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Progressive Caucus Wants Israel To Respect International Law in Gaza but Has No Policy Proposals

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has written a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken urging them to communicate with Israel that international humanitarian law must be respected in Gaza as Israel responds to Hamas’ attacks. While the letter expresses concern over Israel’s order that 1.1 million people evacuate northern Gaza within 24 hours and warns that cutting off food, water, and electricity to Gaza residents is a “violation of international humanitarian law,” it remains an impotent gesture in that it makes no concrete proposals for peace negotiations, a ceasefire, a two-state solution, or anything else of substance.

The letter is careful to state that Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas’ terrible crimes and limits itself to urging that the “tough work” of seeking a “lasting peace” in the region must continue, without specifying how that should be done. The letter ends with five specific proposals for ensuring that humanitarian law is respected in Gaza, that steps be taken to protect innocent civilians, that food, water and electricity are restored to Gaza, and that supplemental Congressional funds for humanitarian aid for both Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza are guaranteed.

The letter was led by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)—the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus—and Jim McGovern (D-MA), the ranking member of the House Rules Committee.