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Tell Rick Larsen no to Israeli aid

Earth Day is Monday, April 22. This is not an Earth Day editorial and not because the almost holiday atmosphere and platitudes reverently uttered by politicians and corporate heads have hijacked the original intent. It is the same with Mother’s Day, which started after the Civil War.

In 1870 Julia Ward Howe called for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” dedicated to the celebration of peace and the eradication of war. Howe hoped mothers could prevent the cruelty of war and the waste of life since mothers alone bear and know the cost. That is from

The Earth Day website states U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson acted and organized in 1970, because, “until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.”

War’s cruelty, wasted lives, a polluted environment and human health threatened. These are all words and phrases that ring true, define hopes, purposes and higher aspirations. Being pro-Earth necessarily means being anti-war.

The opposite to both these Days and their original meaning is taking place in Gaza, Israel and now across the Middle East. The Israeli government defines itself as at war with Hamas, but the most true statement it has made is that it seeks the complete destruction of this militant, terrorist organization.

For this is an invasion, not of a country but of a 26-mile-long, 76-year-old enclave of refugee camps imposed on over 2 million people whose grandparents were forcibly displaced to this Mediterranean shore after bring driven from their homes in Palestine in 1948.

The Israel Defense Force is an invading army that has relentlessly attacked with jets, missiles, tanks and all the advanced armored military might that the United States government has provided.

All these words matter. So does stating that the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack was a brutal terrorist assault, wanton in its massacres and cruelty.

Six months later, the Israeli invasion has been a brutally sustained assault, willful in its inhumane total destruction. Worse than the near complete destruction of Gaza physically has been the 33,000 deaths to date and the tens of thousands more that will follow from no food, water or medical care. Israel has guaranteed generations of hatred, having destroyed all avenues to a just and equitable future. A first-world nation has bombed a third-world nation back into the stone age.

The mental, social and psychic trauma in the population is complete.

Trauma and tension throughout the region is high with little public signs of calm or sanity. Israel and Iran, with explicitly religious-led governments, are committed to doctrines of an eye for eye savagery. Israel’s April 1 assassination of Iranians inside Iran’s Syrian embassy led to Iran’s barrage on Israel last Saturday.

Where does it end? U.S. military aid to Israel is fuel offering more gasoline to pour on already too hot flames. The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to approve the accelerant. Rep. Rick Larsen is likely to vote to approve spending our tax dollars on more death and destruction. That is a thoughtful and bad decision.

As his constituents, we can attempt to minimize the blood on our hands.

Writing and calling Rep. Larsen to urge a no vote is worthy work. Leaning on Larsen is a noble but likely futile effort. It is worth the time.

Contact his Washington office: 202-225-2605; email via:

– Ken Stern


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