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More than 40 Baltimore organizations and small businesses call on Congress to demand an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine

THE AFRO — “Thousands of Baltimoreans have made phone calls and participated in protests against Israel’s genocide in Palestine, and still our elected officials ignore us” said Anna Evans-Goldstein, who helped coordinate the letter following a Jewish-led sit-in at the office of Rep. Kweisi Mfume (MD-07) that helped move the congressman to call for a ceasefire on November 8. 

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By AFRO Staff

Baltimore, MD – On Dec. 5, more than 40 organizations and businesses representing more than 200,000 people in the Baltimore area sent a letter urging Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03) to join a growing list of members of Congress calling for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine.

The letter’s signatories include leading civil rights, student, Jewish, veteran, faith, and street violence prevention organizations.

“Thousands of Baltimoreans have made phone calls and participated in protests against Israel’s genocide in Palestine, and still our elected officials ignore us” said Anna Evans-Goldstein, who helped coordinate the letter following a Jewish-led sit-in at the office of Rep. Kweisi Mfume (MD-07) that helped move the congressman to call for a ceasefire on November 8.

“In a time when Torah and Jewish values are being weaponized by many to call for greater violence, my Jewish community and so many Jewish Marylanders uplift that our tradition honors pikuach nefesh—saving a life, as a value that supersedes all else,” said Rabbi Ariana Katz, the founding rabbi of Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl. “Immediate ceasefire is the only way to pikuach nefesh in the face of the heinous bombardment and invasion of Gaza.”

“The catastrophic carnage, death, and devastation in Gaza, funded by billions of U.S. tax dollars, is reminiscent of some of the darkest periods in human history,” said Zainab Chaudry, Maryland director for the Council on American–Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil liberties organization in the U.S. “We are urging members of congress to demonstrate moral courage in this critical moment and take immediate action to help save innocent lives by supporting an immediate, permanent ceasefire and the unrestricted flow of humanitarian aid.”

“As an organization of over 100 public school students in Baltimore City, we stand unequivocally for peace and an end to our government’s complicity in Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of civilians and public infrastructure—including a number of schools—in Gaza,” said Ethan Eblaghie, a member of the Baltimore Student Union.

“We need a lasting ceasefire and a full hostage exchange as the first step towards a long-term political solution that ends occupation, apartheid, and siege and ensures equality, justice, and safety for all Palestinians and Israelis,” said Zackary Berger of IfNotNow Baltimore, a Jewish organization dedicated to ending the occupation of Palestine.

“Billions of dollars have been willingly provided to support Israel’s brutal military assault on Gaza,” said Ashley Hufnagel, Executive Director of United Workers. “But when it came time to extend the pandemic era protections and benefits that cut child poverty in half, decreased hunger, and kept people on life-saving Medicaid, there was no money? For poor people in Palestine and poor people in America, the outcome is the same—death and misery.”

“As a citizen of the world, I understand that oppression, trauma, and misunderstandings that lead to violence painfully impact the whole of us—while peaceful, equitable, and humane problem-solving helps to heal the whole of us,” said Erricka Bridgeford, founder of Baltimore Peace Movement (formerly Baltimore Ceasefire), which works to end violence in the city. “Please honor our humanity by calling for a ceasefire between Israel and occupied Palestine.”

“More than 15,000 Palestinians, almost half of whom have been children, have been killed by the Israeli military since October 7,” said Ida K., a member of The Greater Baltimore Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. “We desperately urge our political representatives to sign on to official demands for a permanent ceasefire and put an end to the genocide of the Palestinian people. We will keep organizing until peace is achieved in occupied Palestine.”

Rep. Mfume remains the only Baltimore-area member of Congress to call for a ceasefire, despite polls showing 80% of registered Democrats and 66% of all voters supporting one. Complete List of Signers: Anti-Imperialist Action UMBC, Baltimore Abortion Fund, Baltimore City Green Party, Baltimore Palestine Solidarity, Baltimore Peace Movement, Baltimore Phil Berrigan Memorial Veterans For Peace, Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy, Baltimore Student Union, Baltimore Youth Arts, Black Theology Project, Bloom Collective, Community College of Baltimore County Muslim Student Association, Community Play Project, Council on American Islamic Relations Maryland, Fruit Camp Studios, Greater Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America, Greater Baltimore Residents for a Ceasefire, Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, IfNotNow Baltimore, Islamic Community Center of Laurel, Jewish Voice for Peace Baltimore, June and July Therapy, Malaya Movement Baltimore, Maryland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Mera Kitchen Collective, MICA Organizers & Activists, NLife, NoMuNoMu, Our Time Kitchen, Peace Action Baltimore, Peace Action Maryland, Present Company, Red Emma’s Cooperative, Students and Labor Against Police, Station North Tool Library, Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Towson Freedom School, Tubman House, United Maryland Muslim Council, United Workers, Women Leading Baltimore.

The post More than 40 Baltimore organizations and small businesses call on Congress to demand an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine appeared first on AFRO American Newspapers .

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