In a press release today in Gaza, Council on International Relations addressed a letter to U.S. democratic minority leader Senator Chuck Schumer to invite him to visit Gaza.
“Fully 70 percent of our population are refugees, while over 40 percent of our population are currently unemployed and over 50 percent are suffering from food insecurity. You were valedictorian of your high school class and attended Harvard University. You value education, so do we.” the CIR said.
Condemning Schumer’s call 8 years ago, the council said: “You have said, “since the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas,” it is right “to strangle them economically until they see that’s not the way to go.” You attended Harvard Law School and have sat on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. You surely know that collective punishment is illegal under international law.”
In June 2010, Schumer emphasized the need to “to strangle Gazans economically until they see that’s not the way to go, makes sense”
The letter mentioned some international bodies’ witnesses in which Human Rights Watch observed that the blockade of Gaza “amounts to collective punishment of the civilian population, a serious violation of international humanitarian law,” while Amnesty International stated that, “as a form of collective punishment, Israel’s continuing blockade of Gaza is a flagrant violation of international law.”
“We want to believe that you have been misinformed about the situation in Gaza. That’s why we are extending our welcome to you. We want you, too, to feel the warmth and witness first-hand the decency and dignity of our gentle people” The CIR said.