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I want people in Portland not to forget what happened this past summer when their tax dollars helped the Israeli government carry out a 50-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip that killed an estimated 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians. About 500 children died, including babies.

During a 7-hour period, more than 7,000 artillery shells landed in the single residential neighborhood of Shuja'iyya in an attack that retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Robert Gard called "absolutely disproportionate." The disproportionate use of force and the selection of civilian targets — homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, playgrounds, markets and beaches — are violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and are irrefutably war crimes. Like the My Lai massacre, Israel's attack on Gaza represented a form of collective punishment carried out against a civilian population.

Israel has the strongest military in the Middle East. The U.S. government guarantees Israel a "qualitative military edge" with the most technologically advanced army, navy and air force funded by $3 billion annually in U.S. taxpayer aid. In contrast, resistance fighters in Gaza have no army, navy or air force. They are limited to primitive missiles, mortars, small arms and tunnel warfare. Most of Israel's 73 casualties were soldiers. Seven were civilians, including one child. Hamas also committed war crimes in firing missiles against Israeli civilians, but the U.S. government is not funding Hamas.

Some people ask me why I am anti-Israel. If I criticized human rights violations in China, would that make me anti-China? If I criticized human rights violations in this country, would that make me anti-American? I oppose the Israeli government's deliberate targeting of noncombatants, like four boys playing soccer on a beach. So did thousands of Israelis who demonstrated in Tel Aviv. I support the Palestinian people's struggle for freedom and justice. My tax dollars are being used to carry out massacres, and for that I am both ashamed and outraged.

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