During yesterday's Pro-Israel rally, correspondance from several of Washington state's elected officials were shared (and also helpfully included in a media packet provided to reporters covering the


Letters From Local Elected Officials on Israeli-Gaza Violence

During yesterday's Pro-Israel rally, correspondance from several of Washington state's elected officials were shared (and also helpfully included in a media packet provided to reporters covering the event).

Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell strongly supported Israel's right to defend itself. Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers responded to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle stating that Israel's full military response was justified. Eastside Congressman Dave Reichert (who was going to attend yesterday's event before being called away to view the historic flood damage in his district) blamed Hamas for breaking its ceasefire agreement.

Mayor Greg Nickels, however, writing to Seattle's sister-city Beer Sheva, called for a renewal of cultural tolerance, respect and cooperation...

(To quote an old parable, one of these things is not like the other)

Joint Statement by United States Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell Concerning the Situation in Gaza January 11, 2009

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the many people gathered here today to express their heartfelt concern for the disturbing situation in Southern Israel and Gaza.

We are deeply troubled by the conflict and believe that decisive action must be taken to end the violence and bring peace to the region. Families in Sderot should not have to live in fear. Children in Ashkelon should not have to grow up rushing for the cover of a bunker. No community should have to wake up every day and go to bed every night afraid of rockets and mortars.

Israel has a fundamental responsibility to protect its people. Hamas must end its attacks on innocent civilians and close the smuggling tunnels that have served as the gateway for arms.

There is much at stake in this conflict from the loss of innocent life to the impact on all children. Our hope is that the difficult humanitarian situation will be resolved and that a sustainable ceasefire can be reached quickly.

It is time for the United States to increase efforts to end the appeal and influence of extremism in the Middle East. The next administration must work to lead the international community toward a new serious and sustainable peace process. Those efforts will result in a more secure and prosperous region.

Patty Murray          Maria Cantwell

U.S. Senator          U.S. Senator

Letter to Beer Sheva from Mayor Greg Nickels

Dear Mayor Danilovich,

I was deeply troubled to hear recent reports of rockets reaching the Beer Sheva area. I sincerely hope that the citizens of Beer Sheva have not suffered any fatalities or serious injuries. On behalf of Beer Sheva's many friends in Seattle, I extend our sympathies to you and to all of those who have been victims of this violence.

The rocket attacks are another sad reminder that we must all renew our efforts to build a culture of tolerance, respect and cooperation at home and around the world. Let us hope and pray that by working together, we can reduce the causes of violence and create a climate of peace and security not only in our time, but for generations to come.


Greg Nickels

Mayor of Seattle

(Letter hand-signed "Best wishes, Mr. Mayor

Rep. Dave Reichert, U.S. House Express Support for Israel in Gaza Conflict Jan. 9

"I strongly support Israel's right to defend itself, and am saddened by the innocent loss of life during this conflict. Hamas wrongfully broke a ceasefire agreement with unprovoked violence, and Israel is justified in responding in self-defense. America must stand firmly by Israel to protect freedom, confront terrorism, and seek a peaceful resolution that halts this senseless violence."


Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05)

"Israel is taking the right and necessary steps to defend its citizens and territory. Israel's full military response against Hamas' terrorists attacks is justified, just as the United States would respond to a terrorist attack on its soil. I urge Hamas to stop its attacks on Israel, honor the ceasefire agreement and work to establish a peaceful and long lasting resolution."

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