IfNotNow, an American Jewish progressive activist group that opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is leaving symbolic coffins at the door of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office representing Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.
Some of the demonstrators were armed with stones and rubber tires, but Israeli soldiers responded with live ammunition and tear gas, killing dozens and wounding over 2,000 people.
The brutality by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s regime and the bloodshed sparked international condemnation.
However, Democratic member of the Congress failed to raise the issue as they were either ignored the brutal action or remained completely mute. Specifically, Schumer, who not only ignored talking about the bloodshed but ended up applauding President Donald Trump for relocating the U.S. embassy.
“In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it,” he said in a statement.
Several human rights organizations have also criticized the Democratic leadership and have demanded they raise their voices to condemn Israel’s brutality.
"We call on every single Democratic elected official to use their platform and power to demand an immediate end to Israel's attacks on peaceful protesters in Gaza, and commit to working for a lasting and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” said lya Sheyman, the executive director of MoveOn Political Action.
Jewish Voice for Peace, a United States left-wing activist organization focused on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, also pressured Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to speak up on the issue.
Can you hear us down here, @SenSchumer & @SenGillibrand ? NYC mourns and rages with #Gaza. NYC stands with Palestine. Break your silence now! #SpeakUpForGaza #GreatMarchOfReturn @jvplive pic.twitter.com/T6nUQENfdA— JVP - New York City (@jvpliveNY) May 16, 2018
With the controversial step of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Trump essentially defended the Jewish state’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the silence of Democratic leadership is doing no less.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Mike Blake