(New York, April 13, 2015) – Today, Ameinu, North America’s largest grassroots progressive Zionist organization, released the following statement on ISIS’ recent seizure of most of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.
Ameinu is horrified by the destruction and killing of hundreds of Palestinians at hands of ISIS in the Yarmouk Syria — home to 18,000 stateless Palestinians. The capture of most of the camp by ISIS, and this group’s grotesque violence, is the latest atrocity perpetrated on the residents of Yarmouk who have already suffered a two-year campaign of bombardment and siege by the Assad regime. Even before the arrival of ISIS, the Assad campaign has caused numerous civilian casualties, new dislocation and starvation. The humanitarian situation in Yarmouk has been described by UN representatives as “beyond inhumane,” where the current conflict threatens lives and prevents humanitarian assistance for the survivors.
Ameinu calls on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to rescue and resettle the Palestinians of Yarmouk in the West Bank and the international community to provide all assistance needed to quickly extract these vulnerable refugees from their life threatening predicament. While this will not address the ongoing carnage of the Syrian conflict, it will provide security and a future for these victims of ISIS and Assad. All people, but particularly progressives around the world who participate in the global campaigns for Palestinian rights, should support this call.
As advocates for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — where an independent State of Palestine will live in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic State of Israel — Palestinians and Israelis should commit to taking all steps needed to facilitate the humanitarian resettlement of Yarmouk Palestinians by the PA. Just as Israel is a refuge for endangered Jews, Palestine should be a refuge for vulnerable Palestinians. The Palestinians of Yarmouk — who are being killed, expelled and starved — should be brought home to Palestine.
And recognizing that addressing the crisis in Yarmouk leaves Syria at the hands of competing violent forces, Ameinu encourages the United States and the international community to carefully assess how they can play constructive roles in stopping or limiting the ongoing human disaster in Syria that is claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, creating millions of refugees, destabilizing the region and expanding terrorism around the world.
For Immediate Release
New York, April 13, 2015
For More Information Contact
Gideon Aronoff, Gideon@Ameinu.net; 212-366-1194