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August 2010 Postcard

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DEAR PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

I urge the United States to call for an immediate international investigation of Israel’s deadly attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 31. Please ensure that the flotilla’s badly needed aid reaches Gazans and the ships—as well as the passengers’ personal effects (computers, cell phones, camera equipment and credit cards), are returned to their owners. Please end the three-year blockade of Gaza.

Israel’s attacks, according to international law, are crimes against humanity. Such actions require international scrutiny and must be condemned by the United States and the international community.

Rather than investigating flotilla passengers for connections to terrorist organizations, the United States should work to defend its citizens and their humanitarian endeavors. After the death of Furkan Dogan and the injuries suffered by Emily Henochowicz, I call on you to publicly condemn Israel’s acts of violence and ensure that incidents that threaten the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens do not recur.


altA speed boat escorts the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara with Israeli troops on board near the southern port of Ashdod, May 31, 2010. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)ON MAY 31, 14 ISRAELI WARSHIPS attacked a Gaza aid convoy in international waters. Nine international activists were killed, including U.S. citizen Furkan Dogan, while many others were injured. During a protest of the attacks, an Israeli soldier shot a tear gas canister at American art student Emily Henochowicz, 19, whose eye was destroyed.

Israel’s attacks legally constitute an act of war against the three countries whose ships were attacked—Turkey, Greece, and the United States. According to Article 6 of the Charter Provisions of the Nuremburg Trials, the attacks constitute a crime against peace and humanity. Furthermore, the flotilla, being “charged with a philanthropic mission,” is exempt from capture according to Chapter II, Article 4 of the 1907 Hague Regulation Convention. The crimes Israel has committed fall under international jurisdiction and enable Israeli officials to be tried by any country in the world. I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for any more Israeli crimes.