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Progressives Demand That Biden Stop “Greenlighting the Massacre of Palestinians”

“There is nothing fringe or radical about supporting basic human rights,” the lawmakers said.

Representatives Ilhan Omar (center), Democrat of Minnesota, speaks alongside Rashida Tlaib (2nd right) and Cori Bush (left) during a press conference with union leaders and supporters of a ceasefire in Gaza outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on December 14, 2023.

Progressive lawmakers are demanding that President Joe Biden call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, saying it is “clear” that Israel is violating orders by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to avoid going further into its massacre with its famine campaign, the lawmakers said.

On Thursday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) held a press conference with fellow progressives and sent a letter to Biden demanding that Biden stand up to Israel as it prepares an invasion of Rafah, where 1.5 million people are sheltering after being forcibly removed from their homes in the northern parts of the region. Israeli forces have already begun bombing in what residents have described as some of the worst attacks on Gaza so far.

“In southern Gaza, [Benjamin] Netanyahu has already promised to invade Rafah even if there is a temporary ceasefire,” warned Tlaib. She highlighted that Palestinians are facing death at every angle, especially with Israel’s starvation campaign. “Using starvation as a weapon of war is undeniabl[y] a war crime. And it is a war crime that we continue, again, to be complicit [in].”

In their letter, Tlaib and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) emphasized that the indiscriminate attacks on Rafah — being prepared as Ramadan soon approaches — are “designed to make a mutually agreed ceasefire less likely” and will cause even more civilian death on top of the brutal civilian massacre that Israeli forces are already carrying out, with U.S. support.

“We believe it is clear that Israel is violating the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) provisional orders, including by blocking aid to Gazan civilians, an act that is clearly creating famine conditions,” Tlaib and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) wrote in their letter to Biden. “There is nothing fringe or radical about supporting basic human rights. That’s why the majority of Americans support a ceasefire. We still have an opportunity to save the lives left in Gaza.”

The press conference and letter came on the same day that Israel carried out a horrific slaughter of Palestinians in northern Gaza. Israel opened fire on the crowd of hungry Palestinians, killing at least 104 and injuring at least 750 who were attempting to reach one of the only food shipments that’s entered the northern part of the region in weeks — with Israel seemingly luring the Palestinians into a crowd to reach the food in order to massacre them.

According to the official death count by Palestinian officials, over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s genocidal siege, amounting to 1 out of every 75 people in Gaza. This is likely an undercount, with thousands more still missing under the rubble and the medical system totally dismantled by Israeli forces.

The lawmakers join human rights experts and groups also saying that Israel is defying the ICJ’s orders to avoid going further into its slaughter, already finding it “plausible” that Israel is committing genocide in an initial ruling. Many experts have maintained that Israel’s assault is one of the most clear examples of genocide in modern times.

The genocide has been made possible by U.S. weaponry and continued military and diplomatic support by the Biden administration, which advocates say is violating a number of U.S. laws designed to prevent aid from going to countries and military groups committing war crimes.

Biden, perhaps seeing the large volume of polls finding that voters overwhelmingly support a ceasefire and increasingly disagree with his Gaza approach, has supposedly said that he is frustrated with Israel’s assault. And yet, as lawmakers pointed out on Thursday, he continues to position the U.S. as the top backer of Israel’s genocide.

“This administration cannot claim to be an honest broker of peace while greenlighting the massacre of Palestinians. The restocking of Israel’s arsenal is not foreign policy. It is state-sponsored violence waged against defenseless families who want to only live in peace,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota). “No more American dollars to fund Israel’s bombs. No more children under concrete. History will remember those who stood on high moral ground.”

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