FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 12, 2024
NIAC CONTACT: Etan Mabourakh | 954.817.3022 | [email protected]
FCNL COLORADO CONTACT: Sara Avery | 303.489.2431 | [email protected]
Denver, Colorado: Today, 41 prominent local organizations and individuals in Colorado state delivered a letter calling on the U.S. Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper to support a ceasefire in Gaza as well as further legislative initiatives to ensure that U.S. military aid to Israel and other countries complies with U.S. and international law. Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper have yet to publicly express support for a ceasefire and other measures to end the war in Gaza.
QUOTE from Sara Avery
“While the October 7 attacks on Israelis by Hamas were horrific, public opinion has shifted dramatically against Israel’s assault on Gaza, with over 23,000 people dead, over half of them children,” said Sara Avery. “Today, a coalition of 41 groups and prominent individuals in the state sent a letter to our US senators demanding they act to end the carnage.”
QUOTE from NIAC COLORADO CHAPTER
The coalition, part of a national campaign taking part in 17 states, includes peace, antiwar, faith-based, and other organizations and individuals such as Friends Committee on National Legislation Colorado, Indivisible Colorado, Jewish Voice for Peace Denver/Boulder, Denver Catholic Worker, CO State Representatives Elizabeth Velasco and Iman Jodeh, and more.
These groups and individuals underscore in their letter that putting an end to all of the hostilities in Gaza is the safest way to secure the remaining hostages while simultaneously rebuilding a diplomatic foundation upon which peace and stability can be achieved.
The timing of this initiative is crucial, both in terms of the urgency of ending the slaughter in Gaza as thousands face starvation on top of the ongoing military offensive, and with the Senate likely taking up legislative measures next week. Foremost is Senator Bernie Sanders’ S.Res. 504 invoking Section 502(B)c of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which would require a State Department report on Israel’s human rights violations. The organizations urged support for this resolution, along with the amendment offered by Senator Chris Van Hollen to the proposed supplemental funding bill with concentrated aid to Israel.
Following is the text of the letter and list of signers:
We the undersigned organizations and individuals representing thousands of your constituents remain steadfast in calling for a bilateral and lasting ceasefire to end Israel’s disastrous war in Gaza. Ending the war is the best way to get all the hostages released and set the stage for diplomacy to find a solution to the seemingly endless cycle of violence in Israel-Palestine.
However, while the war continues, the Senate must do its part to ensure compliance with US and international law. We urge you to support the Sen. Van Hollen et al amendment to the proposed supplemental funding bill, which requires that military assistance for other countries paid for by U.S. taxpayers be used in a manner consistent with U.S. law, international humanitarian law, and the law of armed conflict. This need to condition military aid upon compliance with international law will remain relevant and worthy of your support regardless of the fate of said supplemental.
We also urge you to co-sponsor and vote for S. Res. 504, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ resolution that requires a report on Israel’s human rights practices and U.S. military aid to Israel. After months of devastation in Gaza, there is an urgent need for a meaningful debate on U.S. support for Israeli operations in Gaza and the West Bank, including the extent to which U.S. military aid may be supporting violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. This resolution is pursuant to current U.S. law, specifically Section 502B(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act which sets out a process for such reporting and transparency.
Below our signatures is more information on both measures. Thank you for your attention to these crucial and timely initiatives to help end this conflict and save countless lives. We look forward to your response, and we are at your disposal to meet to discuss these matters further.
Marie Ranjbar, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
Anne Remley, co-convener, Quaker Palestine Israel Network
Arapahoe County Commissioner Jessica Campbell-Swanson
Aurora City Council Member At-Large Alison Coombs
Beverly Bravo, long time member of First Unitarian Church, Denver
Broomfield City Council Member Paloma Delgadillo
Center for Ethical Social Work Practice
CO State Representative Elizabeth Velasco
CO State Representative Iman Jodeh
Denver Catholic Worker
Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC)
Denver/Boulder Jewish Voice for Peace
Durango Friends Meeting (Quakers)
Friends Committee on National Legislation Colorado Advocacy Team
Kevin Amirehsani, NIAC Colorado Chapter Executive Committee
Lakewood Mayor Pro Tem Jeslin Shahrezaei
Living Light of Peace
Mark Belkin, former Organizing Director, UFCW, Local 7
Middle East Discussion group at First Unitarian Denver
Montrose Friends Meeting (Quakers)
Mountain View Friends Meeting (Quakers) – Peace & Justice Committee
Nadler & Weston – Attorneys
National Iranian American Council – Colorado Chapter
Northern Colorado Alliance for a Livable Future
Partners for Peace Fort Collins
Peace and Social Justice–Boulder Friends Meeting (Quakers)
Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission
Rebecca Gitomer, Ceasefire Circle Leader, IfNotNow
Rev. Dr. Vernon Rempel
Rev. Judith Ray
Rev. Kelly Dignan
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Roxanne Peterson, Executive Director, Homeless Cares
Sara Avery, FCNL Colorado Advocacy Team Coordinator
Sister Outsider: A Gathering Place
Steve Brown, Retired postal worker, active in National Postal Mail Handlers Union, Local 321
Suzanne Crawford, Director of Community Service Organization
Urban Nomad Services
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