For Gaza

For Peace, Humanity & Gaza

Press Statement

leave a comment »

PRESS RELEASE

ATTENTION NEWSDESK – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: Tuesday 6th January 2009

FOSIS condemns Israeli ground invasion and reiterates call to the British Government to take action against Israeli attacks

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in the UK and Eire today condemned the ongoing Israeli ground invasion of Gaza and reiterated it’s call to the British Government to take action against the Israeli brutality.

Qasim Rafiq, spokesman for FOSIS, said today, “Over the last few days, we have witnessed the massacre of innocent Palestinian civilians at the hands of the Israeli Defence Force through a series of indiscriminate barrage of air strikes.  Today alone, official reports suggest that a number of children were amongst those massacred in the bombing of the al-Fakhura UN-run school, bringing the Palestinian death toll to almost 600 since Israel’s first attacks began.  Israeli bombardment from the air, sea and now ground will serve only to strengthen the resolve of the Palestinian resistance, and despite claims that such aggression is necessary to protect the safety of Israeli civilians, such disproportionate brutality meted out to the Palestinian people will serve only to inflame the situation in an already volatile region.”

He further added, “The last few days have also witnessed thousands of people partaking in demonstrations across the world, as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people, calling for an end to the Israeli violence.  Yet it is deeply concerning that following days of air strikes which have pulverised an entire nation, our Prime Minister refuses to condemn the Israeli attacks, despite world leaders describing this as “barbaric and criminal aggression emanating from the state of Israel”.  The lack of a clear condemnation speaks volumes and will be considered by many as the silent consent of such actions. Furthermore, the stance adopted by this Government threatens to severely undermine the many millions spent on the PREVENT agenda and other initiatives targeted at the de-radicalisation of young Muslims. There is a real concern that many will see the impotence of the Government and other international institutions, that are supposed to protect innocent life, as reasons to explore alternative methods to put a stop to these war crimes.”

Notes:

  1. FOSIS (est. 1962) is the umbrella organisation of student groups in colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland, representing over 90,000 Muslim students.
  2. For more information please contact FOSIS media on 07786636691, email head.media@fosis. org.uk or alternatively visit our website www.fosis.org. uk

THE GAZA CONFLICT: AN OXFORD UNIVERSITY LED MEDIA RESPONSE:

THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY SPEAKS OUT

Israeli bombardment has levied a hideous toll on the impoverished population of Gaza, 80 per cent of whom were already reliant on UN handouts prior to the current onslaught. So far, conservative estimates from the UN suggest 3000 have been killed or injured by the offensive. Politics aside, the sheer devastation both in terms of infrastructure and human carnage are facts that exist independently of prejudice and misconceptions about the Middle East conflict. People are dying in horrific and scandalous numbers. UN general assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann has described Israel’s action as a ‘monstrosity’ and we can only concur with this description.

Israel has fostered a humanitarian crisis in the most overcrowded strip of land on earth. Gaza’s 1.5 million citizens are victims of a punitive war which has cost the lives of innocent men, women and children. In addition, Israel has struck at religious sites, medical facilities and academic institutions, most recently the UN-run school. As students and academics, we recognize the importance of the now destroyed Islamic University as the first and most important institution of higher education in Gaza.  It served more than 20,000 students, 60 percent of whom are women. Since Palestinian students from Gaza are barred by Israel from studying either in the West Bank or abroad, the educational significance of the Islamic University cannot be overstated and its destruction contributes to conditions of dismal despair already reigning in the area.

The Oxford University Islamic Society would like to join hands with other Oxford University societies and over 100 prominent academics in unequivocally condemning Israeli excesses over the last 12 days. Whilst we condemn the loss of civilian life in Israel due to rocket fire, the response has been utterly disproportionate. With the recent ground incursion, we can be certain scores more will undoubtedly perish.

We are witnessing a criminal and belligerent disregard for human life. We believe there can never be a military solution to this impasse. The solution lies in a bilateral desire for a just peace, only achievable through the cessation of violence and the instigation of dialogue. If the election of Hamas was an act of desperation on the part of many Palestinians, Israel ought to consider who exactly might replace them after the carnage they are inflicting on its population is over.

We commend Gordon Brown and David Miliband’s call for an urgent ceasefire and immediate halt to all violence, reiterated by a unanimous UN Security Council press statement and the EU. However, the international community must move beyond statements and take action to alleviate the suffering in Gaza and foster a bilateral diplomatic process to resolve the current crisis and its underlying causes.

The United States may be alone in its ability to restrain Israel. We urge the existing and incoming  United States Administration to recognise and respond to its position of responsibility in this conflict: President-Elect Barack Obama needs to rise to the first major challenge of his career, and effectively implement the change we are all hoping to see.

