A group of activists and state lawmakers this week began a five-day hunger strike to call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.
Three days into his strike, New York State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani spoke with Scripps News about the strike and its goals.
"What we hope that this action accomplishes is President Biden's call for an immediate and permanent cease-fire," Mamdani told Scripps News. "This is an attempt by a number of us to make visible what the consequences are of the president's policies for Palestinians. It is because of his political and military support for Israel, despite the fact that there have been more than 14,850 Palestinians killed by Israel in the last seven weeks, that makes this starvation a reality for Palestinians."
"The permanent cease-fire that we're advocating for is precisely for that reason: Where we see the reunification of Israeli hostages with their families, as well as the reunification of Palestinian political prisoners with their families," Mamdani said. "Because the world that we're fighting for is one where there is no detainment in the manner that we're seeing in this moment."
Delaware state Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton, who is also participating in the strike, told Scripps News the Israel-Hamas war has evolved her views of President Biden over the last weeks.
"I'm really disillusioned with his leadership," Wilson-Anton said. "I think he probably should resign. I don't think that he's going to be able to win an election next year. I know there are a lot of folks in my community, and also in Arab communities across the country, that just cannot vote for him. I think in this moment he should step up as a leader and either call for a permanent cease-fire or just resign. I don't think that many people have much faith in his leadership at this point."
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