On the Outer Cape, we spoke up against Trump’s policy of family separation at the U.S. border in 2018. We spoke up against the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and other Black Americans murdered by police in 2020. We spoke up against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We spoke up against the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and saw Provincetown Town Hall lit blue and white in solidarity with Israel in the days that followed.
Now it’s time to also speak up for the people of Gaza, who are being slaughtered by the Israeli military with the backing of the United States. It’s time to call for an immediate ceasefire and the restoration of water, fuel, electricity, and humanitarian aid.
As a proud Jewish person, I know all too well what “never again” means. Yet Israel, a nation that falsely claims to protect me, Israelis, and other Jewish people around the world, maintains an illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and commits genocide and other war crimes in our names. This doesn’t keep Jewish people safe and only makes the world more unlivable, especially for Palestinians. We know that collective punishment is a war crime. I hope we know that Palestinian lives are as sacred as anyone else’s.
In the past two weeks, the state of Israel has killed more than 5,000 Palestinians who are trapped in Gaza, including more than 2,000 children. Israel has imposed an almost total blockade, cutting off food, electricity, fuel, and water to Gaza’s entire population, over half of whom are children, with only 39 humanitarian aid trucks allowed to enter through Egypt in recent days.
For confirmation of these war crimes, we need only look as far as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who said, “We are imposing a complete siege on Gaza. … There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything will be closed.” Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has documented more than 111 Israeli military attacks on health-care facilities in Gaza. Health-care workers are treating wounds with vinegar and performing surgeries without anesthesia.
U.S. tax dollars fund these atrocities, with $3.8 billion a year in military aid alone already going to Israel. On Oct. 18, the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that called for pauses in the fighting to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. Two days later, President Biden asked Congress for an additional $14 billion in military aid for Israel.
We must do everything in our power to deescalate this crisis. That means standing up for the Palestinian people and demanding the restoration of water, fuel, and electricity in Gaza and safe passage for humanitarian aid — not more military spending. Urge your representatives to sign the Ceasefire Now Resolution in Congress and speak out against the wave of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian sentiment sweeping the U.S.
Ruby T is an artist and educator. She lives in Provincetown.