Tens of thousands of Americans take to the streets of Washington to call for a ceasefire and an end to military aid to Israel.

This Saturday, Washington witnessed the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in US history. Tens of thousands of people come from all over the country – 300,000, According to the organizers– They passed in the center of town For four hours from the capital, they stood in front of the White House to send a clear message to Joe Biden: “If there is no ceasefire, you will not have our votes” in the presidential election, which is only a year away. From now on November 5, 2024.

People are blaming the president for turning a blind eye to the “war crimes” that have been perpetrated on Gaza for nearly a month, with constant and indiscriminate bombing of one of the most densely populated regions on the planet. Tel Aviv’s attacks have already killed more than 9,400 people in Gaza, almost half of them children, and 1,400 people killed by Hamas in Israel.

“This is not a conflict between two equal parties, this is a great power helping the other to massacre civilians,” lamented Mohammed, a young Jordanian living in Virginia who, like many Arabs, traveled to the capital to support his brothers. .: “This is not war, this is genocide. We cannot remain silent in the face of evil.

While Mohammed was protesting in Washington, US Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken called for a “humanitarian pause” this Saturday in his country’s capital, Amman, Jordan. After meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi and Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry, the secretary of state reiterated the Biden administration’s unchanged position: “Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks by Hamas,” but must try to “reduce.” The number of dead has been reduced to a minimum.”

As Biden did on Wednesday, Blinken yesterday requested a “humanitarian pause” from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who rejected the request because it would require a cessation of hostilities and the release of hostages. Within a month, Washington went from giving carte blanche to the Gaza siege to asking Israel for restraint, partly because of fears of a regional escalation of the conflict, but also because of growing social opposition and within the Democratic Party.

Many of those who attended the mass demonstration this Saturday voted for Biden in 2020. A dozen people polled by ElDiario.es express doubts whether they will go to the polls in 2024. What they clearly realize is that the president’s demand for a “humanitarian pause” is a dead letter, insufficient, and even “offensive.”

“There are only two options: ceasefire or genocide.” If you have a minimum of humanity, you know which side you should be on, says Ian, who traveled to Washington in Muhammad’s car: “What is happening is inhumane, it is crazy. And on top of that, they lie to us: they tell us that Israel is a victim, when in fact it has been the aggressor for 75 years.”

“Israel bombs and the United States pays”

This Saturday’s demonstration in Washington is already being compared to what happened October 21, 1967 By the end of the Vietnam War or October 26, 2002 Against the imminent invasion of Iraq, attended by over 100,000 people. Although the United States has not dropped a bomb or deployed troops to Gaza, an increasingly vocal sector of Americans hold their country directly responsible for the carnage.

Israel is the largest recipient of American foreign aid since World War II. The amount is already 160,000 million dollars (80% military aid) and is gradually increasing to 3,800 million per year, which is currently paid. Congress, which is responsible for apportioning the budget, set aid packages for Tel Aviv at $2.1 billion for 1999-2008, $3 billion for 2009-2018, and $3.8 billion for 2019-2028.

But the Biden administration, like the vast majority of congressmen and senators, believes that this aid is not enough and has already asked Congress to approve an additional package to protect “national security needs”. The president sent an “urgent” request for $106 billion in military aid to two of his biggest allies in the war, Ukraine ($61.4 billion) and Israel ($14.3 billion), as well as Taiwan ($7.4 billion) to provide humanitarian aid. 9,000 million) and strengthening the southern border with Mexico (14,000 million).

For now, this package will have to wait for approval. Republicans, who hold a majority in the House of Representatives, want to end aid to Israel with Ukraine and have already approved the Jewish State Independent Spending Act, which is also $14.3 billion. However, the Senate is not even going to discuss this initiative, with the Democratic majority focused on the 106 billion package requested by Biden.

“Biden, you can’t hide, you chose genocide”, “you have blood on your hands” or “Israel bombs and the United States pays. How many children did they kill today?” These are some of the songs that played the most during the March for Free Palestine, attended by tens of thousands of Arabs, Jews, Christians, agnostics and atheists. More than 300 organizations The protest was supported across the country, including by the Palestinian Youth Movement, the American Muslim Alliance or the National Organization of Students for Justice in Palestine.

“This is not a question of religion: we love Jews and we love Christians because we are all human. But the existence of Israel in Palestine is completely wrong because it has always been the land of the Palestinians. It doesn’t matter if you are a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim: this is the land of the Palestinians, regardless of their religion,” said Muhammad.

Support for Palestine is growing and dividing the Democratic Party

The demonstration in Washington was the largest, but not the only, that took place this Saturday in the United States: New York, Nashville, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and San Francisco were also flooded with Palestinian flags and banners calling for a ceasefire. . The same happened in cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Barcelona and Dhaka. It’s a sign of growing international support for the Palestinian cause, amid incessant shelling of civilians in Gaza.

In the case of America, The most recent Quinnipiac poll available It shows that half of voters still support Israel’s response to the Hamas carnage, while 35% oppose it and the remaining 15% do not. That support varies by affiliation and age group, with Republicans (75%) and those over 65 (59%) the highest percentage segments. The data is very similar to sending more military aid, which is rejected by 65% ​​of 18- to 34-year-old voters, but approved by other groups.

Although they are a minority, pro-Palestinians have become more vocal in the past month, with Jewish-organized sit-ins in the streets, on networks and even inside the Capitol. Those who raised their voices demanding an end to the bombing of Gaza are also in the minority in the legislative branch. So far, 18 members of Congress have signed a resolution calling for an “immediate cease-fire,” and 14 senators have signed another letter calling for a “cease of hostilities.” That is, only 32 of the 535 legislators occupying the House of Representatives and the Senate.

This Friday, Democrat Rashida Tlaib, the only congresswoman of Palestinian descent in the United States, published video With images of destruction in Gaza and protests in the US on social networks, ending with a message to his party president and candidate: “Biden supported the genocide of the Palestinian people. We Americans are not going to forget that. Biden, support the ceasefire now, or you can’t count on us in 2024.”

This week, the hardline Republican wing of the lower house called for a vote to impeach him, accusing him of “anti-Semitism.” The effort, which failed, but joins a wave of criminalization in the US of those who defend the cease-fire in Gaza. The persecution also moves Hundreds of people were arrested at the protests During the last month or Three Arab journalists were released from the MSNBC television channel. Instead of keeping their voices down, however, more and more Americans are questioning their own country’s role in the spiral of violence that has engulfed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Source: El Diario

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