Veterans for Peace

The Tony van Renterghem chapter of Veterans for Peace of the North Olympic Peninsula fully endorses the proposed Co-op boycott of Israeli products. The national office of Veterans for Peace endorses the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israeli products, investments, etc.

During the 1967 war, Israeli jets (supplied by the USA) attacked and attempted to sink the USS Liberty, a United States Navy vessel flying a large American flag. Sixty-seven US sailors were killed and over two hundred wounded in the attack. Israel claimed they had misidentified the naval vessel as an Egyptian tramp cargo steamer. Initially, sailors on the US vessel waved to the Israeli pilots as they overflew the ship and the pilots waved back. When the planes returned, they opened fire with guns, torpedoes and rockets. There was no mistaking the Israeli intent: sink the US ship and draw the US into the ’67 war.

This was not self-defense.

The recent peaceful, unarmed Gaza Flotilla was attacked in international waters without provocation.

Several members were murdered by armed Israeli Defense Forces dropping from helicopters armed and firing. The crew attempted to defend themselves to no avail. Members of Veterans for Peace were seized and imprisoned along with Nobel Peace prize recipients and Green Party members from the US.

This was not self-defense.

There is an ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank with the piecemeal building of settlements within the West Bank that is destroying homes and lives on a regular basis.

This is not self-defense.

Gaza is simply a concentration camp where farmers are not allowed to farm their land in the so-called buffer zone that separates Israel and Gaza. Farmers, their wives and children are shot dead by Israeli snipers when they enter their own land to farm because it is in the buffer zone.  Mr. Lustig of the Israeli Consulate stated that Israeli soldiers must shoot them because they represent a threat to Israel.

This is not self-defense.

Peace activist Rachel Corrie of Olympia was murdered as she attempted to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes by an Israeli bulldozer. She was crushed by the bulldozer.

That was not self-defense.

To murder and maim women, children and old men in their own land, Gaza or the West Bank; and, to destroy their homes, fruit and olive trees and wells is not self-defense.

These actions and others are continuing attempts by Israelis to remove the Palestinians from their homes and lands by intimidation, terror, and murder in order to continue the expansion of Israel onto Palestinian lands.

This is not self-defense.

We believe the boycott of even the seven or eight Israeli products carried by the Co-op will have an expanding effect as has the Olympia Co-op boycott. This small effort will be magnified by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel to an international effort.

The goal is to bring Israel to the negotiating table where it will recognize the right of the Palestinian people to their own sovereign state and the end of the Israeli occupation and illegal taking of Palestinian lands as recognized by the United Nations in 1967. It will bring an end to the unconscionable slaughter of the innocent on both sides. It will include the removal of settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands of the West Bank, the freeing of the people in Gaza and the recognition of Israel by the Palestinian Authority.

Sincerely,
David Jenkins, Secretary,
Veterans for Peace, Tony van Renterghem Chapter 139

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