We want to thank our neighbors [Locals call for end to bloodshed in Gaza, News, July 30] who joined our July 22 vigil at Scoville Park to oppose the ongoing siege of Gaza and to advocate for a political solution to the crisis. Together, we shared our horror at the systematic destruction of Palestinian homes, neighborhoods, schools, health care facilities, water treatment facilities, electrical grids, etc. You came, as we did, because you wanted to express your anguish in response to the rising death toll of (now) over a thousand people — Palestinians and Israelis — with thousands more injured and traumatized.
The question asked by vigil participants and the hundreds of people who took our leaflets was simple and urgent: "What else can we do?"
Our answer: Call the White House, State Department, Congressional, and Senatorial offices and demand that our tax dollars not be used to enable bombing of innocent civilians and wiping out the fragile infrastructure of Gaza — one of the most densely populated and impoverished areas in the world.
As taxpayers, we have to face up to the implications of Israel receiving more than $3 billion a year in military aid from the U.S. Israel has used this aid in violation of U.S. law — notably the Leahy Amendment, which prohibits the U.S. departments of State and Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.
Thanks to all in our community who take up the cause of a just and lasting peace.
Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine