An alliance of 30 organizations is calling on Gov. Roy Cooper to issue a statement in support of an immediate ceasefire of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and to acknowledge the “historical and ongoing, disproportionate violence against Palestinians.”
The group has planned a press conference in front of the Governor’s Mansion for Thursday afternoon to detail a letter they sent Cooper asking that “in light of your recent biased statement, you also issue a statement calling for a ceasefire and an end to Palestinian genocide that billions of U.S. tax dollar are being used to fund.”
Their letter comes after Cooper, a Democrat, issued a statement on Oct. 12 about the war, which started when Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist militant group, launched a series of attacks on Israel on Saturday, Oct. 7.
“I want to express my strong support and solidarity with the Israeli people in this dark time,” he said in a NC Dept. of Administration press release. “The horrific, unspeakable terrorism perpetuated by Hamas targeting innocent civilians must be stopped, and I pray for a swift end to this conflict.”
In addition, Cooper ordered all United States and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be flown at half-staff from Oct. 12 until sunset on Thursday, Oct. 19.
A press release sent by muslimwomenfor.org said the coalition is requesting a meeting with Cooper after being disappointed in his “biased statement” and the order to fly flags at half-staff “in remembrance of the dead (Israeli) innocent civilians.”
“What about the thousands upon thousands of Palestinians who have been killed since October 7?” the press release said. “One Palestinian child is killed every ten minutes in Gaza. The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege and occupation keeps none of us safe.”
The groups, who say they are united in their sympathies for Israeli and Palestinian lives lost, said no one, including children, anywhere, should have to suffer or live in fear of violence.
“If the Governor believes that we owe a moral responsibility to Israeli babies and children, then we owe at least the same responsibility to Palestinian babies and children,” the press release continued. “Their lives have equal weight.”
Signed by groups like Pro-Choice North Carolina and the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, the letter signals a growing divide in the Democratic party since the attack on Israel October 7th.
Protests against Israel’s response attack have occurred all across the state. Pro-Palestine and pro-Israel groups confronted each other on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus on Oct. 12.
During rush hour on Nov. 2, protestors blocked the Durham Freeway (NC 147), causing many commuters to add an hour or more to their commute time. The same action occurred on Nov.9 after pro-Palestinian protestors shut down a section of Fayetteville Street, the main artery that runs through downtown Raleigh.
Protesting has also occurred against the media.
Pro-Palestinian protestors showed up Friday night outside the WBT-Radio studios in downtown Charlotte. WBT’s Mark Garrison said protestors were upset with the station’s talk show hosts, who they say have called local Palestinian supporters “terrorists.” Talk show hosts said the statements are untrue, and Garrison said the vice president of the company that owns WBT issued a statement saying “no viewpoint has been or will be restricted on their programs.”
In October, North Carolina Democrat members of the General Assembly walked out on a vote on a resolution to support our Middle East ally.
Earlier this week, according to an internal email, the North Carolina Democrat Party (NCDP) rejected an application for a Jewish Caucus to be formally affiliated with the state party.
Steve Abrams, the President of the Durham Chapter of the NC Jewish Caucus informed members of the decision in an email this week. The Executive Committee of the NCDP voted 16 in favor, 17 against, and 16 abstentions to deny the affiliation. According to Abrams the Caucus had submitted all the proper information and met all requirements. NCDP Chairwoman Anderson Clayton, was reportedly among the 16 abstentions.
“The leadership abstentions were even more cowardly — Clayton Anderson [sic], Jonah Garson, Kimberly Hardy, Elijah King,” Abrams posted on social media. ”They knew the Jewish Caucus met the requirements; their abstentions sent a clear signal to the Executive Committee – it’s okay to reject the Jewish Caucus. Hate, antisemitism, flourish in an environment when those who should know better stay silent.”