Human rights for who?

Human rights for who?

To the editor:

Alexandria prides itself as a bastion of human rights, and our Council members constantly remind voters of their commitments to equity and justice for all.

I therefore find it ironic and incredibly disappointing that City Council has made no effort to respond to the statement passed by its own Human Rights Commission on March 20, without opposition, in support of a ceasefire resolution. Not one Council member made a public statement in support of Palestinians or Palestinian-Alexandrians. Council won’t allow a resolution on the agenda, despite a ceasefire recommendation from the body to whom the city entrusts deliberation around human rights.

As deaths at the hands of Israeli Occupation Forces pass the 34,000 mark and the starvation of Palestinians continues, calling for an unconditional ceasefire is no longer radical. More than 132 municipalities in the U.S. have called for a ceasefire, including Harrisonburg and Charlottesville. Normally Alexandria leads. Why not now?

The mayor has repeated that he “do[es]n’t think the Alexandria City Council should be in the business of weighing in on the conduct of international conflicts.” Yet, in the aftermath of Oct. 7, the city decided to light up city hall in Israeli colors, of which the mayor tweeted a photo, captioned “Alexandria City Hall is lit in the Blue and White as we stand with Israel and against the murderous terrorism of Hamas.”

Clearly, our city’s leaders have no problem speaking out on international issues when they feel morally compelled to do so: What isn’t compelling about genocide and apartheid faced by the people in Palestine? Our city’s leaders claim to be committed to human rights for all Alexandrians, until those Alexandrians are Palestinians with friends and family members slaughtered and starved using our tax dollars. This is textbook hypocrisy coming from our city’s leaders.

-Amanda Eisenhour,

Alexandria for Palestinian Human Rights