Since October 7th, when Hamas attacked Israel and Israel began its ongoing bombardment of Gaza, almost every member of Congress has denounced the killings of Israelis and proclaimed support for Israel’s “right to defend itself.” Far fewer have expressed sorrow for the more than 10,500 Palestinians killed in the bombing, and only 23 have called for a ceasefire and an end to the collective punishment of civilians in Gaza. Among the few dissenting voices in Washington is Cori Bush, the representative for Missouri’s 1st congressional district, which spans the cities of St. Louis and Ferguson and some of their suburbs. Bush responded to the events of October 7th by mourning the Israeli and Palestinian lives lost that day and calling for an immediate ceasefire. She also urged the US government to “do our part to stop this violence and trauma” by ending US support for Israeli apartheid. Nine days later, Bush—alongside Reps. Rashida Tlaib, André Carson, Summer Lee, and Delia C. Ramirez—introduced a “Ceasefire Now” resolution, which demands that the Biden administration call for an end to hostilities in Israel/Palestine and send humanitarian aid to Gaza.
In this episode of On the Nose, senior reporter Alex Kane interviews Rep. Bush about her call for a ceasefire, the role of race and racism in shaping reaction to Israel’s bombing campaign, and the political consequences of anti-war dissent.
Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”
Articles Mentioned and Further Reading:
“Anti-Defamation League calls Congresswoman Bush’s comments on Israel ‘tone deaf,’” Stuart McMillian, KMOX News
“Calls for a Ceasefire Get Little Traction in Congress,” Alex Kane, Jewish Currents
“House censures Rep. Rashida Tlaib over Israel remarks,” Scott Wong, Kyle Stewart and Zoë Richards, NBC News
“St. Louis Jewish community says Cori Bush made ‘incendiary’ Israel comments, she says that’s ‘unfair and simply untrue,’” Sam Clancy and Justina Coronel, KSDK
“Democrat drops out of Missouri Senate race, challenges Cori Bush for House seat,” Olafimihan Oshin, The Hill
“How ‘Pro-Israel’ Orthodoxy Keeps US Foreign Policymaking White,” Peter Beinart, Jewish Currents