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February 29, 2024

VIDEO: Pressley Condemns Pending Invasion of Rafah, Continues Push for Ceasefire in Gaza

Over 30,000 Palestinians Killed and 1.5 Million Sheltering Without Food, Water or Medicine in Rafah, Last Designated “Safe Zone”

“What has happened to our humanity? When will this cruelty end?”

Video (YouTube)

WASHINGTON — Today, in emotional and passionate remarks delivered on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined her colleagues to condemn the Israeli government’s pending invasion of Rafah and continued her calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. The Congresswoman’s remarks come after over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war and with 1.5 million sheltering without food, water or medicine in Rafah, the last designated “safe zone” in Gaza.

A full transcript of her remarks is available below and the full video is available here.

Transcript: Pressley Condemns Pending Invasion of Rafah, Continues Push for Ceasefire
February 29, 2024
U.S. Capitol

I’m always proud to stand alongside my colleagues behind me.

But I am depressed at the number of times that we’ve had to come to this podium over these one hundred-plus days.

I feel betrayed. I feel haunted. I feel shame.

Palestinian lives matter.

We have stood together at this podium many times now over these past few months, and our conviction has not waned in the slightest.

For months now, after the brutal attack on October 7th, the world has watched in horror as the crisis in Gaza has worsened daily.

Our hearts cannot begin to account for the loss of over 30,000 Palestinians—two thirds of whom are women and children.

I know you all have heard this before, but we will keep saying it until it stops.

Women and children who have been heinously killed by the Israeli military’s relentless and indiscriminate bombing campaign.

Over 11,000 children have been killed in Gaza, a horror that defies explanation.

260 children who never celebrated their first birthday.

Thousands more weigh heavy on our conscience and in our hearts. Babies, toddlers, teenagers, young men and women.

A child is killed every 15 minutes in Gaza. We cannot look away.

Think of these babies who were sleeping in cribs, wearing diapers, or running for their lives when they were struck by a missile or shot by a sniper.

What has happened to our humanity?

Today, the people of Gaza are facing the unconscionable threat of an Israeli invasion of Rafah – the last designated “safe zone.”

But it’s important to remember how we got to this moment.

First, the Israeli government displaced Palestinians from northern Gaza and said the south was safe.

Then they invaded southern Gaza and said that Rafah was safe.

Now, the Israeli military is threatening to invade Rafah, where over 1.5 million Palestinian civilians are sheltering without food, clean water, or medicine.

When will this cruelty end?

For how much longer will the U.S. offer its full-throated support for the Israeli government as it violates international law and operates with callous disregard for human life?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Vengeance is not a foreign policy doctrine. And we cannot bomb our way to peace.

History has shown us that time and time again.

Diplomacy is the only path forward, and that must begin with an immediate, lasting, and indefinite ceasefire now.

A ceasefire is the best way to save lives, to bring all hostages home, deliver the humanitarian assistance that Gaza so desperately needs.

And we are not alone in this fight.

Millions across the globe are marching peacefully for a ceasefire.

Support in Congress has never been higher.

And our labor siblings – the UAW, AFL-CIO, and AFT – are now firmly in our corner.

Our pro-peace, pro-humanity movement, it is strong, and intersectional, and growing daily.

Because from Massachusetts to Michigan, and all the way to the Middle East – our destinies are tied and our shared humanity is on the line.

We need a ceasefire now because it is the right thing to do. The moral thing to do.

But in case the White House needed any more convincing, I’ll remind them not only is ceasefire good policy, it good politics.

The results in Michigan this week made it plain: voters are not happy with the United States’ handling of the war in Gaza, and President Biden must change course.

A ceasefire is the mandate.

Thank you again to Representative Tlaib, Representative Bush, and our colleagues for bringing us together.

Together, we will continue to call for peace, to pray for peace, and to work for peace.

And through the grief that we carry, we will never be silent in the face of injustice.

Ceasefire now.