On Tuesday, over two hundred of Senator Murray’s Jewish constituents and other people of conscience held a Passover seder in the streets in front of the Federal Building where Senator Patty Murray has offices.

Why? Because on Tuesday, Senator Murray voted yes on a supplemental appropriations bill that includes $17 billion in additional military funding and weapons to the Israeli government. We, the organizers of Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle, are calling on Senator Murray to listen to her constituents and take action towards a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

That’s why on Tuesday, instead of celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover around our tables at home, we mobilized hundreds of Senator Murray's constituents, ages two months to 79 years old, for a “Seder in the Streets.” We collectively painted a 30-foot diameter mural in front of Senator Murray’s office, which reads “No Funds For Genocide: Let Gaza Live.”

Let Gaza live. Courtesy of Jewish Voice for Peace

Two months ago, we felt a small glimpse of hope, as Senator Murray boldly proclaimed on the Senate floor that “the collective punishment in Gaza has got to stop” and called for a ceasefire in Gaza. This statement came on the heels of the “Flour Massacre,” in which Israeli troops fired on crowds of Palestinians gathered to collect flour in the southwest of Gaza City, killing at least 112 people and injuring at least 760. This statement also came after months of sustained pressure by the Palestinian-led anti-war movement, with thousands of constituents in the streets and so many of us risking arrest, and tens of thousands calling and writing to Senator Murray daily, begging her to take action toward a ceasefire. When we heard her words, we felt a breath of hope. We felt that she had finally heard us.

At the time, Senator Murray insisted that any US aid to Israel was subject to the Leahy Law, which prevents aid to foreign military units suspected of committing gross human rights violations. Now she has the chance to show us she means what she says. If Senator Murray is not all talk, she’ll vote ‘no’ on this Israel aid package and refuse US complicity in genocide. If she’s smoke and mirrors, she’ll continue to push the package through, betraying the overwhelming majority of her constituents and Democrats as a whole who support a permanent ceasefire. 

As Senator Murray recognized in her February 29 ceasefire speech, the death toll in Gaza has reached over 34,000 Palestinians, with many more bodies under the rubble. The Israeli government is starving Palestinians, and medical care is nonexistent due to Israeli targeting of hospitals and destruction of infrastructure across Gaza. 

“There are more than 150,000 pregnant and lactating women in harm’s way. Doctors who had worked on the ground in Gaza spoke to me about performing emergency C-sections, on rubble, or in tents—without anesthesia—and women bleeding out because they couldn’t get medical care,” Senator Murray said.

It seemed Senator Murray recognized the multiple human rights atrocities committed by the Israeli military. But now, we don’t have a lot of evidence that Murray will stand by what she’s said. Why would she vote yes to send $17 billion to the Israeli military when she admitted they were enacting collective punishment against Palestinians? We know that pro-Israel PACs are amongst Senator Murray’s top donors. Between 2019 and 2024 Murray received $119,450 from her third-highest donor, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) alone, and she has received over $680,000 from Pro-Israel PACs throughout her career. Just before her February 29 speech calling for a ceasefire, she ushered the very bill to the Senate that is now back for a vote, and on Tuesday she voted yes on the procedural vote to move the bill forward. 

One thing we do know is that voters won’t forget how Senator Murray handled the decision to send $17 billion to Israel even as it commits genocide in Gaza. As polling has shown, the majority of Americans support a permanent ceasefire, an overwhelming majority of Democrats support a permanent ceasefire, including a majority of Jewish Democrats. Nearly 10% of Washington Democrats statewide and 16% in the 7th District voted uncommitted statewide in the presidential primary, signaling their support for a change in US policy towards Israel. If Senator Murray continues to push funding for the ongoing genocide in Gaza forward, voters won’t forget in the the presidential race in 2024, and they won’t forget when Murray is up for reelection, either. 

Ross Kirshenbaum is an organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace, a musician and transit operator.

Hila Keller is an organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace.