Skip navigation

We Gave Congress a New Heart

16 February 2024

By Isra Nadeem 

On Sunday, February 11th, as most Americans watched the Super Bowl, the people of Rafah were bombed in an assault that led to 95+ deaths. The following night, the Senate held a late-night vote to pass a $95.3 billion package that includes new assistance for Ukraine and funding for Israel and Taiwan. The vote was finalized at 6 in the morning, with 70 voting in favor and 29 senators voting against it. This package contains $14.1 billion for the Israeli military to continue its genocide of the Gazan people. This week at CODEPINK, we gathered and went from office to office to hold those supporting this genocide funding accountable 

Sixty-nine representatives and 5 senators have called for a ceasefire. Over 28,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel. 

Monday, February 12th

To start the week, we decided to visit the office of the Republican leader from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell. When the bill was passed, McConnell said "History settles all scores. And today, regarding the importance of American leadership and power, History will note that the Senate stood firm without hesitation." The Senate stood firm without hesitation in its support of the genocide of Palestinians. We created a massacre scene, right in his office,  to bring the scenes of violence he is supporting to his doorstep. We won’t let genocide supporters from either party forget what they stand for.

Tuesday, February 13th

On Tuesday, we visited democratic representatives, particularly those Democrats who chose to endorse the bill allocating funds and weapons to Israel that will lead to more civilian casualties. Additionally, they voted to cease funding for UNRWA, which provides humanitarian aid to Gazans already suffering from famine and illness. This list includes Senators Van Hollen and Warren, whose hypocrisy was evident when they voted for the bill's passage but previously called for a ceasefire. We also visited Senators Murphy, Butler, Durbin, Heinrich, Schatz and Hirono. During our time in Durbin's office, we expressed our great disappointment in him, as the previous time we went to his office, we thanked him for his calling for a ceasefire and voting decisions. Now, we are in his office to remind him that the bill he voted for will continue to arm Israel and kill the children in Palestine.

Wednesday, February 14th

Will you free my Palestine? On Wednesday, we went to Capitol Hill and joined Teachers Against Genocide to send a message of "Have a heart, save Gaza." We asked the children, "Who are you sending love to for Valentine's Day?" Their responses were, "To Gaza and Palestine," "the children of Gaza and Palestine," "Palestine," and "To the children and parents of Gaza." Even these young children know that the people of Palestine need love and care. We also disrupted a House hearing on Yemen, where Trump-era CIA, Pentagon, and State Department officials testified. The Houthis in Yemen are pressuring the US and Israel to stop the genocide in Gaza by preventing ships from traveling through the Red Sea to Israel. They are not targeting civilians or posing a direct threat to the U.S., yet the U.S. has begun bombing Yemen in response. During the hearing, some members of Congress called for escalation rather than recognizing that the Red Sea blockade will end when the genocide in Gaza ends. Some officials even suggested the United States begin attacking Iran instead of de-escalating. Everyone who disrupted the hearing was escorted out.

Thursday, February 15th

On Thursday, we were so excited to be joined by actress Susan Sarandon, who faced a vicious backlash for her support of Palestine,.We attempted to have Susan meet with Hakeem Jeffries about his unwavering support for Israel, but the representative refused. Corey Bush and Rashida Tlaib openly met with Susan and the Palestinian advocates. Susan left us with a clear and inspiring message: “There has never been peace attained through violence. We have to have a permanent ceasefire and save the lives of all those people that are now basically in a corner.”

Friday, February 16th

Friday was spent in the Rayburn congressional building, where we went from office to office to continue our demands for a ceasefire, restoration of UNRWA funding, and no more money to Israel. We discussed the $95.3 billion package with lots of offices and explained the importance of keeping our hard-earned tax dollars here.