California Senator Says Calling for a Ceasefire in Gaza Is ‘Dehumanizing Language’

by | Jan 18, 2024

California Senator Says Calling for a Ceasefire in Gaza Is ‘Dehumanizing Language’

by | Jan 18, 2024

laphonza butler sworn in by vp kamala harris, 2023

laphonza butler sworn in by vp kamala harris, 2023

In an interview with the LA Times, Sen. Laphonza Butler said that it was “dehumanizing” to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. The striking comments as Gaza has been turned into a humanitarian nightmare by an Israeli military campaign that has relied upon US support. 

The Senator was asked, “Why haven’t you called for a ceasefire in Gaza? Do you think it’s meaningful for a senator to call for a ceasefire or not?” “I don’t want my voice to ever be utilized in dehumanizing any Californian or American,” she responded. “We can both acknowledge that the atrocities of Oct. 7 were horrible and that Israel has a right to defend itself while we honor the humanity of the innocent Palestinian lives that are being used as a political pawn by a terrorist organization [Hamas].”

She continued, “And so for me, I want to use my time, energy, and attention to ensure that we are advocating for a permanent solution. And I don’t want to continue the language that further divides our party, our communities, or our country.”

The LA Times followed up, “What language is the dehumanizing language?” Butler answered, “To some, that is the ceasefire language and to some [it] is other words and phrases that have been sort of utilized in this context.” California’s junior Senator added, “To me, I want to focus on what is the solution that we can implement now and in the future, to accomplish both goals.”

Since the Hamas attack on southern Israel, which took place just over three months ago, Israeli operations in Gaza have killed at least 25,000 Palestinians, including over 10,000 children. The Israeli attacks have destroyed Gaza’s medical infrastructure, leading to children undergoing amputations in unsanitary conditions and without anesthetics. 

Israel has used massive 2,000-pound bombs provided by the US near hospitals and in dense civilian areas, leading to massive deaths among women and children. Tel Aviv has also destroyed other critical civilian infrastructure, such as the solar array for a water treatment facility or universities. 

Tel Aviv has severely restricted aid to Gaza. The lack of food has left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians suffering in famine conditions, according to the UN. Butler did not explain how ending the fighting in Gaza would be “dehumanizing” while continuing the onslaught in Gaza would “honor the humanity of innocent Palestinians.”

It is unclear what “solution” Butler is referring to. The White House claims it wants the conflict in Gaza to end with a Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he told his partners in Washington that he would never allow the two-state solution to materialize. 

The White House, like Butler, refuses to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. The Biden administration has vetoed several UN Security Council resolutions that called for Israel to end its military operations in Gaza. Washington has additionally refused to place any conditions on the military assistance Israel is being provided on a near-daily basis. 

The unrestrained support for Israel has started to break Biden from his voters and Democratic politicians. Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen chastised Biden for allowing Tel Aviv to ignore Washington’s requests. “At every juncture, Netanyahu has given Biden the finger. They are pleading with the Netanyahu coalition, but getting slapped in the face over and over again,” he said. A recent USA Today poll found former President Donald Trump leading Biden among young voters, a demographic that also strongly opposes US support for Israel. 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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