Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Coalition to March on the RNC 2024.
Republican Party leaders have ramped up racist, dehumanizing statements toward Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims since fighting broke out between Israeli and Palestinian forces on October 7th. Israel’s ensuing siege of Gaza and indiscriminate aerial assault on 2.3 million stateless Palestinians trapped in an open-air prison is now in its fourth week.
To be clear, President Biden and his Administration bear the main responsibility for the Israeli genocide in Palestine. Both the Biden Administration and Congress have demonstrated near-unanimous bipartisan support to continue arming Israel and provide political cover for their violation of Palestinian human rights. The Republican Party, for their part, has been carving out an especially rabid, extremist position, inciting hatred and dehumanization of Arabs and Muslims, and once again saber rattling against Palestine and Iran. In an escalation of anti-Arab racism reminiscent of the US drive to war after 9/11, Republican legislators have introduced dozens of bills to crack down on immigrants, refugees, pro-Palestine activists, and criticism of US/Israel policies.
The Coalition to March on the RNC 2024 condemns the increasing racist and political repression targeting Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and anti-war activists. The Coalition consists of dozens of local and national grassroots, community, and labor organizations united around the principles “Peace, Justice, and Equality for all,” and “fight the racist and reactionary Republican agenda.” In an effort to build the movement to fight back against these attacks, we have compiled a few examples of the extreme actions being taken by the Republican Party in the past four weeks.
Republicans want to ban Palestinian refugees from entering the United States
Following Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which has destroyed or damaged half the housing units there, Wisconsin Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany introduced a racist, anti-Palestinian bill he degradingly named the GAZA Act, or the “Guaranteeing Aggressors Zero Admission” Act.(1) The legislation would ban Palestinian residents of Gaza or the West Bank from receiving new visas to enter the United States. Former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, promised to “immediately reinstate and expand the wildly successful Trump travel ban,” if he is re-elected.
Republicans want to cut off humanitarian aid to Gaza
In Gaza, 8,000 people have been killed, tens of thousands are injured, and hundreds of thousands more have become internally displaced by Israeli bombing. As a major humanitarian crisis develops in Gaza, Republican Senators have introduced a bill that would redirect all US humanitarian aid away from Gaza to buy more weapons for Israel.(2) The Emergency Resupply for Iron Dome Act of 2023 was introduced by several Republican leaders as Israel’s siege on Gaza deprives 2.3 million Palestinians of water, food, electricity, and fuel. The Israeli siege has been widely condemned as collective punishment, and a war crime that could result in mass dehydration, disease, starvation, and death for Gazans.
Speaking to a rally, former President Trump said if he is re-elected he will “cut off every penny of money that we send to the Palestinians and the terrorists on day one,” which would end critical humanitarian aid for a territory under total blockade by Israel. For Republican Party leaders, Israel’s bombardment, illegal siege, and collective punishment doesn’t go far enough.
Republicans want to silence pro-Palestine activists’ criticism of Israel
In the wake of historic mass protests against Israel’s war on Gaza that are spreading across hundreds of cities and campuses, staunch supporters of Israel’s occupation have falsely accused the protests of being “anti-Semitic.” Republican leaders, including Presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley, say they want to redefine anti-Semitism to include anti-Zionism, and use the power of federal agencies to crack down on criticism of Israel.
Former President Trump called pro-Palestine campus activists “legions of foreign nationals” who are “teaching your children hate,” and promised to “revoke the student visas of radical anti-American and anti-Semitic foreigners,” if he is re-elected.
On October 24th, the State of Florida ordered the deactivation of all Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters at State colleges and universities(3), using a law signed in Israel by Florida Governor and Republican Presidential primary candidate Ron DeSantis, that gives the State more power to punish criticism of Israel. SJP has been among the leading student groups organizing mass protests and walkouts against Israel’s war on Gaza in recent weeks. Under DeSantis, Florida is also pursuing felony charges against five members of Students for a Democratic Society, known as the “Tampa 5,” who were violently attacked by university police for protesting DeSantis’s racist attacks on Black and Brown students.
Attempting to repress and criminalize Palestine solidarity activists calling for an end to Israeli war crimes, Republican Senator Josh Hawley on October 18th called on the Department of Homeland Security to address what he called “terror-linked aliens,”(4) and urged the Department of Justice to investigate progressive and pro-Palestine student groups for alleged “material support to terrorist organizations.”(5) Hawley authored a resolution condemning pro-Palestine campus protests as “anti-Semitic.” Senate Democrats initially blocked Hawley’s resolution, saying it unfairly targeted pro-Palestinian students, but after Hawley accused Democrats of supporting “pro-genocide activities on college campuses,” the resolution passed by voice vote on October 26th.(6) On October 30th, the White House announced that the departments of Justice and Homeland Security will begin partnering with campus law enforcement agencies to combat alleged anti-Semitism on campuses.
Following a protest in the U.S. Capitol by Jewish Americans demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-US war on Gaza, extreme right-wing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced a resolution to censure Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, accusing her of “antisemitic activity,” “sympathizing with terrorist organizations,” and “leading an insurrection at the United States Capitol.”(7) Rep. Greene was involved in the January 6th Trump rally and events that led to the far-right Capitol insurrection.
After seeing a Palestine flag outside Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s office, Republican Congressman Max Miller issued a statement saying “The Palestinian flag should not have a place here,” and announced a legislative amendment to ban tax dollars from purchasing Palestinian flags.(8) In a Fox News interview Miller said “I don’t even want to call it the Palestinian flag because they’re not a state, they’re a territory that’s about to probably get eviscerated and go away here shortly, as we’re going to turn that into a parking lot.” Miller has previously said there should be “no rules of engagement” to “let Israel do what it needs to do best.” Miller’s shocking, genocidal comments have not been condemned by his Republican colleagues.
Republican Party’s racist agenda fuels the increase in hate crimes
Rampant racism and Islamophobia from Republican Party leaders has directly resulted in an increase in the frequency and scale of violent hate crimes. On October 14th, a 6 year-old Palestinian boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, was stabbed to death in Chicago by his landlord. Detectives said the killer, Joseph Czuba, listened to conservative talk radio, and admitted to attacking the family because of their Muslim faith.(9)
Former President Trump, an outspoken supporter of Israel’s illegal settlement expansions, is well known for his racist rhetoric and policies targeting Arabs and Muslims, but he has also inflamed hatred towards Jewish people. Dangerous rhetoric and policies from Republican leaders have resulted in a rise in hate crimes toward Arabs, as well as Jewish communities, including a mass shooting by a white nationalist that murdered 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.
These horrific acts of violence are the direct result of the Republican Party’s agenda of systematic targeting and dehumanization of oppressed groups, and the political and racist repression against Arabs, Muslims, and anti-war activists.
Fight back against the Republican agenda
The Coalition to March on the RNC calls on all people of conscience to speak out and join actions to stop the Republican Party’s racist agenda, and the attacks targeting Arabs, Muslims, and anti-war activists. There are many ways to get involved in protests, call-ins, and other activities through our member organizations. More information can be found on the Coalition’s social media pages.
The Coalition to March on the RNC 2024 is leading the mass family-friendly rally and march on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Monday, July 15th, 2024. Get involved, and build the movement to “Fight the racist and reactionary Republican agenda!”