10 Jan

Obama’s Silence on Israel’s Bombing of Gaza

The silence of the President-Elect, regarding the Israeli bombing of Palestine and the slaughter of untold innocents, indicates that there is indeed much for liberals the world over to be concerned about. It also underlines the point that the work of the movement that brought Obama to power is not and cannot be finished. We must continue to organize for and publicly claim the kind of world that only true democracy allows. It is not a world in which nation-states can ever be encouraged or authorized to pitch untold fury against innocent civilians. Democracy works from the ground up and not from the top down. A call should be made, by every voter who brought Obama to the Presidency, to remind him, that he rules only at their behest and that his mandate for rule stems not solely from the desire for change but from policies which effect its realization. He should be reminded that that the good people of the United States of America, who brought him to power, will not sit idly by and watch the continued slaughter of innocents meeted out by weaponry manufactured in and supplied by the U.S. Government to the State of Israel.

Peace Petition to President Elect Obama

Dear President-Elect Obama,

I thought of you yesterday. Like me, I imagined that you had enjoyed a peaceful Christmas in the company of your loved ones. Indeed, I think I am not wrong in saying that for many of us around the world, the spirit of Christmas descended early this year. It came to us as early as November 4th, upon learning that you were the President-Elect. You see, during the entire duration of the presidential campaign, we, citizens of the world from all over this planet, wished that we too had voting rights so as to be able to cast a vote for you. We held our breath as the votes were counted and we celebrated all night long. We felt that a new dawn of hope had at last reached our world’s horizon. After eight long years, we breathed a sigh of relief. You told your people yes, they could… and yes, they did. I believe they did so not solely for themselves and their fellow-Americans, but also for the world as a whole. For all of us. Now we think of you as the single most powerful person in the world, the person whose word counts most.

I thought of you yesterday, as I sat in my living room, enjoying the afterglow of Christmas.  I thought of you, because my peace – not my physical well being, but my peace of mind – was brutally shattered by the absurd juxtaposition of our Christmas tree next to the scenes of gore and death from Gaza on my television screen. My thoughts did not go to the dead as such: the dead, in the final turn, do not have to deal with the ravages of violence. My thoughts turned instead to the plight of the living, those who had been injured, lost loved ones, been traumatized for life. I wondered what it is that ever sanctions war, why ordinary people have to suffer when governments and leaders fail to negotiate, why it is that that people like me sit by and watch as wars rage senselessly on. Why do we tolerate in nations and groups behaviour of a sub-human kind that is outlawed for individuals? Is violence ever really justified? Or necessary? Do politicians, leaders and governments have the right to take away lives that they cannot put back together again? As the fire rains down on Gaza again tonight, as a twisted and bloody conflict reaches new heights and as yet more and more pain is caused, I wonder what you make of this all.

You have spoken out on so many important matters: on plans to save the environment, on plans for the economy, on plans to generate employment, most of all on plans for building and sustaining hope. On your website, you have listed the priorities of your agenda once you take office. During your campaign, you stressed the importance of diplomacy, the need to talk and not make war. Surely, this begins now. And it begins with a plea for peace right now, this very minute.

I wonder, therefore — why this silence? Why have you not spoken out in the name of peace as yet? President-Elect Obama, your voice is heard around the world. So is your silence. Please speak now. Please ask for peace.

You can do it. Yes, you can.

Yours sincerely,

( In acknowledgment of the number of signatures being received and in order to provide maximum access to the petition, we have decided to offer the petition on more than one site. By choosing either of the links below, you will be redirected to a site where the petition is currently being hosted. Please sign only one petition as duplicate entries will be removed. )

Please add your name to the petition by clicking one of the links below.

Peace Petition to President Elect Obama

Peace Petition to President Elect Obama


Read Noam Chomsky on Gaza – 2007

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