An open letter to Bernie Sanders:
On March 31, you tweeted: “The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response.”
The situation in Gaza is of the utmost urgency as the conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate and as peaceful demonstrators are killed and injured by the Israeli state.
We agree with you that the United States should call on Israel to stop its ongoing siege of the Gaza strip and cease its open fire on peaceful, non-violent demonstrators.
We believe that you play an important role in bringing the world’s attention to Gaza and highlighting the United States’ complicity in the violence.
We are asking that you go to Gaza to meet the people, see the situation for yourself, and discuss with the Palestinian people the best way to support them. This gesture would show the world that the United States cares about what is happening on the ground in Gaza and that we say no to the Israeli siege on Gaza against peaceful, non-violent protest.
A 2017 United Nations report found that Gaza is “unlivable” due to the now-12-year Israeli blockade. The lack of livelihood, employment, adequate health care, education, electricity, and clean water are testament to the urgency of the situation.
Of note, the report found that Gaza’s only water source is predicted to be “depleted, and irreversibly so” by 2020 unless immediate action is taken.
The United States must not sit back and watch while Palestinians die. As your constituents, and in solidarity with those outside of Vermont, we ask that you go to Gaza and let Vermont lead the way in support of the two million people living in Gaza, more than half of them children.
The moment is critical. We urge you to use your position to act in justice and call for an end to the siege.
Please go to Gaza.
Anna Mullany and Crystal Barney