Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Americans for Peace Now becomes first US Zionist group to call for Gaza ceasefire

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Americans for Peace Now, a left-wing pro-Israel organization, is calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, becoming the first American Zionist group to do so after more than three months of fighting.

“Continuing this devastating war poses unacceptable risks for Israel, Gazan civilians and the entire region,” James Klutznick, the group’s chairman, said Monday in a statement. “For the sake of the security and wellbeing of civilians in Israel and in Gaza, the Biden administration must push Israel to bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities and pivot from war to peacemaking.”

The statement came as a sign that American Jewish groups’ broad support for Israel in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 invasion has fractured. Up until now, the only Jewish groups to call for a ceasefire have been anti-Zionist or non-Zionist, and have focused their criticism on Israel since the outset of the current conflict. The rest of the Jewish organizational spectrum, from right to left, expressed support for Israel’s war effort.

Since Hamas’s gruesome October 7 massacres, in which terrorists killed some 1,200 people and took another 240 hostage, largely civilians, Palestinian casualties have mounted.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, 23,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas in response to the attacks and launched a wide-scale offensive in the Strip. The figures issued by the Hamas-run health ministry cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF estimates it has killed some 8,500 terrorists in Gaza in addition to another 1,000 who were killed in Israel on October 7. READ MORE