The Arab American Institute (AAI) urges an immediate cessation to the bombing in Gaza and a de-escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. For over six decades, the tragic consequences of such brinksmanship have only led to an ongoing cycle of violence that continues to result only in massive losses of life, destruction of property and decimated infrastructure; an increase in anger and resentment towards Israel and the United States internationally; and the concurrent strengthening of extremist positions and weakened support for America's moderate partners in the region.
If the United States cannot resume its role as moderator and the voice of restraint, the consequences are dire and damaging no only to our interests, but to Palestinians, Israelis, voices of moderation in the Middle East, and long-term regional peace. Because the status quo is unsustainable, the effects of neglect so great, we urge Congress, the Bush Administration and Obama Presidential Transition Team to:
- Call for the immediate cessation of the massive, disproportionate bombing campaign; an end to the rocket attacks; and the de-escalation of violence
- End U.S. support for the blockade of the Gaza Strip; support efforts for immediate access to food supplies, electricity, water and medical provisions for the civilian population in Gaza; and support the reopening of the borders between Israel and Gaza under international supervision
- Encourage robust U.S.-led diplomacy and cooperation with international partners to mediate a cross-border ceasefire
- Issue only responsible, balanced and constructive public messages that urge restraint, reconciliation and progress towards peace
- Recognize that a two-state resolution to this conflict is not possible without Palestinian political reconciliation; support genuine measures and necessary interim steps conducive to restoring Palestinian unity