On October 13, after 1,900 Palestinians had been slaughtered in Gaza, six of us, Jewish community members in Seattle, refused to leave Senator Patty Murray’s office until she spoke with us on the phone and called for a ceasefire. She did neither. Now, more than 100 days later, the death toll has increased more than ten-fold: The Israeli military has murdered more than 23,700 people (likely a vast undercount), including 9,600 children.

Today, half of us who were arrested on October 13 are being arraigned in Federal Court. We recently learned through court documents that we were arrested at the direction of Senator Murray’s staff. We have yet to hear from Senator Murray directly, and she has yet to join the call for a ceasefire in the Senate.

Over the last hundred days, alongside mass protests across the globe, Senator Murray’s constituents have demanded in every way possible that she call for a ceasefire. Jewish Voice for Peace-Seattle alone has organized over a dozen protests—shutting down the Federal Building, the Space Needle, and the University Bridge. Palestinian-led protests have drawn thousands every Saturday for months. Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, Bothell, and San Juan County have all passed resolutions supporting a ceasefire and calling on Senator Murray to support a ceasefire. National polling shows that 66% of Americans and 80% of Democrats (overwhelmingly her base) support a ceasefire.

Our local UFCW 3000 initiated a letter calling for ceasefire, which now over 100 labor organizations have signed—including our local educators in the Seattle Educators Association and AFT 1789, as well as the national presidents of both of the largest education unions in the country. 

Moreover, workers at Starbucks Workers United have boldly condemned the genocide of Palestinians despite not even having the protection of a contract, and they are now being sued by Starbucks for daring to speak out. In Olympia, the Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council voted unanimously for a resolution against being complicit in weapons production and called for the AFL-CIO to reverse its position and also to publicly support an immediate ceasefire. 

Senator Murray’s working-class constituents have made their voices clear, and thousands more have called her office, requested meetings, and written letters. 

And yet, she has been silent and has even continued to push for additional billions in military funding for Israel, unconditionally. Senator Murray most recently voted against Senator Bernie Sanders’s bill, which would have simply required a report from the State Department on Israel’s human rights practices. This vote is confusing, to say the least, given that she called for a ceasefire in Gaza in 2021, was vocal in her opposition to the Iraq war, and has sponsored a resolution demanding accountability for the Rhoyinga genocide. As a mother, preschool teacher, and self-proclaimed advocate for women and children, Murray has remained silent as 7,200 women and over 9,600 children have been murdered in Gaza. This is unconscionable.

Between 1990 and 2024, Senator Murray received over $680,000 from pro-Israel PACs, and between 2019 and 2024 she received $119,450 from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) alone. AIPAC is a pro-Israel lobbying group that has consistently supported far-right candidates, including supporters of the “great-replacement theory” and QAnon. AIPAC was her third-largest donor after the University of Washington and Microsoft. Slate recently reported that AIPAC is expected to spend at least $100 million in the Democratic primaries in an effort to knock out the seven “Squad” members—all Black and brown members of Congress who have been vocal critics of Israel’s war on Gaza. 

Why is Senator Murray choosing to ally herself with a group with such abhorrent politics? Senator Murray is representing her donors, not her constituents. Tens of thousands have died as a result. 

So we call on you, Senator Murray: Stop taking money from AIPAC, and stop allowing money to interfere with what you know is moral, ethical and what your constituents across the state want. Call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Refuse to provide military aid to a country being accused of genocide in the highest court in the world

Eliana Horn is an Ashkenazi Jewish and Queer organizer and policy analyst, descendant of Holocaust survivors, and proud member of Jewish Voice for Peace for 12 years. 

Jesse Roth contributed writing and editing to this piece but was not amongst those who were arrested; she is a writer, theater artist, and Press Coordinator for Jewish Voice for Peace-Seattle. 

Matt Weiner is a musician, lives in White Center and has been a member of Jewish Voice for Peace for 10 years. 

Jonathan Rosenblum is a member of Kadima Jewish Community, the National Writers Union, and Workers Strike Back. 

Zimyl Adler is a queer Ashkenazi Jewish food justice organizer and klezmer musician, member of Kadima, and long-time member of Jewish Voice for Peace. 

Rebekah Harris Liebermann is a lifelong member of the Seattle Jewish community who grew up at Temple Beth Am and JDS and is active with Jewish Voice for Peace and Democratic Socialists of America. 

James Whitney Kahn is a children's book author and proud Jewish educator at Seattle Public Schools and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, the Seattle Education Association, and Jewish Voice for Peace.