To the Honorable Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King, Rep. Jared Golden, and Rep. Chellie Pingree:
We write to urgently express our deep concern and seek your support for the “Ceasefire Now Resolution” introduced by Rep. Cori Bush. This resolution calls for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine. All human life is precious and the targeting of civilians, no matter their faith or ethnicity, is a violation of international humanitarian law.
Between October 7th and October 16th, 2023, this conflict resulted in over 2,700 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis losing their lives, with many more injured. Exacerbating the suffering is the Israeli blockade on Gaza, restricting access to essential supplies for more than a million people.
Former President Barack Obama emphasized the consequences of such actions, urging Israel to adhere to international laws to ensure both moral integrity and long-term security. He poignantly stated, “if we care about … peace, security, and dignity for future generations of Israeli and Palestinian children, then it falls upon all of us to model the kind of world we want them to inherit.” In echoing these sentiments, we implore you to consider the broader consequences of current U.S. foreign policy and urge immediate action towards a ceasefire.
The United States, with its prominent diplomatic influence and history of substantial military assistance to Israel, plays a pivotal role in shaping this conflict’s outcomes. Disturbingly, reports have emerged that U.S. diplomats have been discouraged from using phrases like “de-escalation”, “ceasefire” and “end to violence/bloodshed.” This must change.
Public sentiment aligns with these concerns. A Data for Progress survey released Friday, October 20th, shows that 66% of likely voters, including 80% of Democrats, 56% of Republicans and 57% of Independents, agree that “the U.S. should call for a cease-fire and de-escalation of violence in Gaza” and “leverage its close diplomatic relationship with Israel to prevent further violence and civilian deaths.”
In these challenging times, we implore you to support the resolution for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine. This is not only a matter of foreign policy; it is a matter of human life, dignity, and the pursuit of lasting peace.
In closing, let the well-being of the innocent civilians caught in the middle of this conflict guide your decisions. Their lives and futures rest upon your collective actions.
Ambureen Rana (State Representative, Bangor)
Mana Abdi (State Representative, Lewiston)
Deqa Dhalac (State Representative and City Councilor, South Portland)
Dina Yacoubagha (City Councilor, Bangor)
Liam Lafountain (City Councilor, Biddeford)
Pious Ali (City Councilor, Portland)
Marwa Hassanien (School Committee Member, Bangor)
Yusuf Yusuf (School Board Member, Portland)