Congresswoman Nikema Williams Signs Letter Supporting President Biden’s Leadership in Middle East

Oct 20, 2023
Press

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations signed a letter expressing unified support for President Biden’s strong and principled leadership in addressing conflict in the Middle East. The letter was signed by a majority of House Democrats including Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), the most senior Jewish Member of Congress.

“We write to thank you for your strong leadership during a tragic and dangerous moment in the Middle East,” the Members wrote. 

“A commitment to Israel’s security and right to respond to terror is not incompatible with a commitment to the humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza. Indeed, you are correctly charting a path that promotes American values and interests when we pursue both goals together,” the Members continued. 

The letter was signed by Representatives Allred (TX-32), Auchincloss (MA-04), Balint (VT-AL), Barragán (CA-44), Beatty (OH-03), Beyer (VA-08), Blumenauer (OR-03), Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Bonamici (OR-01), Brownley (CA-26), Budzinski (IL-13), Caraveo (CO-08), Carbajal (CA-24), Cárdenas (CA-29), Cartwright (PA-08), Casar (TX-35), Case (HI-01), Casten (IL-06), Castor (FL-14), Castro (TX-20), Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Chu (CA-28), Cohen (TN-09), Connolly (VA-11), Courtney (CT-02), Crockett (TX-30), Crow (CO-06), Davis (IL-07), Dean (PA-04), DeGette (CO-01), DeLauro (CT-03), DelBene (WA-01), Deluzio (PA-17), DeSaulnier (CA-10), Dingell (MI-06), Doggett (TX-37), Escobar (TX-16), Eshoo (CA-16), Espaillat (NY-13), Evans (PA-03), Fletcher (TX-07), Foster (IL-11), Foushee (NC-04), Frankel (FL-22), Frost (FL-10), Garamendi (CA-08), Garcia (CA-42), Garcia (TX-29), Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), Goldman (NY-10), Gomez (CA-34), Gottheimer (NJ-05), Grijalva (AZ-07), Himes (CT-04), Horsford (NV-04), Houlahan (PA-06), Hoyer (MD-05), Jackson Lee (TX-18), Jacobs (CA-51), Johnson (GA-04), Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Kaptur (OH-09), Keating (MA-09), Kilmer (WA-06), Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Kuster (NH-02), Landsman (OH-01), Larsen (WA-02), Larson (CT-01), Lee (CA-12), Leger Fernandez (NM-03), Levin (CA-49), Lieu (CA-36), Lofgren (CA-18), Lynch (MA-08), Magaziner (RI-02), Manning (NC-06), Matsui (CA-07), McClellan (VA-04), McCollum (MN-04), McGarvey (KY-03), McGovern (MA-02), Menendez (NJ-08), Meng (NY-06), Moskowitz (FL-23), Moulton (MA-06), Mullin (CA-15), Nadler (NY-12), Neguse (CO-02), Pallone (NJ-06), Panetta (CA-19), Pappas (NH-01), Pascrell (NJ-09), Pettersen (CO-07), Phillips (MN-03), Pingree (ME-01), Porter (CA-47), Quigley (IL-05), Raskin (MD-08), Ross (NC-02), Ruiz (CA-25), Salinas (OR-06), Sánchez (CA-38), Sarbanes (MD-03), Schakowsky (IL-09), Schiff (CA-30), Schneider (IL-10), Scholten (MI-03), Schrier (WA-08), Scott (VA-03), Sewell (AL-07), Sherman (CA-32), Sherrill (NJ-11), Slotkin (MI-07), Smith (WA-09), Sorensen (IL-17), Spanberger (VA-07), Stansbury (NM-01), Strickland (WA-10), Swalwell (CA-14), Takano (CA-39), Thanedar (MI-13), Tokuda (HI-02), Trahan (MA-03), Vasquez (NM-02), Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Waters (CA-43), Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Wexton (VA-10), Wild (PA-07), Williams (GA-05), and Wilson (FL-24). 

Read the full letter here and below:  

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20050  

Dear President Biden, 

We write to thank you for your strong leadership during a tragic and dangerous moment in the Middle East. The horrific attack on October 7 against Israel by the terrorist organization Hamas took the lives of over 1,400 people, injured over 3,000 more, and resulted in the capture of nearly 200 people – including many American citizens – who are being held as hostages in Gaza.  You have rightly condemned these actions as pure evil and expressed the United States’ steadfast support for our ally Israel in a moment of need and horror. 

We stand with you in supporting Israel and are ready to provide whatever assistance the state and people of Israel need to defend themselves and to ensure that hostages return home and those who perpetrated these crimes against humanity are held accountable. 

We are grateful as well for your clear statements regarding the fundamental importance of ensuring that the humanitarian needs of the civilian population of Gaza are met, and that all possible steps are being taken to ensure the safety of civilians and noncombatants in the Strip.  Reportedly, more than 3,000 people have been killed and more than 9,700 wounded in Gaza, making it imperative that we act immediately to prevent further loss of innocent lives. We agree with you that Israel’s response must be in accordance with international law and our shared democratic values. 

We support the efforts that Secretary Blinken and your entire administration are making to ensure that the basic necessities of life for Gaza’s civilians are available, such as food, water, and medicine.  In addition, we must enable those civilians and noncombatants who want to seek refuge temporarily in safe zones in southern Gaza to be given safe passage, and to ensure that they have the ability to return to their communities in Gaza when the war is over. 

A commitment to Israel’s security and right to respond to terror is not incompatible with a commitment to the humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza. Indeed, you are correctly charting a path that promotes American values and interests when we pursue both goals together. 

We further support the efforts that your administration is undertaking to prevent the conflict from escalating to other fronts in this war, including to Israel’s north, as evidenced by the decision to deploy carrier strike groups to the Eastern Mediterranean. In particular, we urge your administration to work closely with Israel and regional partners to ensure stability on the West Bank and to prevent any escalation of violence in that region. 

Even after this war between Israel and Hamas is over, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians cannot be solved ultimately by any military means. When this crisis ends, your leadership together with regional partners will be needed to create a path to a sustainable future because, as you have so often pointed out, both Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, security, opportunity and dignity. There will never be an end to the violence until that goal is achieved, and we know that the United States will have a significant role in the pursuit of the peaceful coexistence between Israel and its neighbors. 

Thank you again for your steady and determined leadership at this critical time. We look forward to continuing to work with you in defense of Israel and, ultimately, in pursuit of peace in the Middle East.

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.

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