An Open Letter to Senator Tammy Baldwin: A Shameful Vote on Gaza

Statistics on the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip (07 October – 19 January 2024)

January 19, 2024

An Open Letter to Senator Tammy Baldwin: A Shameful Vote on Gaza

On Tuesday January 16, the US Senate killed Senate Resolution 504, submitted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, calling for basic oversight of U.S. weapons to Israel. Only 11 senators had the courage to vote in favor even though a clear majority of Americans want an end to this bloody war. 

Sen. Baldwin, to your everlasting shame, you ignored your constituents and joined Sen. Ron Johnson and the others who made the cruel choice to keep giving Israel a free pass to commit mass murder.

Our sister city of Rafah is being bombed, shelled, and overwhelmed with more than a million starving, thirsty, sick and wounded civilians — including some 500,000 children — fleeing death and the total destruction of their lives. The projects that the citizens of Madison have so generously supported in Gaza over the last 21 years have been destroyed, damaged or rendered inoperable by Israel with weapons provided by our own tax dollars.

Prominent among these is the Atfaluna Society for the Deaf, a children’s school and adult crafts workshop, which was completely destroyed when Israel deliberately blew up the entire neighborhood where it was located. 

Are the people that our hands were extended to still alive and intact, searching desperately in the cold and wet winter of Gaza for food, water, medicine, shelter, the bodies and body parts of missing relatives? 

Or are they among the 25,000 already confirmed dead, the 7,000 buried under the rubble, the 62,000 enduring their wounds without benefit of medical care, painkillers, or anesthetics to relieve the pain of amputations and caesarean sections? We don’t even know.

We are angered and devastated beyond words that you — who have the unmitigated gall to call yourself a Progressive when asking for our votes — lacked the courage to even investigate whether Israel is using taxpayer-provided weapons to commit war crimes in Gaza in violation of US law.

As Ahmad Abuznaid of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights said, “Every senator who has voted to let Israel off the hook, refusing to conduct the most basic oversight for U.S. weapons, is deeply complicit in Israel’s mass killings of Palestinians in Gaza. History will remember how you fueled bloodshed during a genocide.”

Senator Baldwin, in the name of all that is decent, compassionate and just, how many more must suffer and die before you take action? When will it be enough?

Rowan Atalla
Amy Atalla-Hill
Tsela Barr
Cassandra Dixon
Lisa Masri
Barbara Olson
Donna Wallbaum
Kathy Walsh

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