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This week more than a hundred members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community sent this letter to President Joe Biden asking for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. This letter also comes as a growing number of congressional members are now calling for an end to the violence in the Middle East.
“Any solution that prioritizes life is going to start with a cease-fire, we need a cease-fire immediately,” said Benjamin Case.
Benjamin Case is one of the more than one hundred Jewish community members here in Pittsburgh who decided to sign a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to push for a cease-fire in Gaza.
“What’s going on right now doesn’t make Jewish people safer, doesn’t make Israelis safer, obviously doesn’t make Palestinians safer, or anyone safer,” Case said.
In the letter, members wrote: “We are still mourning for Israelis killed on Oct. 7, we are in ongoing grief and fear for Palestinians living and dying under Israeli siege.”
Currently, more than 240 Israeli hostages remain in Gaza while there have been more than 10,000 Palestinians killed with roughly half estimated to be children.
“Every day the violence continues is a choice by the regime and Israel and if they don’t stop it the United States government has the power to stop it, they do,” Case said.
Summer Lee is among one of the now more than 40 members of Congress who are also calling for a cease-fire in Gaza, an opinion that both Lee, as a politician, and Case, as a private citizen, said has been met with opposition, confusion - and times accusations of antisemitism.
“[For people] to think wanting bombs to stop dropping on children is an antisemitic[viewpoint] is shocking,” Case said.
“The calls for a cease-fire cannot and are not calls against our Jewish community our Jewish siblings it is not a call of division, but unity.”
Locally, the Pittsburgh Jewish Federation has not called for a cease-fire but said they support any resolution that prioritizes the well-being of the Israel people which begins with the release of hostages saying quote:
“I hope people will remember among the people who were taken as hostages are grandmothers, grandfathers, and babies,” said Adam Hertzman, the Associate VP of Marketing.
Lee agrees and hopes that people can see regardless of political opinions that a cease-fire is a first step towards a peaceful resolution.
“When we think about peace we are fighting for peace, and I think there are so many people who forget that is a concept we can push for,” Lee said.
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