[Photo credit: Claire Geriak/The Channels]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 8, 2023
Media Contact: Melissa Garriga | [email protected]
Central Coast Antiwar Coalition and CODEPINK-Santa Barbara Condemn Carbajal's Vote to Censor Speech
SANTA BARBARA, Ca. - The Central Coast Antiwar Coalition and CODEPINK-Santa Barbara condemn Santa Barbara Congressman Salud Carbajal’s (D-CA-24) vote for H.Res.894, a Republican-led resolution that sets the stage for criminalization of speech for Palestinian rights during Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Instead of voting with 106 other lawmakers who refrained from casting a yes vote, Carbajal voted with the majority for a dangerous resolution that undermines First Amendment rights.
The resolution, which passed in the Republican-controlled House on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, wrongly conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism under the guise of fighting anti-Semitism..
The resolution calls on elected officials and world leaders “to condemn and fight all forms of domestic and global antisemitism,” and “clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”
“In voting for this censorship resolution, Representative Carbajal makes clear he stands with Israel’s genocidal campaign against the imprisoned population of the Gaza Strip and that he will smear any dissenters, including Jewish leaders, as antisemitic,” said Omar Figueredo, organizer with the Central Coast Antiwar Coalition.
Marcy Winograd, an organizer with CODEPINK-Santa Barbara, added, “It’s unfortunate that an official elected to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights displays such disregard for the First Amendment’s freedom of speech clause.”
Anti-Semitism is discrimination and persecution of the Jewish people reflected in conspiracy tropes, threats and hateful acts.
In contrast, anti-Zionism is opposition to the policies of the State of Israel which declares itself a Jewish state to privilege Jews at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population.
For example, as a Jewish-defined state, Israel grants Israeli citizenship to anyone anywhere in the world born from a Jewish mother; whereas Israel denies the right of return to 750,000 Palestinians and their descendants expelled from the land to make way for the State of Israel.
Figueredo added, “Registering opposition to Zionism or the apartheid policies of the State of Israel is not different from criticizing other political ideologies and it is a civil right that Congress is constitutionally-bound to protect.”
Carbjal’s vote to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism follows the Coalition’s repeated protests at his office denouncing Carbajal’s votes to aid and abet Israeli genocide by voting to send more weapons to Israel and refusing to support a ceasefire.
Under the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide is defined as, “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;”
“In voting for another $14 billion for weapons for Israel during its bombing of Gaza’s children, Carbajal aids and abets Israeli genocide,” charged Winograd, adding, “In refusing to join the global call for a ceasefire, our representative in Congress does not represent two-thirds of the US public who said they want a ceasefire. In voting to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semtism, Carbajal seeks to silence dissent, the bedrock of democracy.”