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Pro-Palestinian groups call on U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell to support end to US military aid to Israel

Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio
Pro-Palestinian groups held a protest outside U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell's Ann Arbor office on October 23, 2023, after she called for the release of people being held hostage by Hamas.

Correction, 10/17/2023

Pro-Palestinian groups demanded that U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell support a resolution for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, at a protest held outside her Ann Arbor office on Monday.

They also demanded that Dingell support an immediate end to U.S. military aide to Israel and an end to the closure of the Gaza Strip to countries beyond its borders.

Protesters at the event identified themselves with first names due to fear for their safety. Nadia is an activist with the Palestinian Youth Movement.

"With no access to leave beyond the borders, and with fuel, water and electricity cut off at will by the Israeli state, this is not a proportionate response," she said. "It constitutes a war crime by the Israeli state and the people should be aware of that."

Of her reaction to Hamas' invasion of Israel on October 7th, and the killings and kidnappings of Israeli citizens, she said, "I think that we don't need to reinvent the wheel. There's international law that establishes what is and what is not proportionate, and not acceptable to humanity."

Nadia also said the media continues to wrongly conflate Hamas actions with people in Palestine who are not associated with Hamas.

The protest was a day after Representative Dingell appeared at an event organized by Jewish faith and community leaders, calling for the release of hostages taken by Hamas.

At that event, Dingell said she had "friends on all sides."

"But I will always stand up to terrorism and hate," she added. "And I don't want to see any innocent person die. But tonight we stand up for the hostages, for their freedom, for them to come home safely to the people who love them."

Dingell responded to the pro-Palestinian protest with a statement.

"Rep. Dingell believes strongly in the importance of peaceful demonstration and that all protesters have the right to exercise their Constitutionally protected freedom of speech. She shares concerns about the lives and safety of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and beyond who will be hurt by the ongoing violence. She has long been and remains committed to working to achieve lasting peace in the region.”

This story was corrected, for clarity's sake, to substitute a full quote from Nadia, rather than a paraphrase of what she said, in response to a question about her reaction to what Hamas did to Israeli citizens on October 7th.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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