Thanks, Anan, for taking this stand

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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As Oak Parkers, we were delighted to see that Mayor Anan has signed a letter with more than 200 American mayors supporting national gun safety legislation. We were especially moved by his sharing of personal experience with the human damage and trauma of growing up in occupied Gaza [Weapons of war do not belong here, Anan Abu-Taleb, Viewpoints, Aug. 14]. Dan Haley was also affected by this insight, speaking to this issue in his weekly column.

Sadly, the violence and suffering that Mayor Anan witnessed in his youth continues to this day. While both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered, the extraordinarily disproportionate impact of the violence has been shouldered by the Palestinian people. Since March 2018, 208 Palestinians — including children, journalists, and paramedics — have been killed and 17,000 more injured by the Israeli government, which has been assaulting participants in the Great March of Return for freedom and dignity on the border between Gaza and Israel. Just like our neighbors in Charleston, El Paso, Pittsburgh, Parkland and Dayton — and throughout the county, these victims had lives and families who loved them.

In fact, United Nations investigators said in February 2019 that Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes by killing and wounding of Palestinians at the weekly protests. According to the UN panel, "The Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities."

Unfortunately, we as Americans have culpability in this as well, given the $3.8 billion in U.S. military aid provided yearly to the Israeli government.

As we join with Anan and others to call for a domestic assault weapons ban, we pledge to continue our opposition to the use of U.S. taxpayer resources to provide "weapons of war" as tools of repression and killing in Gaza.

Steering Committee

Committee for a Just Peace
in Israel and Palestine

Oak Park

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