John Beacham: This Candidate Stands with Palestine



John Beacham is a community college teacher, union member and anti-war organizer based in Chicago. He is running for alderman in the 49th ward.

In the United States, it is considered political suicide to stand with Palestine. You either stand with Israel or you shut up. What I’m about to say may lose me votes. I don’t care.

This week the House and the Senate both passed unanimous resolutions in support of Israel’s massacre in Gaza. President Obama has stated erroneously over and over that Israel has the “right to defend itself.”

Israel is not defending itself. Far from it. Oh, the media and the government do everything they can to frame Israel as the victim. This is plainly false. Israelis die in the conflict, but Israel is not a victim. It is a racist state founded by a nationalist Zionist movement that has systematically colonized Palestine and displaced and occupied its people.

Israel is targeting children in Gaza right now. Murdering defenseless children with high-tech weapons supplied by our tax dollars.

This year the Chicago City Council has advanced a resolution supporting the fascist government in the Ukraine, a government that is currently murdering its own people. They also passed a resolution in support of the fascist-led movement in Venezuela as it was trying to overthrow the country’s elected government. The anti-government movement in Venezuela has engaged in acts of terrorism, including bombing a medical clinic for children.

Where is the city council resolution to defend the people of Gaza who are being massacred with U.S.-made weapons by the apartheid state of Israel? That’s right, apartheid. That is the correct description of the Israeli state. Israel has different sets of laws for Arabs and Jews and separate roads and so much more.

Yesterday was Nelson Mandela’s birthday. He stood against Israeli apartheid and so do I.

I am running for alderman in Chicago. As an alderman, I would introduce a resolution to condemn Israel for the massacre in Gaza, break off sister city relations with Israeli cities and call for Netanyahu to be tried for war crimes against the Palestinian people.

I would call for an end to the occupation and the release of all Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Most importantly, the resolution would affirm the internationally recognized right of Palestinians to defend themselves against the illegal occupiers of their land.

You should join me at the mass protest for Gaza tomorrow, July 20, in the streets of Chicago (click here).

You should also join my campaign (click here).

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