News Release

Gaza: Crucial Perspectives

EDWARD L. PECK
Available for a limited number of interviews, Ambassador Peck spent November with a delegation to the Mideast organized by the Council for the National Interest. He was chief of mission in Iraq and Mauritania and deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan administration. He said today: “There are a number of forces at play. One prevents reasonable, balanced information on the situation in Gaza and the West Bank getting to the U.S. public, which is not well informed — or very interested — in part for that precise reason. The internationally-organized Free Gaza ship (trying to break the decades-long sea blockade) being rammed by Israel last week, for example, did not receive a word of coverage in the Washington Post. Not many people know that Israel has imprisoned dozens of democratically elected Hamas parliamentarians. They’re part of what some people call a ‘terrorist group,’ so anything goes. And that may be the deepest level of bias. The U.S. has a legal definition of international terrorism: Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2331. The list includes intimidating and coercing a civilian population, kidnapping and assassination, an accurate description of what Israel has done and is doing.”

LAILA AL-ARIAN
Al-Arian just wrote the piece “To Live and Die in Gaza,” which uses the life of her grandfather, who was born in and after many decades returned to Gaza, as a microcosm of the conflict.

She is co-author of the book (with Chris Hedges) Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians.

JAMES ABOUREZK
A former U.S. senator from South Dakota, Abourezk said today about the situation in Gaza: “The people have no place to hide, no place to run to escape the indiscriminate bombing and killing of the civilians there. What the Israelis are doing is in complete violation of the Geneva Conventions with respect to collective punishment. The Palestinians are involuntarily paying the price for the Israeli elections coming up in February, where the candidates are trying to show that each is more brutal than the other. …

“Hamas held itself to the truce, which was broken when the Israeli military raided in Gaza and killed six Hamas people. Hamas responded by firing homemade rockets into southern Israel, which is exactly what Barak and Livni wanted them to do.

“What is happening is that the Palestinian rockets are landing on homes and land that they themselves were terrorized and chased out of when Israel wanted to create a state.”

For further background information, see GazaSiege.org.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167