Thanks to CPA Supporters: a change has come

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead) 

We live in dark times, and we feel like the blind are leading the blind. Thoughtful voices are drowned out by quick war-related soundbites used to capture headlines. It is easy to feel hopeless about taking any steps that might change the rising bloody tide. Our work for a just peace is important, though, and we think there are at least a few rays of light in the darkness. Today we want to take a moment to reflect on our ability to alter the course of events, even in the midst of the greatest obstacles. 

In Cleveland Peace Action’s latest statement on the conflict in Palestine, we condemned both the Hamas attack on October 7 and Israel’s overblown response, targeting not just Hamas but the Palestinian people themselves, an attack we are calling “genocide.”  When we made that statement in December, 17,000 Palestinians had been killed. That number is now over 31,000. With the United States fully funding and arming the genocide, and with President Biden’s complete embrace of Israel’s Netanyahu regime, it seemed that nothing would stop the killing from engulfing the entirety of Gaza.

When the conflict began, Pres. Biden gave full, unquestioning support to Netanyahu and his pro-Zionist strategy of annihilation in Gaza. Biden and his administration not only gave public moral support to Netanyahu, but made plans to increase Israeli military aid, with little resistance in Congress.

However, letters to editors, public outcry in public arenas and protests of war crimes and genocide of innocents, within the US and Israel, as well as from all over the world has, perhaps, given US policy-makers pause, made them take a deeper gaze into this catastrophe, and, hopefully, will force them to see what literally billions of people really desire: an easing of the indiscriminate violence. In recent weeks, Biden himself, has said Netanyahu has taken it too far, and administration officials have signaled for a change in course. An aggressive signal came from VP Kamala Harris who, in a speech on March 4, called for an outright cease-fire in the conflict.

In a bombshell widely-circulated speech in mid-March, US Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish official in the US, sharply criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict, saying Netanyahu had “lost his way.” He also stated that the far-right leadership of Netanyahu’s cabinet “has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza. Although aid has remained seriously inadequate, Harris’ and Schumer’s remarks have helped shift the focus of the discussion to humanitarian aid in Gaza and an ending of violence. 

As evidence of the impact of this call for peace, just on March 21, the US has drafted a new UN security council resolution calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza linked to the release of hostages. The US previously vetoed similar security council proposals. Unfortunately, Russia and China vetoed the US resolution. Regardless, it is a major shift in the administration’s stance toward Israel’s war policy and puts at least some emphasis on the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people. 

The most significant catalyst in creating this change in policy has been the collective voices of the U.S. American people. For months, the Biden administration turned a deaf ear to the chants of protest. Recent actions have finally made them listen: surprise votes for “uncommitted” in Michigan, Minnesota and a string of other states in the Democratic primaries sent a clear signal to the administration. The city councils of over seventy US cities have called for a ceasefire. And a constant barrage of pro-ceasefire protests before Biden’s State-of-the-Union speech, at Adam Schiff’s primary victory rally, and hundreds of other events across the country have forced pro-Zionist Democrats to bend somewhat to the will of the people. 

And you, Northeast Ohioans who support peace, have made yourselves part of  this momentum. CPA has contributed through its Community Circle events, by putting pressure on local and state politicians, organizing rallies, holding book clubs on Justice for Some, and by supporting other Northeast Ohio groups (see CPA recent events here) who are engaged in a constant struggle for the cause of peace.

“A republican government is slow to move,” Thomas Jefferson once observed, “yet once in motion its momentum becomes irresistible.” It is in part because of you – all the supporters of Cleveland Peace Action – and all other grassroots activists around the country that this momentum toward a just peace is building . We thank you for all of your actions and let’s  continue to build, brick by brick, until justice is achieved and peace is won. 

  1.  Genocide is defined as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.” Merriam-Webster.  Also: “The US is ‘Complicit’ in Israeli ‘Genocide‘ in Gaza.” Columbia University professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development Jeffrey Sachs speaks during an interview in the National Review by Haley Strack, March 17, 2024.
  2.  Regarding Zionism, we at CPA differentiate between the Zionist movement in Israel and its complicit counterpart in the US this way:  according to the Jewish Virtual Library – AICE – “The term “Zionism” was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum. Its general definition means the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has protected the nation since 1948, when the State of Israel was established. Also, Jewish Civilians calling themselves “Settlers” have taken up arms against assertive inhabitants, in the name of Jewish sovereignty, squatting on the land, building massive colonies in territory they claim in “uninhabited,” displacing the indigenous people, forcing them into “reservations,” and those who protested were killed; similar to how white European settlers displaced, killed and otherwise attempted to wipe out the American Indigenous populations.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.