On Tuesday, November 7th, Kentuckians will go to the polls to elect our governor for the next four years, and while a very recent poll puts Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) and state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the Republican nominee, at a 47-47% tie, Mr Beshear has been the strong leader in previous polls, I would be surprised if Mr Cameron comes out ahead.
With the month-long war between Israel and Hamas, a lot of people have taken sides, but, other than his initial statements condemning Hamas attacks, Mr Beshear has pretty much kept his mouth shut on the issue.
That, of course, annoys the Usual Suspects, “a coalition of Kentucky organizations” published an ‘open letter’ to the Governor in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader:
by A Coalition of KY Organizations | Friday, November 3, 2023 | 9:26 AM EDT
Dear Governor Andy Beshear,
This letter is on behalf of your Kentuckian constituents regarding the ongoing crisis in Gaza, and your response regarding the violence in the region. As Kentuckians, we are proud to call this state our home. That said, we deeply mourn the innocent Palestinian and Israeli lives lost and urgently call for an immediate ceasefire within Gaza.
Three weeks ago, you ordered flags to be flown at half-staff “to both grieve with Israel and to let them know we stand with them.” You proceeded stating, “This terrorist attack and how many people it has taken — thousands of Israeli and other families impacted. We hurt for and we pray for each and every one of those families.”
I am not certain who wrote the headline for the published OpEd, but it isn’t the original title. When it was originally saved, the working title, which I could see by hovering my cursor over the page tab, was “Kentuckians are mourning friends and family killed in Gaza,” which raises an obvious question: how many Kentuckians have friends and family in Gaza? Not very many, I’d guess!
Fortunately, the Herald-Leader included the list of which organizations make up the “Coalition of KY Organizations,” and while I had heard of almost none of them, the names certainly comprise what would normally be called the Usual Suspects.¹ Of 28 listed organizations, 14 have Muslim, Islamic, Somali, or a Muslim name in them, while six more have Communist or Socialist as part of their organization’s name; two are small labor unions. I’m guessing that these are not things which would bring a lot of support in the Bluegrass State. Perhaps if they had hit up a few Christian churches to sign on as well?
This suffering is not an ocean away; it is taking place right here in Kentucky. The same Kentuckians that donated to- and supported your election have been in deep mourning, considering that many Kentucky residents have tragically lost close family members and relatives in Gaza and the West Bank. We have witnessed tragic events unfold as innocent Palestinian men, women, and children have been massacred over the past two weeks. We have watched parents pull their dismembered children out of rubble, neighborhoods, churches, mosques, schools, and hospitals obliterated, and entire families eradicated in the blink of an eye. To date, the people of Gaza are cut off from water, food, electricity, and medical supplies. More than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,000 children. This is a humanitarian crisis.
During World War II, we bombed Germany and Japan until Hell wouldn’t have it anymore, not because we wanted to kill ‘innocent’ Germans, but because the civilian population were part of the war machine, the industrial and agricultural support structure that kept the soldiers on the front, able to fight. The same is true with the civilians in Gaza: the Hamas fighters could not operate without the larger civilian population providing them with everything: food, clothing, shelter, transportation, cover, you name it, the civilians provided it. That’s how armies are supported, and attacking the support structure is how armies are fought and defeated. Yes, there have been ‘dismembered children’ pulled out of the rubble, but the same was true in Berlin and Hamburg and Tokyo and Dresden and Cologne and Yokohama. That’s what war is.
To our disappointment, your silence has endorsed the persecution of innocent people on Kentucky soil and abroad. These statements carry consequences by promoting violence toward Palestinian — Muslims, Christians, and Jews, alike. Notably, your voter demographic consists largely of individuals aged 18 to 34 who yearn for a ceasefire and whose beliefs are antithetical to the apartheid system in Gaza and similar conditions in the West Bank. As a leader, your words have depth and this is not representative of what our Commonwealth stands for. We will not sit by and allow this to happen.
You won’t? Just what are you going to do about it?
Well, who knows: perhaps Mr Beshear will issue the kind of statement you want . . . after the election. Right now, he’s more concerned with winning, and making the statement you want won’t help him.
You “yearn for a ceasefire”? Well, there was a ceasefire, on October 6th, and it wasn’t the Israelis who broke it. FA/FO
¹ – The Usual Suspects:
- African People’s Socialist Party,
- Ahmad Law Office, PLLC,
- Bellarmine Muslim Student Association,
- Bowling Green Muslim Student Association,
- Communist Party of Kentucky,
- Communist Party USA of Louisville,
- Islamic Center of East Kentucky,
- Islamic Center of Lexington – Armstrong Mosque,
- Islamic Center of Somerset,
- Islamic Society of Central Kentucky,
- Kentucky Tenants,
- Latinx Student Union,
- Lexington Muslim Student Associations,
- Louisville Muslim Student Association,
- Louisville Students for Justice in Palestine,
- Louisville Young Communist League,
- Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah of Lexington,
- Party for Socialism and Liberation of Lexington,
- Share Center Lexington,
- Somali Student Association at the University of Louisville,
- South Side Musalla of Lexington,
- Starbucks Workers Union Kentuckiana,
- Sunrise Movement of Bowling Green,
- Kentucky United Campus Workers,
- Young Communist League at the University of Kentucky,
- Young Muslims Brothers of Lexington,
- Young Muslim Sisters of Lexington, and
- Winchester Family Practice.