Politicians ignore American support for a ceasefire

People stand with a banner calling for a ceasefire

Demonstrators in the US are pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza, but progress has been very slow with members of Congress.


A mid-November Reuters/Ipsos poll indicates that 77 percent of Democrats believe that “Israel should call a ceasefire and try to negotiate.”

This comes despite relentless Western media propaganda attempting to manufacture consent for the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza even as the death toll has climbed to well over 13,000 Palestinians killed in a handful of weeks, including 5,500 children.

Strikingly, 82 percent of independents support a ceasefire and 53 percent of Republicans do as well.

Despite the clear majority, just 43 Democrats in the US House of Representatives have called for a ceasefire and only two have done so in the US Senate.

That’s roughly 10 percent of the House of Representatives, not exactly what a functioning and responsive democracy looks like.

Congressman Greg Casar commissioned a poll in his Texas congressional district and found that “73 percent of potential Democratic primary voters would be more likely to support a candidate who wants a ceasefire, with 46 percent saying they’d strongly support such a candidate.”

This follows earlier 20 October Data for Progress polling indicating that 80 percent of Democrats support a ceasefire.

A similar NBC News poll finds that 70 percent of American 18-34 year olds “disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.” Just 20 percent approve. Overall, 56 percent of registered voters disapprove.

Israel lobby

Despite surely being thrilled at the timidity of Congress, Israel lobby group AIPAC plans to spend over $100 million according to Alex Sammon in Slate to defeat progressive Squad legislators of color promoting a ceasefire.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted in the face of “the highly racialized targeting of many of these members, we absolutely need leadership that would defend our members from that.”

Late last month, Ocasio-Cortez criticized AIPAC as “one of the more racist and bigoted PACs in Congress,” adding that they “disproportionately target members of color.”

Along these lines, Congressman Jamaal Bowman highlighted that the targeting is “a problem to me, because this is a country that historically has undermined Black leadership.”

If AIPAC, a group receiving significant Republican funding, comes to be seen as playing a major role in determining which progressive or legislator of color comes to represent a district, that may eventually create serious concern in the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Such voices are already being heard:

In the last election cycle, United Democracy Project, a super PAC connected to AIPAC, spent $26 million according to OpenSecrets. DMFI PAC, connected to Democratic Majority for Israel, a group with a board member who several years ago made a genocidal call against Palestinians in Gaza, spent $7.5 million.

Cryptocurrency businessman Sam Bankman-Fried, convicted earlier this month of stealing from customers in an enormous fraud case, contributed $250,000 to DMFI PAC.

Both United Democracy Project and DMFI PAC can be expected to be active against congressional candidates raising concerns about Israeli apartheid and war crimes. DMFI is even excusing over-the-top police violence against ceasefire supporters. Members of Congress are joining in by misrepresenting what transpired.

Democrats are stoking police violence against peace activists and advocates for Palestinian rights while alienating former supporters.

The election consequences may be severe in November 2024.


Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown is an independent journalist. His work and views have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, TheNation.com, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.