Wednesday, March 6, 2024

North Carolina Civil Society Supports a Ceasefire


North Carolina civil society supports a ceasefire 

(This statement has been prepared by Muslims for Social Justice, Black Workers for Justice, People's Power Lab, NC Environmental Justice Network, and Jewish Voice for Peace - Triangle NC)

As labor unions and workers’ organizations, faith groups, community organizations, and nonprofits across North Carolina, we have come together in our recognition that all human life is precious and all are worthy of safety, dignity, and freedom. Since the targeting of civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law, we call for an immediate ceasefire to save lives in Israel/Palestine. 

The brutality of the recent violence in the Middle East

According to the Israeli Social Security Office, 1,139 Israelis, 695 of those being civilians, including 36 children were killed on October 7. At least 26,442 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including over 11,000 children have been killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as of January 28. “About 4% of the total population of the Gaza Strip—more than 90,000 people—are dead, wounded, or missing as of January 5 due to Israeli bombardment. An unprecedented number of journalists, healthcare workers, emergency service providers, and professors have been killed by Israel. Approximately “93% of the population in Gaza is facing crisis levels of hunger, with insufficient food and high levels of malnutrition” and hundreds of thousands are “experiencing soaring rates of infectious diseases.” 

Israel’s war on Gaza is a “genocide”

Collective punishment is a war crime under international law and refers to a form of sanction imposed on persons or a group of persons in response to a crime committed by one of them or a member of the group, and starvation, used as an instrument of war, is also a war crime

Over 800 scholars and practitioners of conflict studies, international law, and genocide studies, the United Nations; and more than 250 human rights organizations have warned of grave war crimes and genocide in Gaza. 

Our government should meet our needs here at home, not fund wars abroad

Martin Luther King Jr. challenged US militarism, poverty, and racism by remarking,  “I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such,” and that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death” (Beyond Vietnam Speech, April 1967).

The current war by Israel and the long-term US military support for Israel come at great expense to the American people. Israel is the largest recipient of US aid with more than $3.8 billion in annual foreign assistance, 99.7% going to the Israeli military. The state of North Carolina pays $91,775,098  in aid to Israel every year, when these funds could provide 10,910 households with public housing for a year, offer 31,932 children with free or low-cost healthcare, fund 1,002 elementary school teachers, provide 261,281 households with solar electricity produced for a year, 2,428 students with their loan debt canceled (source: US Campaign for Palestinian Rights).

Broader implications of the Israeli War 

The continued war on Gaza by Israel threatens the lives of the remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza. Some Israeli hostages have been reportedly killed by the Israeli military war on Gaza. The continued escalation by Israel and the U.S. also could result in a larger regional war with devastating consequences to all in the region and beyond. This country has recently bombed Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria (all without congressional approval). Furthermore, the recent war in the region has led to an extreme rise in Islamophobia, anti-Arab bigotry, and antisemitism in the USA.

A vast number of Americans demand an immediate ceasefire

An overwhelming number of Americans from all backgrounds have demanded an immediate ceasefire to hostilities in Gaza. Two-thirds of Americans, hundreds of congressional staff and White House administration officials, and hundreds of congregations, associations, and unions have supported an immediate ceasefire. The following are some examples of unions, organizations, and legislators demanding a ceasefire.

United Auto Workers, with more than 400,000 US workers and 580,000 retired workers has called for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the second largest union in the country has called for a permanent ceasefire.

e United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Union (UE) has called for an immediate ceasefire. In 2015, UE passed a BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) resolution against Israel in response to a campaign led by North Carolina chapter of the union, UE Local 150.

American Postal Workers Union, with more than 200,000 members across the USA, passed a resolution for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, and the resumption of humanitarian aid for Gazans.

The American Federation of Teachers, representing the nation's 1.72 million educators and school employees, has called for a ceasefire and immediate humanitarian aid.

National Nurses United
, representing 225,000 nurses across the county, has denounced the targeting of healthcare facilities in Gaza and demanded an immediate ceasefire.

More than 900 Black church leaders have demanded a ceasefire and humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.

Thousands of Jews
in the USA have protested for a ceasefire in some of the largest pro-peace demonstrations in the last twenty years; 272 Rabbis and Rabbinical Students have called for a ceasefire; 879 workers at Jewish organizations have called for a ceasefire.

70 cities around the country, including Chicago and Seattle, as of January 31, have called for a ceasefire.

66 members of the US Congress
support the ceasefire.

