Remarks on Support of Israel to Pasco County: Speech at Bilirakis Event – CAIR Florida
Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Remarks on Support of Israel to Pasco County: Speech at Bilirakis Event

April 22, 2024


My name is Mari Marks, I am a wife, a mom and International Human Rights scholar. I am also the Policy Manger for CAIR-Florida. We are an established civil rights organization protecting people from around the world.   I come before you today to ask that you please stop voting on annual and current funding for Israel in Gaza, and end to violence in the catastrophic invasion of Rafah. Over the last six months we have heard so many numbers and statistics of killed, injured, orphaned, maimed, kidnapped human beings. I want to ask you to set aside these numbers that continue to climb every second of the day.

What I want you to focus on is that every single one of those numbers represents a human being with a face, a story, a family, and dreams lost. They are grandmother’s left with the care of their grandkids, waiting in lines for 5 hours to take potty-training toddlers to the bathroom and find a single slice of bread to share.  They are fathers who leave their shelter to search for water to quench sick bodies and dry mouths, to return to a bombed out shelter, with his family gone. Doctors and nurses who haven’t seen their families in months, or have lost their families as they work 24 hours a day to save what lives they can.  Palestinians are 13 year old little girls, who love school, lip gloss, music and their friends, little girls who have no access to the dignity of sanitary support and hygiene.  A nine year old boy who is now responsible for his 6 month old sister for the rest of his life. A 14 year old who picked up the pieces of his mother to bury in a grocery bag. They are not numbers they are infants who have to suck on dates because their mommy’s breast milk has dried up from starvation, and the baby formula is being blocked by Israeli settlers from entering Gaza.  They are 27,000 children who will never again have a parent tuck them in at night, remind them to do their homework, or make a birthday cake.

This weekend an infant was saved from her murdered mother’s womb, but will grow up an orphan, never to feel her love again.

Another mass grave was just uncovered in Gaza with victims zip tied and shot execution style. Human beings run over by tanks.

Human beings seeking humanitarian aid are being targeted and murdered.

The IDF is murdering extrajudicially in Gaza and the West Bank where illegal settlers were provided rifles and shoot to kill instructions.

9,000 Palestinians have been taken as hostages.

17,000 children have been completely orphaned.

I have hundreds of stories of trauma, bombings, heartbreak, and the journalists who have risked everything to document and provide evidence of it all.  This genocide isn’t up for debate, hundreds of international genocide scholars, legal analysts and governments have declared it as such.  It isn’t up for debate that these atrocities started long before October 7th, with 75 years of documented evidence.

Meanwhile in the United States academic freedom, and freedom of speech are under fire as the FISA Act was renewed, and students are being investigated all over the country for speaking out for human rights, just as they did during the Vietnam War, and to confront Apartheid in South Africa.  This is no different.  Jewish, Christian and Muslim students are standing in solidarity, refusing to concede to the propaganda and lies being told of them.

The International Court of Justice has ordered a stop to the war on Palestinians.  This has been ignored.  The UN Security Council has ordered a stop.  This has been ignored.

The Leahy Law, which you are responsible to honor, has been ignored.

The United States government is unlawfully continuing to aid Israel, while they break every single international human rights law.

70% of the American people want the U.S. involvement to stop.  We are being ignored. We do not want our tax dollars going to a genocide at the worst, and mass murder at the least.

The Genocide Convention of 1948 states the following:

Every member state is obligated to not commit genocide. Obligated to prevent genocide. Obligated to enact legislation, to ensure effective penalties, to try persons charged with genocide, to grant extradition.

Here is the definition for you:

Intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

Causing serious bodily harm

Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, in whole or in part

Preventing Birth

Forcible transfer

Conspiracy to commit genocide

Direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

Complicity in genocide.

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