VFP member Ret. Colonel Ann Wright is one of the members of the Flotilla
The world is reacting in righteous outrage at this moment to Israel's high seas attack on an international aid flotilla, reportedly killing up to 20 people escorting tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza in an effort to break Israel's three-year blockade. "Made in the U.S.A." is stamped on the weapons commandos used to kill and wound the international peace activists.
We are saddened and we are angry. At least one of our own members, retired Army Col., Ann Wright, is among the 700 people aboard the boats attacked in the middle of the night. But we cannot say we are very surprised. Palestinians die quietly and unnoticed every day in Gaza, the world's largest open air prison, as a result of Israel's blockade and violent repression.
Veterans For Peace Board Member, Cherie Eichholz, traveled to Gaza in May and had this to say about the situation in Gaza, "Surrounded by a massive wall and a naval blockade, Gazans are imprisoned, suffering without the most basic of necessities, including enough food and safe drinking water. The situation on the ground is grave."
Another Board Member, Elliott Adams, also traveled to Gaza in May said, "On our Memorial Day we veterans are presented with the ugly spect er of US citizens having their lives threatened and being held captive in an act of piracy. Making it more painful, this is being done with US weapons. While the people of Gaza cry out for basic humanitarian needs, a neighboring nation is willing to kill to deny them basic life support."
Many of our 7,000 members in over 100 chapters are already organizing or will soon join the protests being organized across the U.S. We urge our members to use every nonviolent tactic available in the streets and in local Congressional offices to protest this attack. At the same time we demand Congress cut off U.S. military aid to Israel which has totaled over 32 billion dollars since 1997.
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Founded in 1985, Veterans For Peace is a national organization of men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations spanning the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts cold or hot. It has chapters in nearly every state in the union and is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary. Veterans For Peace is an official Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) represented at the U.N.
Mike Ferner, National President
Veterans For Peace
Exposing the true costs of war.