The Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) is invested in all aspects of the government we work to elect. At the federal level, foreign policy is a critical expression of our nation’s values. With this statement, we inform our President, Senators, and Congresswoman that we support their stated intention to protect civilian life in war, consistent with international law. We recognize that this statement will disturb and even offend members and allies whom we hold dear. The Board has engaged in a serious deliberative process to find consensus. Download a PDF of the statement.

Statement on Preventing Further Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza by Placing Conditions on U.S. Military Aid to the Netanyahu Government

March 1, 2024

The Executive Board of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party strongly supports the Biden Administration’s National Security Memorandum on Safeguards and Accountability With Respect to Transferred Defense Articles and Defense Services, issued on February 8, 2024. We urge immediate application of its intent in relation to military actions in Gaza taken by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

This official memorandum requires that countries receiving military aid give credible and reliable assurances that they are adhering to international law respecting protection of civilians during war, including that they will facilitate the transport and delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians. The president’s order directs that if countries receiving military aid do not give such assurances, or if their assurances are not credible, the United States will take appropriate measures, up to and including suspension of military aid. 

The Netanyahu government’s military actions in Gaza to date have resulted in at least 30,000 deaths, well over half of them women and children; the destruction of critical infrastructure that has left hundreds of thousands of civilians without water, electricity, food, and medical care; and the demolition of an estimated 45% of residential buildings, leaving hundreds of thousands of civilians without shelter. These numbers are rising every day. Using publicly available data, Oxfam International has found that the daily death toll in Gaza – at 250 – is far higher than in any other twenty-first century conflict, including those in Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

We believe that Hamas is a terrorist organization, whose deadly rampage against Israeli civilians on October 7 justifies its destruction. The safe release of all hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 is of utmost moral importance. We support current efforts to negotiate a ceasefire to permit their release. Further, we affirm the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace with their neighbors, and condemn all acts of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Israeli bigotry.

We call on the Biden Administration to demand that the Netanyahu government immediately

  • permit the supply to Gaza of sufficient food and water for the civilian population.
  • provide protection for medical personnel and facilitate the delivery of medical supplies and equipment to meet civilian needs.
  • facilitate the safe exit from Gaza of American citizens and their relatives. 
  • issue and enforce orders maximizing the protection of civilians, including journalists. 
  • suspend any offensive against Rafah until it is possible for all civilians to reach safe shelter.

We further call on the Biden Administration to enforce these demands by immediately pausing the supply of offensive weapons to Israel if these demands are not met. 

Washtenaw County Democratic Party

Theresa Reid, Chair

Download a PDF of the statement.