Dear Senators King and Collins,
We need a permanent ceasefire in Palestine now. As of November 30, over 15,000 Palestinians—including more than 6,150 children—have been murdered by the state of Israel. All of this has taken place in just under two months, a staggering rate of slaughter that “has few precedents in this century,” according to experts cited in the New York Times. Israel’s unrelenting bombing campaign has severely damaged or destroyed 45 percent of houses in Gaza and displaced 1.7 million Palestinians, a little more than three quarters of the Gazan population. The state of Israel has destroyed the infrastructure necessary for Gazan life, bombing hospitals and schools, churches and mosques, refugee camps and evacuation zones. Israel has exacerbated this violence by intermittently blocking access to humanitarian relief, power and internet access.
Authorities ranging from the Center for Constitutional Rights to the now-resigned director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights have characterized this offensive as genocidal. Top Israeli government officials have openly used genocidal rhetoric, calling “for the ‘total destruction’ and ‘erasure’ of Gaza and the need to ‘finish them all.’” There is no room for equivocation: We are witnessing a genocide.
The blame does not lie solely with Israel, though; we hold the United States complicit in these ongoing atrocities. Just last year, President Biden signed a bill provisioning more than $3.3 billion in military aid to Israel. Despite the clear evidence of genocide, the Biden administration has doubled down on its support, essentially giving Israel a blank check by pushing for an additional $14 billion in military aid and refusing to place conditions on future aid. As residents of the United States and of Maine, we say no to our tax dollars funding mass murder and ethnic cleansing. We say no to genocide.
Though a ceasefire is only a first step toward justice, it is a direly needed one—that is why, as your constituents, we call on you to demand a permanent ceasefire now. Until you do, Palestinian blood is on your hands.
Bowdoin Students for Justice in Palestine
We are asking all Maine students and residents who agree with these demands to sign their names to this letter by clicking here.
Ahmad Abdulwadood ’24, Rachel Klein ’24, Bhadra Mishra ’24, Caleb Packard ’26 and Eisa Rafat ’25 are members of Bowdoin Students for Justice in Palestine. This piece does not represent the views of Bowdoin College or the Bowdoin Orient.