Congressmen gathered outside the White House to demand an end to the carnage as the truce in the Gaza War was about to expire.
Washington, DCThe names of Palestinians slain in the conflict were read out by proponents of a ceasefire in Gaza, who were sometimes cut off by their own emotions.
On Wednesday night, a number of speakers—among them Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and actors Cynthia Nixon and Denee Benton—took turns reading from a lengthy list of names. However, they only managed to save a small portion of the almost 15,000 Palestinians slain by Israeli strikes.
The number of dead would only get longer, activists said, if the present truce is allowed to end and a long-term ceasefire is not negotiated.
Tlaib and other progressive members of Congress joined the vigil, which was organized by hunger striking activists, state legislators, and artists in support of a ceasefire in Gaza.
In addition to expressing solidarity for the hunger strikers, Tlaib and her colleagues emphasized that a brief cessation of hostilities was insufficient and that the conflict in Gaza had to stop.
“How many lives left will be sufficient? How many kidnappings of children are left? How many more broken and traumatized families need to exist? Giving innocent victims a few days’ respite before they are bombarded once more is hardly humane, my friends,” Tlaib declared.
According to public opinion polls, the majority of Democrats and the majority of Americans support a ceasefire, which she urged President Joe Biden to consider.
“Our movement is gaining traction.”
The White House came under fire from Tlaib, the lone Palestinian American congressman, for labeling members who called for a ceasefire early in the conflict as “repugnant.”
It is disgusting and shameful to bomb children and innocent bystanders. It is disgusting and shameful to oppose a ceasefire, a halt to the slaughter, and violence. It is disgusting and shameful that our president is urging Congress to approve additional bombs that are being launched on defenseless civilians, Tlaib added.
In addition to the $3.8 billion that Israel now receives from the US each year, Biden is asking for more than $14 billion in new cash to help Israel in the conflict in Gaza.
Tlaib emphasized that a ceasefire has been demanded by prominent human rights organizations and Pope Francis, and that this demand is not debatable.
Tlaib’s comments were mirrored by Congresswoman Cori Bush, who presented a resolution requesting a ceasefire in the House of Representatives last month, emphasizing the advancement of the ceasefire demand movement.
“Our campaign is effective. In the White House, they can sense our excitement. They are aware of our requests. They see our street march. “They’re keeping an eye on the polls,” stated Bush.
The representative pointed out that the resolution had just 13 sponsors when she initially submitted it on October 16. A ceasefire in Gaza is now being demanded by more than 40 senators and members of the House of Representatives.
Bush declared, “It’s evident that our constituents and people everywhere want a ceasefire.”
With a social media message on Tuesday that may be seen as a request for Israel to end the conflict, Biden stoked rumors by implying that the bloodshed would only strengthen support for Hamas.
Biden stated, “Hamas orchestrated a terrorist strike because they have no greater fear than Israelis and Palestinians coexisting peacefully.”
“Giving Hamas what they want is to continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war.”
Later that day, however, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby was eager to reiterate US backing for Israel’s war campaign, implying that the nation had a “responsibility” to destroy Hamas.
On October 7, Hamas launched an onslaught on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Israelis and the capture of over 200 more. This marked the start of the Gaza War.
According to the Palestinian organization, Israel’s unlawful settlement growth in the occupied West Bank, its maltreatment of Palestinian detainees, and its invasions at the Al-Aqsa shrine were the reasons behind the assault.
In response, Israel launched a ceaseless bombing assault that has made this one of the child-deadliest wars in recent history. It also drastically limited the flow of food, gasoline, water, and medical supplies into the Palestinian territories and initiated a ground incursion into portions of the beleaguered Gaza Strip.
In Gaza, the conflict has forced more than a million Palestinians to flee their homes.
UN experts have warned that Palestinians face a “grave risk of genocide” because to the violence’s almost unparalleled scope.
Early on, the Biden administration backed Israel’s goal of eliminating Hamas and expressed steadfast support for Israel. However, Israel appears to be far from accomplishing that aim even after seven weeks of war in Gaza.
A deal to temporarily stop the violence was struck last week, mediated by Qatar, the US, and Egypt. This allowed for the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas in exchange for Palestinian inmates and increased humanitarian supply into Gaza.
Although the truce was prolonged for two days, it will end early on Thursday.
Congressman Jamaal Bowman stated that advocating for a ceasefire was about embracing our common humanity on Wednesday outside the White House.
Each of us has read about genocides. Everybody has read of mass killings. It’s unbelievable that I’m experiencing one. And it still amazes me that I’m living through one while the US government supports and participates in it. Shame, he said.
Congressman Jonathan Jackson expressed his opinion that the conflict is causing “too many” innocent people to suffer.
Jackson remarked, “We stand here with a sense of moral outrage with our courage and our conviction. We have seen too much bloodshed.”