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Mike Thompson Vote No on Military Aid to Israel

Demand CeasefireBy Scott Steward

I think we are over the attempt to confuse antisemitism with calls for a ceasefire.  The implication that candidates must choose between fighting antisemitism or calling out genocide is false.  It is untenable that hate speech and aggression directed at Jews, Muslims, and Arab groups are on the rise in this country.  The coalition of Jewish voices for Peace, the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Yolo for Palestinian Justice are united around stopping hate-motivated aggression and bias. 

While actual hate speech and alleged hate speech are confusing Mike Thompson's decision to call for a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, more than 2 million people are dying from starvation and disease, trapped in the "safe zone" of Rafah recently declared the next "military" target of Israel. Israel's anticipated aggression does not improve the chances of the return of hostages or the cessation of hostilities in the future. I conclude it's not meant to, Netanyahu stays in power only so long as Gaza is being attacked.

Mike Thompson can do his part to stop the killing of Palestinians and vote against unconditional $14 Billion to Israel's far-right government.  Israel is about to launch another "over the top" (Biden) military massacre. Pressure to do something to end this episode of the Palestinian trail of tears forced the Senate to include $9.1 Billion for civilians living in Gaza and the West Bank.  There should be no confidence that Israel would allow aid to be delivered without the possibility of the US conditioning military aid with proof of distribution of humanitarian aid.

Unconditional aid to Israel is shooting democracies around the world in the foot, not least of all our own. The healthiest and most humane action we (I and my fellow US citizens) can take, locally, nationally, and internationally, is to call for a ceasefire and to condition military aid to Israel for defense and not offensive capabilities.  

The USA is the money behind disproportionate Israeli aggression. We have the moral and logistical obligation to stop funding the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. And we must get the hell out of another 20-year trillion-dollar-a-year war zone.

14 days ago, the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s attack on Gaza is “plausible genocide” and has ordered Israel to take steps to protect civilians. The court found that there is substantive evidence of Israel's intent to annihilate the people of Palestine.  While the court did not literally call for a ceasefire, all the conditions the court ordered are descriptions of a ceasefire: stopping the bombing of hospitals and schools and declaring safety zones, to name a few. 

Any effect on Israel? As of today, Israel is preparing to attack their declared safety zone of Rafah adding to the barbarism of collective punishment, tens of thousands of civilians will die from our weapons supply.

The US is a signatory and principal advocate of the International Court, and US citizens want to follow the court's ruling. We do not want to see further erosion of rule-based international conduct.  We do not want to follow rogue states and just allow the whole world to fight it out with guns and bombs and see what's left standing.

We need to do our part, and our elected officials need to do their part by calling for a ceasefire and to see to the immediate distribution of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.  We, all of us, must do our part to stop the wider war that is threatening to envelop the entire Mideast. 

Every time I have been in the company of people organized to call for a ceasefire, there has also been a call for peace and understanding, not hate.  Ceasefire is not hate.  A ceasefire is about our commitment to everyone's peace and security.

Hate is fueled by many sources, but do not conflate hate speech with calls for ceasefire.  What we all need to see more of from those testifying about their experience of antisemitism and their experience of fear is that they also have room to empathize with those children who have lost limbs, have been crushed by the buildings that were bombed in designated safe zones who watched their family machine-gunned down by Israeli forces while trying to flee as ordered.

Three months past the tragedy of October 7th, one of the most sophisticated and well-financed armies in the world has killed 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The goal of eliminating Hamas is an excuse for genocide. Hamas survives with or without the Gaza genocide.

Is it ok to use our dollars to kill civilians to satisfy revenge and hope for a Palestinian-cleansed Israel? 

Young people are rightly fed up with blind aid to Israel, as we all should be, and because of this unnecessary blindness, the bulk of us are not looking at our future with the kind of hope and enthusiasm we all should be.  Our elected officials (and the older voters who are the majority of voters) are letting us down.

