News Release

Gaza “Disengagement”

STAV ADIVI
Program liaison for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Adivi has been a refusnik in the Israeli military. He said today: “It seems Sharon’s desire for Gaza disengagement is genuine, but is a smokescreen to obscure what he is doing in the West Bank: cutting it to pieces, building the illegal wall, cutting off East Jerusalem from surrounding Palestinian villages and cities, which will have a devastating effect on 600,000 Palestinians, disconnecting families and so on. As he does this, Sharon seems to be hoping to manipulate media attention so that the world will praise him for the Gaza pullout instead of condemning him for facts he is creating in the West Bank.”
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MAZIN QUMSIYEH
Qumsiyeh is author of the book “Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle.” He said today: “While the Israeli and U.S. governments are talking about the anticipated Gaza ‘disengagment,’ Palestinian non-governmental organizations and civil society are taking action — economic boycotts, divestments and sanctions to force Israel to comply with international and humanitarian law.” See: “United Nations meeting in support of Middle East peace concludes with adoption of action plan by civil society to end occupation.”

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PHYLLIS BENNIS
Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She said today: “Sharon seems to want to escalate the chaos and violence of the ‘disengagement’ in Gaza, particularly with the provocative assassination of the Hamas leader on Monday. A main purpose of this is to make the Gaza ‘disengagement’ seem as painful as possible for Israel, so that Sharon can go to Bush and say ‘you see how close Israel is to civil war, we cannot withdraw any further.’ The result will be Bush’s acceptance of Sharon’s longstanding plan for a ‘permanent interim arrangement’ in which the occupation of the West Bank becomes permanent. The International Criminal Court found the wall Israel is constructing in the West Bank to be illegal, but all the settlements are illegal too — they violate the Geneva Conventions which state that an occupying force cannot settle its civilians on land it is occupying.”
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CINDY CORRIE
Cindy Corrie is the mother of Rachel Corrie, who was run over and killed by an Israeli army bulldozer while trying to prevent it from destroying a home of a Palestinian family in Gaza in 2003. Corrie now works with a number of groups including the Rachel Corrie Foundation to build grassroots connections between people in the U.S. and people in Gaza. She recently completed a speaking tour with Khalid Nasrallah, an accountant with three daughters and his wife Samah, who lived in the house Rachel Corrie was attempting to protect. Cindy Corrie said today: “When I visited Gaza, I was struck by the senselessness of it all. It was a sea of rubble; we saw destruction wherever we went.”
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PERETZ KIDRON
Jerusalem-based columnist for Middle East International, Kidron wrote the recent article “Orange Rampant” for Middle East Report. He said today: “Thousands of orange streamers, the campaign color of the opposition to the upcoming Israeli ‘disengagement’ from the Gaza Strip and the northern tip of the West Bank, appear on cars, backpacks and purses, generating the impression that theirs is the dominant voice in the Israeli debate over disengagement. In fact, it isn’t. Recent opinion polls published in the Israeli press show that the Gaza withdrawal enjoys a clear two-to-one majority among the Israeli public.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167