The blockade on Gaza should be lifted without delay, allowing for the delivery of full humanitarian aid. The border with Israel should be opened, and remain open. Israel has a responsibility to prevent further loss of life and we urge Hamas to immediately desist from launching rockets into Israel.

Israel must understand that the only way to stop the rockets, and gain lasting security, is to end its illegal siege and occupation and agree to a just peace. History shows that an oppressed people will inevitably turn to violence, however wrong this may seem.

Finally, we implore all British media outlets to report the war on Gaza in a fair and balanced way; namely by dispelling the illusion that this is a war of equals. Palestinian anger must be understood in the context of Israeli occupation and the over 18 month long siege of Gaza.  Israeli media statements need to be exposed to far tougher and informed questioning. Journalists and media outlets have a responsibility to pressure the Israeli government into allowing them into Gaza to witness their actions first hand. Merely reproducing Israeli reports and footage because this is what is on offer is not acceptable and is irresponsible journalism.

We are ready to aid the media by offering a different perspective on the conflict, in the hope that our contributions will help achieve fairer and more balanced reporting.

Please see the attached pdf file for the list of other societies and over 100 leading academics who are co-signing this statement

1. Note to editors: Some of the counter-signatories are available for interview and media response. Please contact president@ouisoc.com to co-ordinate this.

2.      FOSIS (est. 1962) is the umbrella organisation of student groups in colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland, representing over 90,000 Muslim students.

3.      For more information please contact FOSIS media on 07786636691, email head.media@fosis.org.uk head.media@fosis.org.uk

DATE: Tuesday 6th January 2009

FOSIS condemns Israeli ground invasion and reiterates call to the British Government to take action against Israeli attacks

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in the UK and Eire today condemned the ongoing Israeli ground invasion of Gaza and reiterated it’s call to the British Government to take action against the Israeli brutality.

Qasim Rafiq, spokesman for FOSIS, said today, “Over the last few days, we have witnessed the massacre of innocent Palestinian civilians at the hands of the Israeli Defence Force through a series of indiscriminate barrage of air strikes.  Today alone, official reports suggest that a number of children were amongst those massacred in the bombing of the al-Fakhura UN-run school, bringing the Palestinian death toll to almost 600 since Israel’s first attacks began.  Israeli bombardment from the air, sea and now ground will serve only to strengthen the resolve of the Palestinian resistance, and despite claims that such aggression is necessary to protect the safety of Israeli civilians, such disproportionate brutality meted out to the Palestinian people will serve only to inflame the situation in an already volatile region.”

He further added, “The last few days have also witnessed thousands of people partaking in demonstrations across the world, as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people, calling for an end to the Israeli violence.  Yet it is deeply concerning that following days of air strikes which have pulverised an entire nation, our Prime Minister refuses to condemn the Israeli attacks, despite world leaders describing this as “barbaric and criminal aggression emanating from the state of Israel”.  The lack of a clear condemnation speaks volumes and will be considered by many as the silent consent of such actions. Furthermore, the stance adopted by this Government threatens to severely undermine the many millions spent on the PREVENT agenda and other initiatives targeted at the de-radicalisation of young Muslims. There is a real concern that many will see the impotence of the Government and other international institutions, that are supposed to protect innocent life, as reasons to explore alternative methods to put a stop to these war crimes.”

Notes:

  1. FOSIS (est. 1962) is the umbrella organisation of student groups in colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland, representing over 90,000 Muslim students.
  2. For more information please contact FOSIS media on 07786636691, email head.media@fosis.org.uk or alternatively visit our website www.fosis.org.uk

PRESS RELEASE

ATTENTION NEWSDESK – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: Saturday 27th December 2008

FOSIS strongly condemns the Israeli massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in the UK and Eire strongly condemns the brutal actions of Israel and expresses dismay at the muted reaction of the international community.

Qasim Rafiq, spokesman for FOSIS, said today, “The relentless attack against innocent Palestinian civilians is yet another example of Israel’s violent and inhumane policy towards the occupied territories. Images of the massacre will inevitably send shockwaves throughout the entire world and will create further hostility towards Israel and those who support such horrific actions. Such brutal measures not only show a complete disregard for human life but flaunt all understanding of international law.”

He further added, “The muted reaction, of the international community is deeply concerning and lends support to the Israeli aggression. We demand for the immediate end of all Israeli attacks and we call upon the international community to condemn such barbarity and put pressure upon the Israeli government to allow vital humanitarian aid to reach the impoverished Gazan population.

[Ends]

Notes:

1. FOSIS (est. 1962) is the umbrella organisation of student groups in colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland, representing over 90,000 Muslim students.

2. For more information please contact FOSIS media on 07786636691, email head.media@fosis. org.uk or alternatively visit our website www.fosis.org. uk


Advertisements

Written by ForGaza

January 7, 2009 at 12:15 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: