JANUARY 17, 2024

Our hearts are heavy as this momentous election year threatens our democracy, and the Israel-Gaza war has killed more than 23,000 people (mostly women and children) and continues to become an even larger humanitarian and health atrocity.

On Monday, we reflected on the words of Martin Luther King Jr. whose wisdom guides us at SF Bay PSR in our efforts to defend health, demand justice, and advocate for peace. We hope you will join us in reading about SF Bay PSR’s and our partner organizations’ efforts to advocate for peace, reflecting on the statements below, and taking action by signing and/or writing letters to your government representatives and President Biden.

We first and foremost condemn Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and all forms of hatred and dehumanization of people. We encourage all to avoid extremist thinking and practice compassion—for Israelis who were killed or abducted by Hamas on October 7, and for the countless people in Gaza who have died or barely survive in constant mortal danger from weapons supplied by our tax dollars. Their health care system has been bombed and has collapsed, lacking providers and the bare necessities to provide care, including pain killers for  children with crushed or severed limbs. Most of the housing is gone, about 1.4 million people are displaced, disease is rampant, and the United Nations has warned that everyone in Gaza is hungry or starving. Read more on PBS: United Nations relief agency describes the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The already escalating violence throughout the Middle East puts the entire world at risk. Israel possesses nuclear weapons and the risk of escalation to nuclear conflict is ever present. Also, global conflicts are further devastating our imperiled climate.

As advocates for health and peace for all, we call for a ceasefire in Gaza and an immediate humanitarian intervention to ensure the swift delivery of essential supplies, including food and medicine. We oppose the extremist policies of Israel’s current far-right government that are breaches of international law. We demand that the U.S. stop supplying military aid to Israel and only support humanitarian aid until peace negotiations commence.

Below please find more information and actions. We ask that you take time to read, reflect, and practice compassion.

Peace Actions and Statements

PSR National: Urgent Call for Ceasefire and Humanitarian Aid in Gaza: Given the alarming conditions, PSR urgently calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. We urge the international community to prioritize providing essential medical supplies, restoring healthcare facilities, and supporting water and sanitation infrastructure. Resuming vaccination programs and providing nutritional support, especially for children and pregnant women, is vital. READ MORE.

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Peace Caucus: Health Care and Public Health Professionals Call to Immediate Action to Address the Violence in Israel and Gaza and Its Health Consequences. Initiated by the Peace Caucus in affiliation with the American Public Health Association (APHA). As health care and public health professionals, we unequivocally condemn terrorist attacks against civilians and violence during war against civilians. International law recognizes attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure as crimes against humanity and, when committed during war, as war crimes. The medical and public health consequences of this violence against civilians in Israel and Gaza have been and continue to be horrendous and catastrophic.

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International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War: IPPNW calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Israel-Palestine war: Our goal is the health, peace, and security of all people, whether they live amid the terror and destruction of war in Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nagorno-Karabakh or anywhere else. We know it is civilians, especially women and children, who suffer most in war. Our profession has its roots deep in our ethical obligation to provide care to all on the basis of their shared humanity and their need. READ MORE.

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Though Senator Bernie Sanders’ U.S. Senate Resolution 504 did not pass on Tuesday, we encourage you to read his statement, and we thank California Senator Laphonza Butler for supporting it. The resolution would require the State Department to provide any credible information on potential human rights violations in the Israeli campaign: READ MORE. Also, of interest is Senator Chris Van Hollen’s statement for the record.

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SF Bay PSR supported Senator Van Hollen’s amendment to require that the weapons received by any country under the proposed national security supplemental are used in accordance with U.S. law, international humanitarian law, and the law of armed conflict.


ACTION: Write an email to your U.S. Senators to ask them to support Van Hollen’s amendment.

Find Your Senators HERE

“The daily documented attacks on health workers, health facilities, and apparently specific targeting of journalists often well away from military operations, to me constitute clear war crimes and violation of fundamental human rights and international law principles.” Dr. Robert M. Gould, shown holding signs at San Francisco City Hall “die-in” on January 8, 2024. 

San Francisco Resolution Calling for a Ceasefire and Delivery of Humanitarian Aid in Gaza: Last week, SF Bay PSR leaders joined dozens of health care providers at San Francisco City Hall to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza War, humanitarian aid, the release of all hostages, and to condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The resolution was successfully passed and San Francisco now joins Richmond and Oakland and other local governments around the country calling for an end to the war.

SF Gate: Read the Resolution here: San Francisco supervisors pass resolution for Gaza ceasefire

SF Chronicle: Why San Francisco’s Israel cease-fire resolution matters

Advocate to Reduce Risk of Nuclear Attacks

Urge the United Nations to take immediate action to resume negotiations toward establishing the Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Urge our U.S. Senators and Representatives to take this opportunity to help prevent and avert a catastrophic nuclear arms race by leading the effort to cancel the up to two trillion dollar U.S. nuclear weapons modernization plan (over 30 years) in all its forms and thereby open broader pathways to further nuclear diplomacy and bilateral arms control agreements.

ACTION: Write an email to your U.S. Representatives and Senators

Find Your Senators HERE
Find Your Representatives HERE

Global Conflicts Consequences for our Climate

The Guardian: Emissions from Israel’s war in Gaza have ‘immense’ effect on climate catastrophe

Canadian Dimension: It’s time for Canadian environmental groups to talk about war as an act of climate denial

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Thank you for taking time to reflect and act! Wishing you peace!