FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2023
Media Contact: Melissa Garriga | [email protected]
Several CODEPINK Peace Activists Demanding a Ceasefire NOW in GAZA in Senate Hearing Arrested
WASHINGTON, DC – At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, CODEPINK members confronted Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Defense Austin and the Senators for their complicity with Israeli war crimes.
“How can you send more weapons to Israel while it mercilessly bombs Palestinians, including a child every 10 minutes, and levels hospitals, schools, residences. The American people don’t want to fund Israeli war crimes; 66% of Americans call for a ceasefire. So who are you representing? The weapons industry? AIPAC? Ceasefire now,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin.
Retired Col. Ann Wright, a 29-year US Army veteran and former diplomat who resigned 20 years ago in opposition to the US war on Iraq, was arrested when she stood up to say: “We must stop giving Israel billions for weapons used to destroy the civilian population of Gaza.”
“I stand here to invoke the Geneva Convention, which prohibits collective punishment from being waged on civilians,” said peace activist David Barrows. “Our partnership in genocide has turned Gaza into a giant death camp of over two million civilians, almost half of whom are children.” He shouted “CEASEFIRE NOW” as he was arrested by the Capitol Police.
Other CODEPINK activists attended the hearing wearing shirts with big letters saying GAZA. They held their hands in the air, painted red to symbolize blood.
The US has played a significant role in this suffering by maintaining its position as the biggest funder of Israel’s military, providing it with $3.8 billion every year.
Despite Israel’s brutal violence against Palestinians increasing this year, the US has repeatedly expressed its support for the occupying forces. House Republicans are aiming to move forward with a bill to provide aid to Israel, with GOP leadership announcing a vote on 11/4/23. It will be a stand-alone Israel bill with a price tag of $14.5 billion, Republican leaders announced, while arguing it is “fully paid for,” according to two people familiar with the call.
CODEPINK calls on the US to call for an immediate ceasefire and to cease all military aid to Israel and support Palestinian’s legal right to return to their homelands.