Republicans Should Join Demands For Ceasefire in Gaza

Israel has received worldwide condemnation for killing more than 30,000 civilians in its war against Hamas, including many thousands of small children.

This condemnation became a crescendo, however, when 118 desperately hungry, almost starving men and boys tried to get some food from a relief truck.

But while Israel’s extreme cruelty has shocked the rest of the world, one group that has remained silent are the Republicans in Congress.

There have been just two exceptions-Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Thomas Massie, and they deserve our praise or at least our very great respect.

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I have been a very loyal Republican all my adult life and especially during my 30 years in Congress.

But I am very disappointed in my Republican friends in Congress, many to whom I have contributed, for going along with this slaughter of thousands of innocent women and children in Gaza. Their silence has been deafening.

Now, even some of the Jewish Democrats in Congress have criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu. And President Biden has sent a small amount of aid and has called for an immediate ceasefire.

However, Biden should be doing much more. Several foreign policy experts have said he could stop all this killing with one phone call.

The silence in Congress is because of one thing-Money. Every member of Congress has seen the reports that the American Israeli Political Action Committee has said it will spend $100 million to go after so-called progressive Democrats who so far are about the only ones saying Israel has gone too far in its cruel treatment of Palestinians.

There has never been greater election interference on behalf of a foreign country than that by AIPAC, certainly the most powerful lobby in the history of the world.

Why have there been only two Congressional Republicans willing to speak out against this ongoing horrific human rights disaster? They would all be speaking out if this was going on in any other country.

There is an unwritten but ironclad rule: leaders subject to elections can criticize any other country—even their own— but not Israel.

Republicans in Congress are clearly afraid of AIPAC money being used against them and even a totally false charge of being anti-Semitic.

On January 10, the British newspaper, the Guardian, reported that members of Congress who supported Israel’s inhumane war had received an average of $125,000 in campaign contributions and that only 33 out of 535 had not received any.

Republicans should not be so afraid of AIPAC. The Pew Research Center reported in 2021 that “Jews are among the most consistently liberal and Democratic groups in the U.S. population.”

The Pew Center said 71% of Jews were Democrats, and the American Jewish Committee said 76% of Jews supported Biden in the 2020 Presidential election.

The Jerusalem Post reported in 2018 about a study for the Program for American Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa that said 50% of all Democratic campaign contributions came from Jews who comprise only 2.4% of the U.S. population.

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I n October of 2002, I shocked my heavily Republican, very pro-military district by voting against the second George Bush’s war in Iraq. Just the night before, I had been told of a poll by a Knoxville television station which said 74% in our area were in favor of the war with only 9% opposed to it and 17 % undecided.

For two or three years, this was clearly the most unpopular vote I had ever cast. But vey slowly, it became the most popular vote I ever made.

I have noticed that over the last couple of months, no Republicans have been running to the TV cameras to proclaim their support for this war as they did in its first few weeks. Israel has simply gone too far.

Even in the most conservative districts, the great majority of the people have been totally repulsed by the killing and starving of women and little children.

I believe that any Republican who would speak out organist this slaughter would be greatly admired for his or her courage and overwhelmingly re-elected, and I think they would feel better for not having the blood of so many innocent people on their hands .