Washington, 2 November, 2023 (GNP): In a Senate Appropriations Committee briefing, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin briefed about the Biden administration’s request for an additional $106 billion, which includes funding for Israel and humanitarian relief in the region. However, the meeting was disrupted by protesters affiliated with the organization CODEPINK, including former diplomats and peace activists. These activists were subsequently arrested for their actions.
During the Senate proceedings, the protesters raised red-stained hands to symbolize bloodshed and chanted slogans, such as “Ceasefire Now, Protect the Children of Gaza, and Stop Funding Genocide.” They demanded an immediate ceasefire to safeguard the lives of children in Gaza.
The Biden administration has blood on their hands. CEASEFIRE NOW! pic.twitter.com/QfCHZK0zhw
— CODEPINK (@codepink) October 31, 2023
Although Secretary Blinken did not directly engage with the protesters, he later addressed the possibility of a ceasefire. He expressed concerns that a ceasefire might enable Hamas to regroup. However, he acknowledged that a temporary pause for humanitarian reasons is under consideration.
Jewish peace activists across the United States have joined the call for a ceasefire and justice for Palestinians, as indicated in recent protests on Capitol Hill. They argue that an urgent ceasefire is needed to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region. Their efforts have included distributing messages, advocating for peace, and engaging in acts of civil disobedience.
Opinion surveys suggest that these protests and advocacy campaigns are beginning to influence American public opinion. Although the impact may not be as significant as anticipated.
The situation in the Middle East remains highly complex and politically charged, with varying perspectives on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the classification of Hamas, leading to ongoing international debate and concerns.