PSPD in English Peace/Disarmament 2024-03-18   1581

Urgent Action : Stop Funding Genocide!

Israel’s indiscriminate air strikes on Gaza have continued for five months. To date, 31,490 people have been killed and 73,439 have been wounded (as of March 15th). Of those affected, 70% are women and children. Since late February, Israel has been accelerating ethnic cleansing by intensifying concentrated air strikes on Rafah, the southernmost tip of Gaza. A famine crisis is growing day by day amid the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and the repeated shootings by Israel aimed at Palestinian residents who gather to receive relief supplies essential for survival. The majority of the deaths caused by malnutrition and dehydration, which is especially prevalent in the North, are children. 

Meanwhile, the United States has vetoed three Security Council resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and has been providing unconditional military aid to Israel. According to the media, the US covertly approved more than 100 arms sales to Israel since last October. 70% of Israel’s weapons imports from the past 5 years (2019-2023) are from the United States. The US supports Israel’s occupation, blockade, and genocide of Palestine. 

Under these circumstances, South Korea is hosting the 3rd Summit for Democracy from March 18th to 20th. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit South Korea to attend the summit, and Israel is also one of the invited countries. The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Democracy for Future Generations,’ which is said to reflect the fact that half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. Over 30% of the victims of Israel’s genocide against Palestinians are children, and many are still currently suffering from air strikes, severe hunger, and military detention. At this moment in time, when the entire world is witnessing a genocide, we cannot discuss a ‘Democracy for Future Generations’ without ending this horrific violence being committed against the Palestinians. The South Korean government, the host of the 3rd Summit for Democracy, must also stop all arms trade and military cooperation with Israel, and make all diplomatic efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire and an end to the massacre. 

Accordingly, <Urgent Action by South Korean Civil Society in Solidarity with Palestine>, a coalition of 167 civil society organizations, held an emergency protest action <Stop Funding Genocide> prior to the 3rd Summit for Democracy on Monday, March 18th, at 9AM near the Shilla Hotel in Seoul (exit 5 of Dongguk University Station). Participants of this action condemned the U.S. government for its complicity in Israel’s war crimes and urged it to stop supporting genocide. This was followed by performances and picket protests. 

2024018_블링컨 방한 항의행동 Stop the Genocide

The US government, which proposed and is leading the summit, is supporting the genocide of Palestinians by selling and aiding weapons to Israel without conditions. As you know, the United States is the largest exporter of arms and provider of military aid to Israel in the world. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI), 70% of Israel’s arms imports in the last five years(2019-2023) came from the US, and that the US has been providing Israel with massive amounts of military aid from 1946 to 2022. In fact, it is not an understatement that the US and Israeli governments are practically a team, with arms companies like Lockheed Martin reaping the profits. Even as we speak, Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of the Palestinian territory of Gaza is ongoing.
Listen, Blinken, US Secretary of State. The United States bears a great responsibility for this disaster. We cannot discuss democracy without putting an end to the genocide that is taking place in Palestine. The US government must do everything in its power right now to secure an immediate ceasefire and an end to genocide.
Citizens around the world are calling for an end to the genocide against Palestinians. Our solidarity will not stop until we break this massive cycle of violence.

– Jiwon Lee (Center for Peace and Disarmament at PSPD)

The leading killers of democracy for the future generation are gathered here in the Republic of Korea. There is no democracy for the future generation of Palestinians, only hatred for lives destroyed and tomorrows lost, despair for having lost their parents in a single day, and fear that their lives could be overtaken at any moment. Today, those who created this reality may laugh and talk and pretend to seriously contemplate upon the future. But we know that the only way to secure the future of world democracy is to immediately stop the genocide of Palestinians and that of democracy that Israel is perpetrating in Palestine. Stop the genocide against Palestinians. The United States and South Korea must condemn Israel’s genocide and stop being complicit in the name of diplomacy. This is a better path for democracy than this summit for democracy only in its name.

-Gyeong-gyu Yang (Justice Party)

Since late January, the United States has suspended financial aid to UNRWA, the UN relief and works agency for Palestine refugees in the near east, after Israel accused some of its staff of affiliation with Hamas. (…) Last Thursday, President Joe Biden said that he would build a port in Gaza to accommodate ships transporting food, water, medicine, and temporary shelter.
The international humanitarian law is clear: during any armed conflict, there is an obligation to take consistent care to protect the civilian population. In late January, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel and all state parties to take immediate and effective action to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and prevent genocide.
What the United States must do now is to press Israel to stop restricting humanitarian aid; to open land routes and let in the thousands of trucks stuck on the Egyptian border; to lift the blockade of Gaza that has been going on for 18 years; to immediately halt all transfers of weapons that could be used for war crimes; and to call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire to make possible the safe distribution of adequate relief supplies, and independent investigation.
United States, rather than exploring ways to drop relief supplies from the air or build a port in Gaza, you need to immediately halt US arms transfers to Israel. Call for an end to the blockade of Gaza and an immediate ceasefire.

-Za’ah (Amnesty International Korea
2024018_블링컨 방한 항의행동 Stop the Genocide
2024018_블링컨 방한 항의행동 Stop the Genocide

Program

  • Moderator : ANNA (Activists group for Human Rights ‘BARAM’) 
  • Presentation 1. Jiwon Lee (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy)
  • Presentation 2. Dyung Yaping (BDS Korea)
  • Presentation 3. Gyeong-gyu Yang (Justice Party) 
  • Presentation 4. HanGyul Kim (Bolshevik Group)
  • Presentation 5. Za’ah (Amnesty International Korea)

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