DENVER — On Thursday morning, Colorado Rep. Iman Jodeh held a news conference on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to push for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Jodeh was joined by community leaders, past and present lawmakers, and members of various faith communities in Colorado.
“I think it was important to hold the event because I wanted our congressional delegation to know that there was a very diverse group of Coloradans, there are constituents, who believe that there should be a ceasefire,” Jodeh said. “As the Palestinian legislator, I have an obligation not only to my colleagues, but to Palestinians, to my coalition who believe in a ceasefire.”
Jodeh recently sent a letter to Congress asking the government to step in.
“The letter I penned was short and to the point. It says... The sole focus of the United States should be to facilitate the immediate release of all remaining Israeli and all foreign national hostages, and arbitrarily detained Palestinians, the restoration of clean water, fuel, electricity, and all basic services to Gaza,” Jodeh said.
Former Colorado Rep. Jonathan Singer spoke during the event too, echoing calls for a ceasefire.
“Last week, I had to explain to my 8-year-old and 5-year-old children (that) they may not be able to attend their Hebrew school because of a bomb threat,” Singer said. “My children are innocent. The children of Gaza and Israel and the West Bank are innocent.”
Singer also condemned hate.
“Not every person that is calling for a safe and secure Palestinian state is antisemitic. But some are. For those people, I see your hurt, we see your hurt. And at the same time, I unequivocally rebuke the hatred,” Singer said.
Ayah Ziyadeh, an advocacy director for American Muslims for Palestine and Americans for Justice Action based in Washington, D.C., also attended the event.
“It's not about the occupation at this moment. It's not about pointing fingers. It's not about anything. It's about literally saving human lives and saving children's lives and preventing the massive death toll from rising,” Ziyadeh said.
Jodeh said everyone who spoke condemns Hamas and the terroristic acts of the organization. But Jodeh said meeting violence with more violence will not lead to lasting peace.