US Urged To Play An Active Role In Ending War in Gaza

Pakistan Progressive Forum condemns the brutal genocidal violence being carried out by Israel in Gaza.

US Urged To Play An Active Role In Ending War in Gaza

The United States government must work for a ceasefire to end the starvation and violations of international law in Gaza, members of the Pakistan Progressive Forum resolved on Sunday.

The forum had organized a symposium entitled “Peace and Conflict in a Multipolar World” in Chicago downtown that was widely attended by Pakistani Americans. The speakers included Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, and Dr. Ammar Ali Jan. The event was moderated by Raza Rumi.

Congressman Bowman, who is running for office again, highlighted his unwavering support for the Palestinian people and how he had resisted the pressure not to call for a ceasefire and ask for an end to Israeli atrocities against the people of Gaza.

“I am against the death of children everywhere in the world. They wanted me not to speak about starving children or call for a ceasefire, but I cannot stay silent,” added Bowman. He emphasized why all communities in the U.S. need to push back against hegemonic and supremacist discourses.

The new world order that is taking shape is far more brutal and authoritarian, said Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa. She highlighted how peculiar forms of nationalism were emerging as a response as well as in tandem with transnational corporate power. The net result has been democratic backsliding in the United States and other countries across the globe.

A debate is taking place as to what kind of state is needed, and perhaps the way forward for lasting peace is to respect diversity and inclusion so that healthy societies can be built, added Siddiqa.

“Ammar Ali Jan spoke about the mass graves discovered in Gaza and paid tribute to the students in America who were resisting the status quo. Jan also highlighted the growing poverty and inflation under the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund. And the common citizens were bearing the brunt while the elites continued to maintain their privileges.

“The Pakistani community could support a party of their choice, but they must take a look at the progressive movements underway in Pakistan,” Jan added. The diaspora has a role to play in this context, given its influence.

Raza Rumi added that Islamophobia, or Muslim-o-phobia, was on the rise after October 8. While all Muslims in America have condemned antisemitic hate speech, the corporate media continues to blame them as anti-Jews. Supporting the rights of Palestinian people and criticizing collective punishment of people in Gaza was not antisemitism. International law as well as U.S. laws call Israel’s government to account. But the United Nations, in its current design, was unable to prevent a real-time genocide, and this is why the international organization needs to reflect changing international power relations.

At the end, a resolution was passed by the Pakistan Progressive Forum that called for a ceasefire in Gaza, Palestine, and an end to arming Israel, given the violations of international humanitarian laws as well as US regulations on supplying humanitarian assistance. The resolution states as follows:

“Pakistan Progressive Forum condemns the brutal genocidal violence being carried out by Israel in Gaza. We are appalled at the support given to this violence by the U.S. administration. We call upon the U.S. government to end its shameful role in the catastrophe unfolding in Gaza and demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire. We fully condemn antisemitism but reiterate that criticizing Zionism and Israeli military action is not antisemitism. We also express full solidarity with students who are leading encampments for Gaza on campuses. We salute their courage in openly calling out the complicity of their government in the horrific genocide in Gaza.”

The forum also resolved to continue organizing in the United States to bring different groups together for advocacy and action on progressive causes.

The Chicago event was organized by Dr. Sohail Khan (Ilinois), Dr. Amna Buttar (Ilinois), Dr. Haider Afzal (Texas), Dr. Salman Malik (Minnesota), Asad Zaidi (California), Dr. Zaffar Iqbal (Nevada), Dr. Rizwan Naeem (New York), and Dr. Amir Raza (Texas).