Facilitate de-escalation and a cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine | Letter

We are heartbroken by the recent violence in Israel and the Gaza Occupied Palestinian Territory. We deeply mourn the loss of all lives and pray for those who have lost loved ones over the last few weeks. We unequivocally condemn Hamas’ attacks and inhumane treatment of civilians and call for their immediate release of all hostages. We also condemn the indiscriminate and violent Israeli response.

Hamas killed more than 1,300 Israelis in the Oct. 7 attack, and took 200 civilian hostages into Gaza. The subsequent Israeli military attack on Gaza has killed more than 9,000 Palestinians, almost half of them children.

The Israeli government has restricted food, fuel, and humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip resulting in devastating humanitarian consequences.

It is beyond sad that decades of systemic suppression of the Palestinian people has led to this latest debacle. A military solution will never be a long-standing solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The humanity of the other side must be seen. In the long run recognition of Palestinian human rights will support Israeli human rights. Love thy neighbor. Hate and killing only returns the same.

We urge Representative Rick Larsen to support House Resolution 786 which urges President Biden to immediately call for and facilitate de-escalation and a cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine. On the Senate side, Senator Durbin is requesting a cease-fire and we ask Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray to join him.

San Juan Islands Advocacy Team:

Sharon Abreu, Eastsound

Kathy Cope, Friday Harbor

Linda Ellsworth, Eastsound

Tom Ewell, Clinton

Andy Hiester, Eastsound

Micki Jackson, Bellingham

Charles Janeway, Lopez Island

Bruce Radtke, Bellingham

Tom Rawson, Eastsound

Allen Stockbridge, Bellingham