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Statement on the Crisis in Gaza and Israel

The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force joins many other Human Rights organizations in recognizing the horrors of the deadly crisis currently taking place in Israel and Gaza.

We believe that the Hamas attacks on civilians in Israel must be condemned in the strongest terms. The kidnapping and slaughter of innocent women, children and other Israeli citizens violates human decency, the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Beginning with their charter in 1988, Hamas has called for the destruction of Israel. We believe Israel has a right to defend itself and its citizens. We must not forget the horrors inflicted on Jewish populations during WWII as the Nazis attempted to exterminate them.

Additionally, we believe the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Gaza strip is also unacceptable and must be stopped. Collective punishment of all Palestinians for the decisions and actions of the Hamas Leadership is wrong and yet another example of the violation of Human Rights. With about half of the population being under 18 years, this conflict primarily affects women and children. We believe that Israel must not dehumanize innocent victims as it seeks to defend itself and must comply with International Law as it seeks to protect its citizens.

The situation in Israel and Palestine is complex and has developed over many years. It cannot be resolved or articulated in our statement. However, we call on all leadership and those directly involved in actions and reactions to respect the fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of all human beings.

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