Letter sent to Italian Defense Minister, Roberta Pinotti and President of the Sardinia Region, Francesco Pigliaru.
Dear Roberta Pinotti and Francesco Pigliaru
We are writing to you from Israel about Italy’s support of Israel. We are specifically concerned about the military cooperation between the Italian military and the Israeli military. We understand that this cooperation includes the supply of military aircrafts, in particular, the M-346 jet, to the Israeli Air Force as well as the launching of joint military exercises in Sardinia.
As citizens and residents of Israel, the government of Israel claims to act in our name but we refuse to partake in any way in the crimes committed in our name. Those crimes are too grave and too obvious to people of conscience to accept or be silent about. Reports by Israeli and leading international human rights organizations, documenting these crimes, are numberless. A quick browse through the reports of OCHA, the United Nations, B’tselem, Yesh Din, Amnesty, or any other human rights organization including the US State Department’s annual report on human rights should suffice to make this point more than clear. Only last week, a group of 43 Israeli army intelligence reserve soldiers and officers published a letter detailing the systematic abuses carried out by Israeli intelligence against Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These abuses include the systematic blackmailing of terminally ill Palestinian patients and their families, the search for gay Palestinians, blackmailing them into cooperating with their occupiers. These practices are part of a system of permanent occupation which Israel has developed. It applies most harshly to the millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip who have been living for nearly 50 years under a government they have no right to choose or elect. In addition to blackmailing and threats, Israeli abuse of Palestinians includes constant attacks and periodic outbursts of mass killing. This summer saw the latest of such attacks on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military and air force killed more than 2,150 Palestinians, of whom 495-578 were children, more than 10,224 were injured and more than 20,000 homes were made uninhabitable (according to UNRWA).
During the assault, Israel continued its policy of heavily relying on its air force. Israeli planes flew thousands of sorties and dropped thousands of tons of explosives on Gaza which resulted in a significant part of the unimaginable number of victims.
These Israeli policies would not have been possible without the support of other countries. Italy’s continued cooperation with the Israeli military directly perpetuates Israel’s military occupation. This makes the Italian military and government complicit in Israel’s crimes against humanity. Selling arms to the Israeli military, which is surely going to be used against Palestinians, is not only immoral but also in violation of Europeans Union exports policies. For these reasons, a growing number of organizations and individuals from South Africa to Portland and to Rome are calling for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. In fact, even the Obama administration and the Cameron government took steps to curtail the unrestricted flow of arms to Israel. By continuing these joint exercises with Israel, the Italian government is signaling its approval of Israel’s criminal assault. On the other hand by refusing to cooperate with the Israeli military, the message you would send would be a very positive and constructive force towards ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Therefore, we, Israeli residents and citizens, call on you to halt all Italian-Israeli military cooperation, in particular, the joint binational military exercise in Sardinia and the transfer of military equipment to or from Israel.
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within!
Aka: Boycott From Within