Statement Regarding Gaza

October 14, 2023

The attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas were an unbelievable tragedy and horrific to witness. I recognize that Jewish people are among the most historically persecuted people in the world, and know many of my Jewish friends and community are hurting right now. I also need to be clear that Hamas is backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, itself a state-sponsored terror organization that has oppressed the people of Iran for decades under threat of violence. As the Iranian community has been fighting for regime change for the past year, I must recognize the international implications of what has happened in the Middle East and why speaking up about this feels complicated for many people.

I am however alarmed at the growing drumbeat of war that has emerged over the past week, and the divisive “with us or against us” rhetoric and misinformation being disseminated. I have seen in my lifetime how that rhetoric polarized nations and justified wars that we now all nearly universally recognize as being a mistake. I was 18 years old when the US invaded Iraq, and remember being called a terrorist sympathizer for being against the war. People are not their governments, and the people of Palestine are a peace-loving and oppressed people who need access to humanitarian aid, electricity, medicine, water, and safe passage. Right now, millions of Palestinians are being told to evacuate and have nowhere to go. I denounce the killing of innocent civilians.

We have seen in history how acts of terror by non-state actors have been used to justify acts of war against entire nations and the resulting loss of innocent and civilian lives.

This is a humanitarian crisis and there should be a ceasefire in Gaza, with the US working to broker the return of hostages.


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