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Public Citizen Statement on the Violence in Gaza and Israel

Public Citizen is not an organization that works on traditional foreign policy issues. We are acutely aware that there are many tragedies and injustices around the world. We generally do not comment on most of them, not out of indifference, but because they are outside of our broad scope of work and not topics about which we claim expertise.

Still, we know some tragedies are bigger than policy, and merit a response from all of us as human beings who are trying to live on this planet together with a shared sense of humanity and a belief that everyone deserves safety and justice.

We remain shocked and horrified by the deplorable October 7th Hamas attack on people in Israel, appalled by the scale and gruesomeness of the violence, the targeting and killing of civilians and the taking and ongoing holding of hostages.

We are also shocked and horrified by the Israeli government’s ongoing indiscriminate destruction of huge parts of Gaza and killing of Palestinian civilians. On average, the violence is killing a child every 10 minutes, according to the World Health Organization. The vast majority of the population has been displaced and a majority of homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without adequate shelter. The resulting lack of access to basic necessities of life, including food, clean water and medical care has led to an ever-worsening humanitarian calamity threatening the lives and health of an unthinkable number of civilians.

Therefore, it is imperative that there be an immediate ceasefire, that all hostages be released, that humanitarian relief be immediately provided on a massive scale in Gaza and that the war end now.

The violence in Gaza and Israel has directly touched Public Citizen. Several Public Citizen staff have lost numerous family members and friends, underscoring for us all the scale and indiscriminate nature of the violence, the very human, heartbreaking tragedies that are playing out one life at a time, and the need to immediately avert further suffering.

As the violence unfolds thousands of miles away, we see it reverberating across the United States. This much is perfectly clear: No one should be subjected to intimidation, bullying, threats or violence because of their ethnicity or faith. Public Citizen condemns without reservation all statements and acts of antisemitism, anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism, and Islamophobia.

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