News Release

500 Palestinians Dead: Veterans Call for End to Violence


BBC reports: “Gaza has suffered the highest death toll since Israel’s offensive began, with at least 87 people reported killed on Sunday — 67 of them in one area.

ANN WRIGHT, microann at
TARAK KAUFF, takauff at
Wright is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, a 29-year veteran of the Army and Army Reserves, and a former State Department official. In 2003, she resigned from her position as a U.S. diplomat in opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq. Kauff, a 71-year-old veteran of the Army’s 111th Airborne and former professional boxer, leads the Veterans For Peace direct action program.

The National Board of Directors of Veterans for Peace will deliver a letter to Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer this afternoon. The letter states, “As veterans who have witnessed the horror of war, we are deeply outraged by the state of Israel’s slaughter of many innocent civilians in Gaza. The military assault against children, women and men, by air, by sea and now by land, is a clear violation of international laws of war and of human rights. More than 300 Palestinians have been murdered, almost all of them civilians, nearly a quarter of them children. Thousands are wounded, including nearly 1,000 children.

“Veterans For Peace joins millions of people all around the globe who are shocked by this vicious, one-sided slaughter. We understand the huge injustice of the Israeli occupation. Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed from their homes and forced to live in the Occupied West Bank, or in the open-air prison that is Gaza. …

“Mr. Ambassador, please remind the government of Israel of the billions of dollars in aid that is provided to Israel by the United States. Veterans For Peace will push for an end to all military aid to Israel until such time as the Israeli occupation gives way to real peace negotiations based on the human rights of all the people concerned.”

EMAD MEKAY, emad_mekay at, @MekayEmad
Mekay is a California-based reporter specializing in the Middle East and has reported extensively from Egypt. He worked for the New York Times and Bloomberg News. He is a former John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University and a former investigative reporting fellow at U.C. Berkeley. Reuters is reporting that John Kerry is travelling to Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials regarding a Gaza ceasefire. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power tweeted, “Just got out of UNSC session on Gaza. To end the violence we need a ceasefire w/o preconditions. Urge countries to support Egypt’s proposal.”. In response, early this morning Mekay tweeted, “UN wants Gaza to sign on [Sisi] proposal. No Q[uestion]s asked. Hamas wants access to the sea, don’t trust [Sisi] regime which helped Israeli blockade.” See: “Israeli ‘Ceasefire’ ‘PR Exercise’ as Bombing Continues.”

JOE CATRON, [in Gaza] joecatron at, @jncatron
Catron was recently profiled in “Inside a Gaza Hospital Under Israeli Rocket Fire.” He was at the El-Wafa geriatric Hospital in Gaza City when it was bombed by the Israeli military. He is a freelance writer, English teacher and activist living in Gaza. Catron and others in Gaza — including human rights workers, teachers, doctors and bloggers can be reached via GazaDigital at See also: He just tweeted, “There’s too much shelling in #Gaza’s Shujaya for Civil Defense crews to reach any area that needs to be reached. #GazaUnderAttack”

LAILA EL-HADDAD, laila.elhaddad at
El-Haddad is author of the book Gaza Mom. She was profiled last year in Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” program.

MAX BLUMENTHAL, [in DC], maxjblumenthal at, @MaxBlumenthal
Available for a limited number of interviews, Blumenthal is author of the book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. He was interviewed by Democracy Now! this morning. He just tweeted, “Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled the state does not have to provide bomb shelters for Bedouin citizens … #apartheid”

YOUSEF AL-HELOU, al-helou.y at, @YousefAlhelou
Yousef Al-Helou is the Gaza-based correspondent for The Real News and a freelance reporter. He just completed his masters in journalism at Oxford University. He just tweeted, “‪#‎GenocideInGaza‬ ‪#‎Gaza‬ ‪#‎GazaUnderAttack‬ ‪#‎Gazamassacre‬ At least 4 people including a patient killed and over 70 injured when Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital in Dair Al-Balah targeted by deliberate heavy Israeli tank shelling… a state of panic prevails inside the hospital, patients are evacuated.”

ELIZABETH MURRAY, emurray404 at, @elizabethmurra
Murray is available for a limited number of interviews. She served as deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

LIA TARACHANSKY, [in Israel] lia at, @liatarachansky
Tarachansky is a Jaffa-based filmmaker and the Israel-Palestine correspondent for The Real News. Her films include “On the Side of the Road” about the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 1948. On Saturday she tweeted, “Again 1000 anti war protesters faced violent neofascists in T[el]-Aviv & Haifa, where some were beaten badly.”

EHAB LOTAYEF, [in Montreal] lotayef at, @lotayef58
MAHFOUZ KABARITI, [in Gaza] kabariti80 at
ROBERT NAIMAN, naiman at, @naiman
Lotayef and Naiman are spokespersons for Gaza Ark, whose ship was attacked on July 11th. Gaza Ark is “part of the ongoing international Freedom Flotilla Coalition challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza” imposed by Israel. Naiman is also policy director of Just Foreign Policy. Lotayef tweeted yesterday, “#GazaUnderAttack Who’s the terrorist? Hamas kills 13 Israeli soldiers. Israel responds killing 60 civilians in Shujaiah.”

See @accuracy Israel-Palestine Resource List