"Gaza Requires a US-Supported UN Cease-Fire and Humanitarian Relief" by Mel Boynton

Dear Editor,

Mel BoyntonWhen Hamas rocket fire from Gaza killed three people in Israel last month, we witnessed one of the most overwhelming military responses in history, even as Israel actively blocked media access to Gaza. As of January 20th, Israel had killed over 1300 Palestinians (including more than 500 women & children) while 13 Israelis had died from military action, friendly fire, and rocket attacks. Several times, the Israelis hit UN schools and facilities causing dozens of civilian deaths.
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is extreme - with unmet needs for food, water, and medical supplies. The US government has not been a fair and objective broker, so the 60-year pattern of Palestinian suffering continues. The US has subsidized Israel with billions of dollars each year and has opposed or abstained in United Nations calls for cease-fire in Gaza. Protestors around the world point to the 100 to 1 death rate and humanitarian crisis in Gaza - and blame Israel and the US.
With US acquiescence and support, Israel has done exactly what Iran and the radical Palestinians wanted – over-reacting with massive military attacks and the victimizing of thousands of innocent civilians. Radicals on all sides have been made more militant and the Middle East is less stable for Israel, Palestine, and all nations.
This week, a fragile cease-fire is in place in Gaza and we ask the new Obama Administration to actively support the United Nations cease-fire resolution, assist in the humanitarian relief efforts, and work with both sides for serious Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations.

Mel Boynton
President, Pomona Valley
United Nations Association of the USA