Open Letter on Gaza Ceasefire to Senator Richard Durbin

Ren Millares
3 min readOct 21, 2023

Dear Mr. Durbin,

Thank you for the answer to my recent email asking you to please support the Ceasefire in Gaza. As your answer pointed out, you ‘have long supported strong security funding for Israel, including for the Iron Dome defense system.” — So I don’t expect my words to change your mind, but as a concerned citizen and human, I cannot suppress my own voice and heart in this matter.

With my letter was seeking to make you aware of the thousands of civilians lives that would not need the millions of dollars on aid from the Biden administration without the billions the US has contributed to Israel in weaponry for several decades and the way the international community has ignored persistent transgressions and illegal settlements in Palestinian territory.

It is no secret to the public thanks to the work of jurists and historians like John Quigly, Avi Shlaim, Rashid Khalidi, and Ilan Pappé that British rule in Palestine from the beginning of the 20th century facilitated the sale of indigenous Palestinian land, displacement of its inhabitants, and refusal to install democratic institutions. When the population revolted against the blatant British injustices (not in a manner much different than the American Revolutionaries did), both rebels and civilians were crushed brutally including methods of: “torture, the use of human shields, detention without trial, draconian emergency regulations, summary executions, collective punishment, house demolitions, the burning of villages and aerial bombardment” (Shlaim, Britain and the Nakba: A History of Betrayal, 2023)

This was ten years before the final blow on Palestinian sovereignty when the Israeli army, with an overwhelming amount of foreign aid, killed 15,000 Palestinians and displaced around 800,000 in 1948. Since then, the Israeli military control of the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians has maintained conditions that are undeniably unjust.

You might dismiss these claims as lies and exaggerations from Islamic-state sympathizers or anti-semitic groups. I assure you I am neither and people can indeed both be in favor of justice, life and self-determination of people without wishing condemnations of others. My hope is that carefully observation historical patterns, economic interests, as well as a careful critical eye on narratives created by those in power will make some truths clear to you in this manner as much as it has to many of us concerned citizens.

Those of us who have seen the history and motives for it can never unsee it and refuse to let any of our money and power erase another ethnicity. The extermination of Palestinian people is a real-time continuation of settler-colonialism that has slaughtered indigenous people all over the world and on the very land we are standing on. A project that, when challenged by the people it has enslaved, dispossessed and conquered, sees itself as the victim and justifies any means to maintain its control.

Unlike what Hollywood has led us to believe, blood-thirsty villains who just want to see the world burn are mostly common in scripts. People are driven to extremes through motives, and often those motives we as the Western world have created ourselves. The more we try to deny them, run from them, or disguise them, the stronger they will scream for justice and acknowledgement, often committing atrocities echoing the cruelties that created them in the first place. Environmentally and morally, humanity cannot keep trying to fight fire with fire, hate with hate, war with war. We need to grow out of these patterns if we are to survive in this Earth harmoniously, and this is an opportunity to take responsibility for our actions, apologize, and remedy the harm we have caused.

It takes strength to see through the illusions and delusions that keep us comfortably in power at the expense and erasure of others. I believe you have it in you to support solutions beyond suppling more weapons of destruction to a grossly imbalanced conflict while providing morsels to victims that already have been through hell.

Photo by Sogand Gh on Unsplash



Ren Millares

Compulsive thinker and theorist of all things common, cooperative, and compassionate. Also likes alliterations.