People are expendable, and oceans are expendable; access to clean water is expendable? It goes hand in hand. The youth, and the rest of us, will not accept decades-old policies of mistreating (or allowing the mistreatment) of people around the world to bring more money into campaign war chests and economic gain for a few of us who need it the least

Know where your federal, state, and local candidates stand on the call for a permanent ceasefire, conditioned aid to Israel, and humanitarian aid this March 5th. Maybe you want to vote for a representative who has the moral character to agree with most Americans' call for a ceasefire; the AFL-CIO calls for a ceasefire, the UAW has called for a ceasefire, the American Federation of Teachers and the SEIU has called for a ceasefire. Are you getting the message?

The great majority of US citizens DO NOT WANT $14.9 billion in unconditional military aid for Israel. We want a permanent ceasefire - unconditioned aid is obscene. For our part, in the 4th Congressional District, we ask that Mike Thompson at least abstain from voting for more unconditional military weapons aid to Israel.

Comments

Roberta L. Millstein

What I am "over" are people who misrepresent why others are against the idea of an unconditional ceasefire. Right, it's not about anti-semitism (or hate speech). It's about objecting to the claim that if Israel just stops fighting, there will be peace. Israel hasn't had peace since the day it was founded and it didn't have peace on October 7. It cannot survive while there is an organization -- Hamas -- that exists with the express purpose to dismantle it and to kill all Jews. Hamas and the Arab states that are allied with it are an ongoing threat to Israel and Jews. Frankly, I think it's ignorance/naivety/wishful thinking to think that all will be fine if there is an unconditional ceasefire (note the important word: unconditional). And here I readily acknowledge (as I have said many times on these pages) that Netanyahu is not a good peace partner either. It is a horrible situation, but not one that can be solved with an unconditional ceasefire.

As for the supposed genocide that Israel is committing, I've yet to see the "intent" part of that claim demonstrated, as opposed to self-defense. Hamas's genocidal intent, on the other hand, has been clear and explicit from the outset.

Ron O

I would think that a "ceasefire" would mean that Hamas would have to agree to stop attacking Israel, as well. And from what I understand (recently-learned), Israel has been enduring attacks for decades.

Honestly, it seems to me that folks in Gaza might be better-off if it became part of Israel.

I don't know why these groups can't seem to get-along with each other, within a single/united country. (I can think of one country at least that has the word "United" in it, in which all groups can live peacefully - if they so choose. Of course, it took a civil war to make it so.)

Jessica Chabot

I agree with this excellent analysis. No amount of ‘both sideism’ can obscure the ghastly ethnic ‘cleansing” being publicly celebrated by Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers. The scale of torture and death of Palestinians is historic and is being directly witnessed by horrified billions of the world’s people.

Of the many urgent tasks we need to do to oppose this genocide, one long lasting accomplishment that we elect a candidate to our District 4 who is true to our values. We need a candidate who will call for a permanent ceasefire and insist on a flood of aid into Gaza.

Andrew Engdahl is the progressive Democratic candidate opposing Mike Thompson. He is on the ballot for March 5th primary.
He is my hope for stopping the massive weapons transfers to Israel
and for keeping our tax dollars home, for our own people.

This is urgent! People of good will, please:

-Register to vote in your own District 4, and
-vote for Andrew Engdahl.

Sincerely,

Jessica Chabot


Ron O

From what I can tell, there isn't a "both sideism" to this conflict.

The more-powerful side (Israel) has apparently endured attacks for decades, which it largely tolerated.

But as a result of a truly-outrageous unprovoked attack, Israel finally responded on a massive scale.

And yes, innocent civilians always suffer in situations like this (see Germany and Japan).

Is there a better way? There probably is.

Roberta L. Millstein

This definitely isn't just Israel vs. Gaza (or just Netanyahu's government vs. Hamas). There is a lot of talk about the funding that the U.S. sends to Israel -- less talk of the several Middle East states who supply Hamas with arms and fighting support. Sometimes I wonder if people just look at the relative geographic sizes -- Israel (tiny) vs Gaza (even tinier) and miss all of the big countries that are, importantly, immediately adjacent.

Keith

"He is my hope for stopping the massive weapons transfers to Israel
and for keeping our tax dollars home, for our own people."

Good luck with that.

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