Millions of lives depend on it.
Is a ceasefire imminent? What you need to know.
Most Americans want a ceasefire. Our elected officials are out of touch.
This week, Democrats and Republicans each unveiled proposals that would provide billions in additional funding for Israel’s genocidal military, revealing just how out of touch they are with the majority of their constituents.
Today, the Democrat-controlled Senate is holding a procedural vote on a national security supplemental package that would send an astonishing $14.1 billion in weapons and military funding to Israel. It would also ban U.S. funding to UNRWA, the U.N. agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees, even as Gaza teeters on the brink of famine.
In a show of one-upmanship from the Republican-controlled House, a separate bill that would send even more funding to Israel’s genocidal military — $17.6 billion — and does not even mention the word “Palestinians,” was brought for a vote on Tuesday. Fortunately, it failed to pass, though 46 Democrats voted in favor of it.
Neither bill requires that the billions in U.S. military funding to Israel be subjected to any kind of oversight or conditions, even after the International Court of Justice found that Israel could “plausibly” be committing genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza.
Traditional wisdom in Washington would have us believe it’s unpopular to stand up for Palestinian rights. But that’s never been farther from the truth.
Congress has a lot of catching up to do.
Most Americans — including the majority of Democrats — want a ceasefire in Gaza. More than one-third believe Israel is committing genocide.
Last week, Chicago became the biggest U.S. city yet to call for a ceasefire. Dozens of cities across the U.S. have passed ceasefire resolutions, representing the hundreds of thousands of Americans who want an end to the unspeakable suffering Palestinians continue to endure in Gaza.
But you wouldn’t know that looking at Congress. Last month, Senator Bernie Sanders brought forward a bill that would have required the U.S. government to investigate whether Israel is using U.S. funding to carry out grave abuses of human rights. It was voted down 72-11, meaning the majority of U.S. senators — Democrats and Republicans alike — don’t care to even verify whether the U.S. is directly enabling Israeli crimes.
Sanders has also proposed an amendment to the Senate’s national security supplemental that would cut $10.1 billion from the funding allocated to the Israeli military, but it’s unlikely to make it into the final bill.
Our task is to change the political calculus in Washington.
We do that by:
- Making our voices heard
Elected officials care what their constituents think. Whenever you make a call or send an email, you’re holding your member of Congress to account and showing them that supporting Palestinian rights is popular with the people who elected them.
- Taking on special interest groups
Anti-Palestinians groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are spending tens of millions of dollars to buy our elected officials’ silence, directly undermining the will of the people. By lobbying against a ceasefire, AIPAC is lobbying for genocide. That’s why JVP is making it our mission to take on AIPAC this year. Stay tuned for more.
Could a ceasefire be coming soon?
This week, Hamas responded to the U.S.-backed proposal for a ceasefire with a counteroffer: a 135-day truce, which would end with the withdrawal of all Israeli troops — a definitive end to the genocide.
In exchange for the safe return of the over 100 Israeli hostages still in Gaza, Hamas is also asking that the Israeli government free Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israeli jails. Over the last four months alone, Israeli forces have arrested over 3,000 Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank.
The proposal would also allow more aid to enter Gaza and ensure the reconstruction of vital infrastructure begins sooner rather than later.
The Israeli government has already rejected the counterproposal, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu once again calling for “total victory” in Gaza. This means the deal could fall apart, though Egyptian negotiators have said that talks will resume in Cairo tomorrow. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in the region on Monday and met with Netanyahu today.
In Gaza, the Israeli military has now killed over 27,000 Palestinians, over 11,000 of whom were children. Nearly two million people have been forced to flee their homes, unsure of when they will ever return.
Gaza has been made uninhabitable by design. The Israeli military has inflicted massive damage, causing more destruction than the Syrian regime wreaked in five years of war in Aleppo. It has targeted critical civilian infrastructure that the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians forced to take refuge in tents and makeshift shelters will need in order to return home.
This is not an inevitable outcome of war; it is deliberate. Israel’s Kahanist government has never been shy about its true intentions: the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Gaza, and the destruction of Palestinian life throughout historic Palestine.
All this to say: Our work does not end at a ceasefire. We’re only escalating from here.
We aren’t going anywhere.
Even in the bleakest moments, we keep fighting. Not just because it’s what we do, but because the tide is turning.
Check out this roundup of our latest media coverage to see what JVP has been up to.
Photo: Fernando Lopez
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