Significance of International Court of Justice’s Ruling

On January 26, the International Court of Justice, the highest judicial court in the world, in response to  case brought by South Africa, ruled that Israel must prevent the following against Palestinians in Gaza: (1) killing Palestinians; (2) causing serious bodily or mental harm to Palestinians; (3) deliberately inflicting on Palestinians conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and (4) imposing measures intended to prevent births for Palestinians.

The ICJ ruled that “Israel must take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The United States is a signatory to the ICJ and is thus legally bound by its rulings. President Biden has referred to the ICJ as “one of humanity’s most critical institutions to advance peace around the world.”

Signatories to Ceasefire Statement

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations in North Carolina, demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire to the Israeli war on Gaza, and an ending of all US support for the Israeli war.

We recognize that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim people deserve to be safe here in North Carolina and we commit to working against Islamophobia, antisemitism, and all forms of discrimination and hatred against any religious, ethnic or racial group.

We demand our Senators and all members of the NC congressional delegation join representatives Valerie Foushee and Alma Adams in supporting a ceasefire, and that our representatives in DC vote no on any funding to Israel.

We also ask our congressional representatives to: 

Ask  the Biden administration to respect and comply with the legally binding ruling of the ICJ on January 26

Urge the Biden administration to call for an immediate cessation to all Israeli military activity in Gaza; 

Call upon the Biden administration to promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance -at the scale needed- into Gaza; and

Urge the Biden administration to work for the release of all hostages, the hostages held in Gaza, and the Palestinians detained by the Israeli government and military.

We support the implementation of international law, without exception and particularly when taxpayer moneys are given. 

We will continue organizing through protests, rallies, and voting to abolish what MLK Jr. called the Triple Evils of racism, militarism, and inequality!

Organizational Signatories
Muslims for Social Justice
Black Workers for Justice
People's Power Lab
Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center
North Carolina Environmental Justice Network
Jewish Voice for Peace - Triangle NC
NC Muslim Grassroots
Madinah Quran and Youth Center
North Carolina Public Workers Union - UE Local 150
Union of Southern Service Workers
Raleigh City Workers Union - UE Local 150
Durham Workers Assembly
Raleigh Wake Workers Assembly
Refund Raleigh Freedom Committee
NC BLOC (NC Black Leadership and Organizing)
Fayetteville PACT
United for a Fair Economy
Balance and Accuracy in Journalism
Southern Vision Alliance

People's Solidarity Hub
NC Disaster Response and Resilience Network
Sunrise Movement Durham Hub
North Carolina Green Party
Winston-Salem Democratic Socialists of America
Third Act North Carolina
Socialist Party USA Northern Piedmont Local
Art of Wellness
NC Triangle Democratic Socialists of America
Korea Peace Now North Carolina
NC Peace Action - Wake County Chapter
WNC Club of Communist Party USA
Better Fayetteville Project
Comite de Accion Popular
WILPF (Women International League for Peace and Freedom)
Parable of the Sower Intentional Community Cooperative
Southeast Immigrant Rights Network
Right Sides Facing

Individual Signatures
Manzoor Cheema
Erika Moss

Erica England
Ayesha Khan

Jackson Hewitt
Didem Miraloglu
Yakub Miraloglu
Sameer Cheema
Faris Soliman
Sadiya Maryam
Saliha Miraloglu
Sumeyya Miraloglu
Rayyanoor Jawad
Merve Rida Bayraktar
Hajra Shah
Ayah Dabbagh
Clair Cheu
Lauren Steiner
Julia Owen
Tauheedah White
Shifana Irfaan
Patricia Watkis Msay
Abdelrahman Aly
Ella Carter
Lucy Safir
Martha S Pentecost
Elena Ceberio
Joe Burton
Melissa Holmberg
Anthony Quartararo
Anna Ordoubadi
Anne Hemingway Feuer
Donna Russo
Karen Ziegler
Micah McLain
Nique Williams
Katherine Rays Rodriguez
Angela Tatum Malloy
Padma Dyvine
Vincent Russell
Jessica Gore-Pike
Anita Cunningham

Ruth Zalph
Aleta Toure
Terra Watley
Nayely Perez-Huerta
Viviana Jimenez-Macias
Susan Oehler
Thomas Preston
Eden Simmons
Tom Patteson
Timothy Jacob Hooker

Do you Wish to Sing this Statement? If so, visit

                                             Ceasefire Rally in Raleigh on November 24, 2024

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