There is a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. International observers like Human Rights Watch have called the atrocities perpetrated by Israel human rights abuses. Entire Palestinian family trees have been wiped off the map in a matter of days. And yet nearly every U.S. elected official seems to toe the same line: support for Israel and silence on Palestinian deaths.

I’ve worked in politics for over a decade and I can tell you that there’s nothing easier for a politician to do than to support Israel. It is dangerous for people in power to speak out in support of Palestine, whereas supporting Israel comes with campaign donations and powerful endorsements. I’m grateful that Rep. Pingree signed a letter urging Israel to follow international law. The fact that Sens. King, Collins and Rep. Golden have made statements supporting Israel but none condemning the unfolding genocide in Palestine is as clear a signal as we need about where they stand.

I wish for us all to understand just how easy it is for politicians to support Israel. We need to remember which leaders took the easy, deadly route in this moment of horrific violence enabled by our government.

Em Burnett

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