© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
Public Files Contact · ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Haven demonstrators call on local and federal officials to support ceasefire in Gaza

Jewish community members and friends gather in New Haven to deliver letters to Mayor Justin Elicker and US Representative Rosa DeLauro calling on them to stop support of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Tyler Russell
Connecticut Public
Jewish community members and friends gather in New Haven to deliver letters to Mayor Justin Elicker and US Representative Rosa DeLauro calling on them to stop support of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Demonstrators in New Haven Wednesday called on local and federal officials representing the city to support demands for a ceasefire in Gaza, as a war between the Israeli military and Hamas now enters its second week.

Shelly Altman, a member of the group Jewish Voices for Peace New Haven, stopped by Mayor Justin Elicker’s office to drop off a letter urging him to call for peace.

“Our voice in the U.S. is so critical to what happens in Palestine; our Jewish community will not be silenced,” Altman said.

Atlman didn’t get to meet Elicker or U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, but he wants them to support a ceasefire to the recent fighting, which has decades-long roots.

DeLauro did respond via a written statement calling for an end to the conflict, but it was vague on whether she supported a ceasefire.

According to one protestor, the reluctance to call for one boils down to racism.

Faisal Saleh, the executive director of the Palestine Museum US in Woodbridge, said the reason why many politicians aren’t calling for one is plain and simple.

“They're racist; they don't like Palestinians, they don't like Arabs. And that racism is reflected in their policies,” Saleh said.

Israeli aircrafts bombed Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’ attacks against Israeli civilians and military personnel nearly two weeks ago. At least 1,400 died as a result.

Altman acknowledged the murders of Israeli civilians at the hands of Hamas. But he wants DeLauro to know that people in her district value all human life.

“They need to know that people in New Haven and third congressional district care as much about Gaza, as we do about Israel or anywhere else,” Altman said.

DeLauro responded with a statement saying while she supports Israel’s right to defend itself from attacks, she stressed the importance of protecting innocent lives who had nothing to do with Hamas, which governs most of the Gaza Strip.

“I hope that we can also ensure the Palestinian people quickly receive the humanitarian aid they need to survive,” DeLauro said. "Failure to do so expeditiously will have disastrous consequences.”

But Altman said DeLauro has brushed off earlier attempts to engage with his group.

“The response we usually get is 'thank you so much,'” Altman said. “'I care about my constituents. I'll respond to you soon.' And then a month or two later, you get something that's boilerplate and doesn't address the thing you wrote to her about.”

DeLauro’s office stated she did receive material from the group and she will review them and reach out as she does for all her constituents.

But she didn’t actually call for a ceasefire.

“Peace must be our ultimate goal,” DeLauro said. “That means a two-state solution and an end to settlement expansion. We must bring this war to a swift end and strive for a solution that promotes lasting peace.”

DeLauro’s statement also explicitly stated not all Palestinians are Hamas, but blamed Hamas for Palestinian suffering.

Saleh said many Palestinians have suffered for decades under the Israeli occupation and later blockade in Gaza and the West Bank.

While local and federal politicians advocated for more money to protect synagogues and Jewish cultural centers, he said he hasn’t heard from any state-based politicians.

But Altman said 300 people showed up to protest, which he described as heartening.

“We hope it just grows,” Altman said.

Khamis Abu-Hasaballah, a Palestinian American who is the assistant vice president at the IT department at UConn, said what’s happening in Gaza isn’t something he can escape from.

“My brother-in-law was just killed in an Israeli attack on his house. They bombed his house,” he said.

Abu-Hasaballah is now trying to figure out a way to send aid to his family in Gaza.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content