopes to reach out to other groups. This policy paper will act as a catalyst.
Richard Platkin, a founding member of LA Jews for Peace and an active member, has given The Muslim Observer the following statement regarding the organization’s policy paper:
“Its impetus is the inexplicable reluctance of the official BDS movement and its major supporters in the US, such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the Electronic Intifada to call for US government sanctions against Israel. They pretty much restrict their campaigns to consumer boycotts, occasional cultural boycotts, and stock divestments. These are all weak tools when compared to the power of government sanctions. This is what the US government did against South African apartheid with the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. It also what Israel does against Gaza and the Palestinian Authority.”
Readers who wish to know more about LA Jews for Peace may access its web site at: <www.lajewsforpeace.org> or <https://www.facebook.com/LAJP.org>.