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Visit Gaza to Witness Devastation

The Australian Support Committee for Palestine urges you to participate in a visit to Gaza to witness the devastation that has been inflicted upon innocent civilians who have no capacity to defend themselves. The purpose of the visit is to become properly informed about what has occurred - something that is impossible because of the poor coverage of the war in the Western media - and to oppose this persecution and killing of an innocent people.

It is a core Australian value to oppose discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnicity. If we believe in these values, we cannot condone the actions of Israel, which is attacking and dispossessing Palestinians because they do not belong to the dominant religious ethnicity. It is not anti-Semitic to adopt this position.

The Palestinians have not had a country for 60 years. They have been taken from their homes and pushed into smaller and smaller areas, left in limbo, without citizenship and without rights. They are persistently vulnerable to the aggression of Israel. Over the last year, there has been an Israeli blockade of food and medical supplies of Gaza, and, when there is a reaction, the Israelis claim they are under attack and launch a murderous campaign with their potent military machine. It has been a strategy of provocation, murder and destruction, with the purpose of trying to remove the Palestinians completely. Because Israel cannot rely on moral force, it has to resort to military force, which is becoming more and more extreme.

Faced with clear evidence of war crimes against people sheltering in United Nations buildings, the Israelis claim to know nothing about what the Israeli soldiers did. Yet they also claim (falsely) that they know what Hamas was doing. Such obvious lies have been used to deceive the media.

The program will involve the following:

* The departure will be in mid February, depending on arrangement with Egypt;
* The trip will be 7-10 days;
* We will visit destroyed areas, hospitals, meet with the injured and NGOs;
* We will witness the effect of war and siege on 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza;
* All transportation and accommodation will be covered;
* We have limited resources to help with some flight costs.

We urge you to participate in this important trip. It is time for Australians to stand up for the core principle that persecution of people because of their religion or ethnicity (including Jews and Muslims) is unacceptable. It is abhorrent to kill people on that basis, as Israel has done to hundreds in Gaza. It is time to stand up for those principles.

If you are interested in attending please let us know ASAP as we are trying to get permission within the next 10 days.

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