Another Gaza massacre took place Friday as tens of thousands of Palestinians protested peacefully at the Israeli wall against their collective incarceration in Gaza, which can only be called the largest concentration camp in the world.

The protesters were calling for the right to return to their homes and lands, and an end to the Israeli occupation, the many violent attacks by Israel, and the ethnic cleansing (“Nabka” in Arabic) of Palestinians ongoing now for seven decades.

In response to the demonstrations, at least 15 Palestinians were shot dead and 770 were wounded by Israeli military sharp-shooters who chose violence to disperse the tens of thousands of people engaged in a non-violent protest.

I remain outraged by the brutality Israel has unleashed on Gaza through its siege by land, sea, and air, and the three military offensives it has carried out in recent years. I remain sickened by Israel’s targeting of homes, schools, UN shelters, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals.

Today again, I am heartbroken and repulsed by the number of civilian Palestinian protesters killed and wounded in another one-sided slaughter by Israel.

Although it is happening in a land distant from California, this violence by Israel impacts us directly – as human beings and as citizens of the U.S. We know that Israel’s violence against Palestinians would be impossible without America’s defense of Israel on the world stage, and its funding of Israel with over $3 billion annually. I reject and condemn this violence by Israel against the Palestinian people, and the U.S. sponsorship and funding of these violent crimes. Palestinians, like people everywhere, have the right to protest their conditions and demand change in their lives. It is unjustified to use lethal force against protesters when they pose no imminent threat.

Moreover, it is appalling that the United States on Saturday blocked a draft UN Security Council statement urging restraint and calling for an investigation of clashes on the Gaza-Israel border. It is also outrageous that media coverage has been so profoundly biased. As stated by the U.S.-based Jewish Voices for Peace:

“Much of the media coverage thus far refers to ‘clashes’ at the Gazan border, an inaccurate and biased description of the Israeli military’s violent response to nonviolent protest. We call upon the media to accurately portray the lopsided reality of thousands of unarmed protesters on their own land facing a military force armed to the teeth and explicitly permitted to use lethal force.”

My heart is broken by the violent meanness of spirit of Israel. As an American I feel shame for the cover and support our country gives to such crimes. As an activist and a dreamer for a better nation I send my sorrow and my solidarity to the People of Gaza, and I add my voice for a transparent and independent investigation of this massacre.

An Update, April 8…

About Gaza killings

The New York Times, not particularly a pro-Palestinian paper, clearly defines the Palestinian protests that have taken place in Gaza over the last two Fridays as non-violent protests.

Nevertheless, their protests met with unjustified lethal force by the Israeli government. Twenty were killed and 700 wounded by bullets. I, along with many in the world, have condemned this slaughter of unarmed civilians.

The Romans killed many unarmed protesters in Judea during Tiberius’ day. The killings of unarmed protesters should stop once and for all and human rights be respected by all nations.

Sadly, radical pro-Israel activists also attacked me when I authored a resolution against the Gaza sea blockade as Mayor of Richmond. I believe in the rights of all human beings, and presently the Israeli Army is showing grossly disproportionate force against the Palestinian people. This is something I hope more politicians will speak up on!