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Biden Administration Faces Pressure to Call for Gaza Ceasefire; think tank

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The United States has witnessed a significant push for an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, as progressive lawmakers introduce a congressional resolution.

The measure, supported by more than a dozen Democratic members of the House of Representatives, underscores a growing call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

 

An Urgent Plea for De-escalation

 

The congressional resolution urges “an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine.” It emphasizes the sanctity of all human life and condemns the targeting of civilians, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, as a violation of international humanitarian law.

 

A Critical Shift in US Stance

 

Despite a historically strong pro-Israel stance in Congress, this resolution represents a crucial shift in policy. Progressive representatives, including Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib, Summer Lee, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar, are leading the call for de-escalation. They argue that it is essential for the United States to take a proactive role in ending the violence.

 

Cori Bush highlighted the urgency of the situation, emphasizing that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives hang in the balance as a potential land invasion of Gaza looms. She noted that this crisis has the full support and power of the United States government, which she finds deeply shameful.

 

The Ongoing Conflict

 

The conflict between Israel and Palestine erupted on October 7 when Hamas launched a coordinated attack on Israel from Gaza. Israel responded with a relentless bombing campaign that has caused significant casualties, particularly among Palestinians. The World Health Organization has documented numerous attacks on medical facilities in Gaza, further compounding the humanitarian crisis.

 

Moreover, Israeli authorities imposed a total blockade on Gaza, preventing essential supplies from reaching the territory. The situation is further complicated by the demand for more than 1 million people to evacuate northern Gaza, as termed “impossible” by the United Nations.

 

US Influence in the Conflict

 

Despite the increasing crisis, the Biden administration has refrained from calling for calm in Gaza. Instead, it has maintained unwavering support for Israel, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoing this stance during his recent visit to the region. In a CBS interview, President Biden expressed support for Israel’s actions against Hamas and called for the elimination of the group.

 

Collective Punishment and War Crimes

 

Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of Congress, decried the collective punishment of Palestinians, labeling it a war crime. She emphasized the need for the world to witness the dire humanitarian situation unfolding in Gaza.

 

Breaking with Tradition

 

Monday’s congressional resolution marks a significant departure from the traditional unanimous support for Israel’s military efforts in Congress. The resolution has the backing of Congressman Jamaal Bowman, who stressed the urgency of ending the ongoing violence.

 

Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute think tank, highlighted the significance of the resolution due to the substantial role played by the United States in the conflict. The US annually provides Israel with billions of dollars in military assistance, a sum that is expected to increase this year. Moreover, the US often employs its veto power at the UN Security Council to shield Israel from international law violations.

 

A New Path for Rights Advocates

 

Beth Miller, the political director of Jewish Voice for Peace Action, underscored the importance of this proposed resolution. It provides human rights advocates with a compelling demand to take to lawmakers, which is a significant shift from previous one-sided resolutions that primarily focused on Israeli life while disregarding Palestinian life.

Abu Bakr Alvi
Abu Bakr Alvi
Mr. Abu Bakr Alvi, Senior Journalist Based in Faisalabad

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