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As Christopher Burns reported in the Bangor Daily News on Nov. 9, I and six others were arrested while protesting U.S. Rep. Jared Golden’s refusal to back a congressional resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. Burns’ BDN article says the Israeli military “is fighting the militant group Hamas” in Gaza, but I think that scarcely begins to describe what Israel is doing in Gaza. More than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel started attacking civilian areas in early October. More than 3,000 of those Palestinians were children.
Israel has attacked hospitals and refugee camps. Israel told northern Gaza residents to move south and then attacked them in the south. Israel has cut off power, water and fuel deliveries, causing needless deaths in Gaza hospitals that are unable to run lifesaving medical equipment, and are unable to perform surgery in operating rooms that have been rendered dark, with no fuel or electricity to turn the lights back on. And on and on. Israel is inflicting collective punishment on Gaza’s entire population of 2.3 million men, women and children.
As those of us arrested in Golden’s office said in our statement to Golden, we would no more bomb our sisters and brothers in Gaza for the actions of some than we would bomb our friends and neighbors in Lewiston for the actions of one man. We stand by that statement.