We want to publicly thank Rep. Danny K. Davis (7th) for joining five other representatives who are courageous enough to urge Gaza protestors to carry out their right to assemble nonviolently while calling on members of the Israeli Defense Forces to “exercise utmost restraint in the use of deadly force and to fully comply with international law.” 

We, the residents of Oak Park, are fortunate to have a representative who speaks out against injustice wherever it occurs. As of April 20, 33 of Gaza’s residents have been killed by Israel Defense Forces, thousands have been injured. For 10 years, Gaza has been under an Israeli land and sea blockade. Currently, electricity is provided for only about four hours a day. There has been very limited rebuilding since the 2014 bombing assault on Gaza. 

When will the U.S. government demand humane treatment of people of Gaza? Our representative just did. The April 13 statement by representatives Pocan, Jayapal, Ellison, Lee, Johnson and Davis states: “We are deeply disturbed by the tragic loss of life over the past two weeks carried out within the territory of Gaza, with more than a dozen Palestinians killed by sniper fire, including an unarmed teenager and a respected journalist. We object to reported cases of non-peaceful actions carried out by some Gazan protestors and call on them to exercise their rights nonviolently. We also urge Israeli soldiers to refrain from shooting live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian protesters from hundreds of meters away, across the fence separating the two territories. We applaud Israeli human rights groups that are calling on Israeli soldiers to resist such illegal orders from their superiors, and are urging IDF forces to fully comply with international law and exercise utmost restraint in their use of deadly force. Such measures must only be used as a last resort to stop an imminent threat to life.” 

As U.S. citizens, we would expect nothing less from our armed forces and police; why do we give Israel a free ticket? We provide $3.9 billion in military aid to Israel a year. It is our responsibility as citizens to make sure that money is used in a manner that reflects our ideals. Sharp-shooting nonviolent protestors and journalists does not reflect our ideals.

Joyce Cassel

Oak Park

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