Opinion: US Must Stop Funding the Killing in Gaza


Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal aera in Gaza City on October 9, 2023. Photo: Naaman Omar / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED)

I’m saddened by the increasing number of and ferocity of verbal attacks on Amherst4Ceasefire members, including threats.  So many of these attacks are badly misinformed and/or mind boggling in their logic.  I was told that mentioning dead children was inflammatory.  I think the fact that there are so many dead children is what should be inflammatory. Over 12,000 children have been killed in Gaza;  children of all ages, including babies who have not celebrated their first birthday.  Children with names.  Every day of bombing brings more death to children. In total, more than 100,000 people in Gaza have been killed or injured.  An eye for eye was quickly passed by in October.  

Others have been attacked for using language that isn’t in the resolution, such as “genocide” and “deliberately targeting children”. However, It appears that genocidal speech is now politically correct speech in Israel.  Consider the following:

“We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly,” Israel’s Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, said, describing the Israeli military’s response just days after Hamas’ attack. “We will eliminate everything – they will regret it,” Gallant added.

“There will be no electricity and no water (in Gaza), there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell”. Maj Gen Ghassan Alian, who heads the Israeli army’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Palestinian Territories declared. 

Moshe Feiglin, the founder of Israel’s right-wing Zehut Party has also called for the complete destruction of Gaza. “There is one and only one solution, which is to completely destroy Gaza before invading it. I mean destruction like what happened in Dresden and Hiroshima, without nuclear weapons.” he said.

In another statement, Feiglin said Israel’s end goal should not be to eliminate Hamas, but rather, “Gaza should be razed and Israel’s rule should be restored to the place. This is our country”. 

Amit Halevi, meanwhile, a Likud member in parliament, said, “There should be two goals for this victory: One, there is no more Muslim land in the land of Israel … After we make it the land of Israel, Gaza should be left as a monument, like Sodom”.

Some Israeli politicians have outright called for a repeat of the Nakba, or catastrophe in Arabic, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled and hundreds of villages demolished from 1947 to 1948 as the state of Israel was being established. 

In 1969, former Israeli prime Minister Golda Meir stated, “There was no such things as Palestinians”. This year, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich repeated that claim saying there’s “no such thing as the Palestinian people.”

Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said, “Tens of thousands of people, mostly women and children, have been killed or injured. Families are sleeping in the open as temperatures plummet. Areas where civilians were told to relocate for their safety have come under bombardment. Medical facilities are under relentless attack. The few hospitals that are partially functional are overwhelmed with trauma cases, critically short of all supplies, and inundated by desperate people seeking safety. A public health disaster is unfolding. Infectious diseases are spreading in overcrowded shelters as sewers spill over. Famine is around the corner…For children in particular, the past 12 weeks have been traumatic: No food. No water. No school. Nothing but the terrifying sounds of war, day in and day out. Gaza has simply become uninhabitable. Its people are witnessing daily threats to their very existence – while the world watches on……I think this is the worst [crisis] in my 50 years of experience.”

Supporters of the ceasefire resolution have been verbally attacked for equating Israeli hostages and Palestinian detainees. “Administrative detention is incarceration without trial or charge, alleging that a person plans to commit a future offense. It has no time limit, and the evidence on which it is based is not disclosed. Israel employs this measure extensively and routinely, and has used it to hold thousands of Palestinians for lengthy periods of time. While detention orders are formally reviewed, this is merely a semblance of judicial oversight, as detainees cannot reasonably mount a defense against undisclosed allegations (B’Tselem).” Is this really so different from hostage taking?

We have been chastised for not emphasizing the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023.  That attack had an entire Town Council resolution devoted to it.  And the resolution now under consideration includes it in the first “Whereas”. I should point out that when the first resolution was passed in October by the Town Council, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza had already begun but that resolution did not recognize this fact. 

Cease fire resolutions have been passed in 70 cities and towns across the country.  Rabbi’s4ceasefire now has over 295 signatures from Rabbis and rabbinical students in Israel/Palestine, Europe and the USA calling for a ceasefire. And 32 Israeli social and humanitarian organizations have called for a ceasefire.

Can we stop trying to sterilize every sentence in the resolution and speak as a community that the killing and destruction must stop and that the US should stop sending those weapons of death?  Surely we can find better uses of $14 Billion.

Gerry Weiss, a psychotherapist, was a member of the Amherst Select Board from 2004 to 2010 and a member of Town Meeting for 19 years.

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1 thought on “Opinion: US Must Stop Funding the Killing in Gaza

  1. In a country where aberrant and abhorrent behavior such as advertising to children is the norm , vitriol against anti- genocide activists is an expected consequence sequelae to mass misinformation for global network of corporatocracies . One only needs to look at the mass extermination in this hemisphere of indigenous ppls but so few even admit, colonizers are committing ethnocide real time in this country USA exoname

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