January 19, 2024

The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today expressed gratitude to Senator Laphonza Butler for her support of S.Res.504. The resolution, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, aims to address the human rights violations by Israel in its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza. 

The resolution was filed under the Foreign Assistance Act, which allows Congress to direct the state to provide reports on any countries that receive U.S. security aid, including information on human rights. S.Res.504 demands that security aid to Israel be frozen unless the State Department publishes a report within 30 days examining whether Israel has committed human rights violations. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the Senate overwhelmingly voted against the resolution—only 11 senators, including Senator Butler, voted in favor. 

In a statement, CAIR-CA CEO Hussam Ayloush said:

“We thank Senator Butler for supporting Senator Sanders’ resolution calling for an investigation into Israel’s horrific human rights violations against the people of Gaza and aligning her stance with the overwhelming majority of Americans who demand accountability for the violence and genocide perpetrated by Israel.” 

CAIR San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA) Executive Director Zahra Billoo added,

“We are grateful to Senator Butler for her principled vote in support of S.Res.504. While the outcome of the vote is disheartening, the support from Senator Butler and the ten other senators is a testament to their moral courage and commitment to human rights and justice. This courage starkly contrasts with the vast majority of their colleagues, who lack the will and fortitude to simply address whether Israel has committed crimes against humanity with U.S. tax-payer-funded weapons.”

Israel’s ongoing violence in Gaza has killed over 24,000 Palestinian civilians, including over 10,000 children, displaced 1.9 million people, destroyed critical infrastructure, and caused a life-threatening humanitarian crisis. Human rights organizations and advocates from all over the world have stated that Israel’s restriction of food, water, fuel, and healthcare in Gaza amounts to war crimes. CAIR-CA urges all local and national leaders to stand for peace and justice by supporting the Ceasefire Now Resolution (HR 786).