Opinion | February 15th, 2024

Real Progressives Running for Office

By: Jovanka Beckles, former Richmond City Council Member and candidate for State Senate

Jovanka Beckles

Note from Editor: Jovanka Beckles is running for State Senate against our pro-Israel-at-any-cost mayor, Jesse Arreguin. Beckles is currently an AC Transit Director for Ward 1. Before that, as a Richmond City Council member, she helped usher in a suite of progressive reforms that transformed Richmond — collecting $100 million in new taxes from Chevron, instituting a $15 minimum wage, creating the first California rent control in thirty years. She is especially proud of her groundbreaking “Ban the Box” legislation, which allows formerly incarcerated people to seek work with dignity. As she says: I am not afraid to stand up to powerful interests to protect the rights of those whose voices are not being heard.

MY CEASEFIRE STATEMENT

The 75-year-old issue of Palestine and Israel cannot be handled by causing harm, suffering and the infliction of death upon a whole group of people. It has to be handled with diplomacy, building trust in peaceful coexistence and inspiring hope for future generations. That’s why we need a ceasefire NOW.

According to many human rights lawyers, Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip fits the definition of genocide. Even before the war, Gaza had been characterized as an “open-air prison” and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories as a form of apartheid, like that formerly practiced in South Africa.

The killing of 26,244 innocent civilians, two-thirds of them women and children, is tragic and unacceptable and, sadly, our government is complicit in this crime by providing military, financial and intelligence support. 

This is not acceptable or sustainable, not only because of the lives that are being taken, but also because, as history has shown, it merely transfers this pain and anger to the next generation, closing hope for a future of peaceful coexistence in the region. Criticizing the state of Israel is not antisemitism, but rather a recognition that the lives of innocent Palestinians, whose voices are often ignored, are no less precious than those of innocent Israelis.

That is why I stand – and we, as Americans, must stand – for ceasefire NOW; because criticizing a right-wing government like the state of Israel, is not antisemitism, but rather a recognition that the lives of innocent Palestinians, whose voices are often ignored, are no less precious than those of innocent Israelis.

https://youtu.be/2LKfwqhLdY4?si=0OraqZeZkeq9Oy2l

Solidarity,

Jovanka

 

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