Over the last several weeks, PPP has mourned the many civilian lives lost and the continuing suffering of the people of Palestine and Israel. We condemn both the murder and kidnapping of Israeli civilians by Hamas and the ongoing bombardment, siege, and soon-to-come ground invasion of Gaza by the Israeli government as assaults on both our shared humanity and international law. As a domestic advocacy organization, we do not typically weigh in on international issues, but the impact that these actions continue to have on our community are undeniable, and we cannot remain silent in the face of such far-reaching atrocities.
Rather than repeating its mistakes after the 9/11 attacks, the United States must ensure that the desire for vengeance does not cloud the need for protection of civilians during conflict or the need for all countries to follow international law. Given its close ties to Israel, the U.S. is in a unique position to push for a cease-fire to prevent further loss of innocent life. The forced displacement of Palestinians in Gaza, along with the illegal restriction of water, electricity, food, and medicine to the more than two million people of Gaza, most of whom had nothing to do with the attacks on Israeli civilians, is a clear violation of international law and common decency and must be reversed.
For too long, the U.S. has abdicated its responsibility as an influential Israeli ally to push for a resolution to this ongoing conflict. Continued U.S. support cannot be unconditional and must be targeted toward protecting civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, rather than propagating an increasingly repressive occupation.
Beyond the conflict itself, PPP also supports the right of all people to express their opinions, engage in advocacy, and push for change at home and abroad. We condemn those who have retaliated against law students and others for stating their support for a free Palestine. No person should lose their livelihood over support for freedom, whether Israeli or Palestinian.
Fights for justice here in the U.S. are necessarily a part of the push for global justice. Far too often, the professional legal community is on the wrong side of true justice, both at home and abroad. In recent weeks, we have seen lawyers and law students attempt to change that legacy by doing what they can to advocate for a true and lasting peace in Israel and Gaza, which must include a free Palestine. Those engaged in these efforts have demonstrated courage, thoughtfulness, and leadership—traits that the legal profession should celebrate, not punish.
We know that many of our organizers are suffering pain, anxiety, and more over these events, including those worried about family and friends in harm’s way, and we offer our unwavering support to all of you, whether Palestinian or Israeli, Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. If you are facing retaliation for following your beliefs, please reach out for support, and we will do what we can to ensure that your rights are protected.