JVP reps speaking at a press conference in Hawaii.

Representatives from Jewish Voice for Peace speaking at a press conference on February 29 at the Hawaii State Capitol.

(Photo: Ann Wright)

Governor Green, Genocide Is Not Aloha

Fifteen organizations and more than 2,600 people are demanding an end to Hawaii’s “Strategic Partnership” with Israel.

On February 29, 2024, 15 organizations in Hawaii at a press conference at the Hawaii State Capitol called for Hawaii Gov. Josh Green to terminate any relationship the State of Hawaii has with Israel, citing the Israeli genocide being conducted in Gaza.

On the day of the press conference, Israeli military killed 107 and wounded over 700 starving Palestinians that were attempting to get food for their families from food relief trucks. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and 70,000 wounded in the 152-day Israeli attack and siege of Gaza.

On February 22, 2024, the Green’s office issued a letter stating his commitment to “unbreakable bonds” between the U.S. and Israel and the enduring commitment to Israel’s security.

“What Israel is doing to Palestinians in Gaza is not self-defense, it is genocide, pure and simple.”

According to the letter received by email from the governor’s office on February 22, 2024:

Under Governor Green’s administration, this commitment to Israel’s security continues to be bipartisan and sacrosanct. The United States remains steadfast in preserving and strengthening Israel’s capability to deter threats and defend itself. Additionally, the pledge never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon remains integral to this partnership.

The historic Memoranda of Understanding on security assistance, signed by successive U.S. administrations, further demonstrate the unwavering support for Israel’s security. These arrangements underscore the importance of Israel’s security to U.S. interests and regional stability.

Governor Green’s administration upholds the commitments outlined in the Joint Declaration, ensuring the enduring U.S.-Israel strategic partnership remains strong and steadfast.

Prior to Governor Green’s statement of a “strategic partnership” with Israel, in October 2022, then-Gov. David Ige signed a Joint Declaration for the State of Hawaii with the State of Israel establishing a “strategic partnership for friendly exchanges and cooperation between Hawaii and Israel,” and a formal relationship between both governments “to foster economic cooperation, facilitate joint industrial research and development, and enhance business relationships, research, and educational opportunities.”

Over 2,600 persons have signed a petition demanding that the “strategic partnership” with the State of Israel signed by Ige in October, 2022 be terminated.

Considering the genocide the Israeli government is conducting on Palestinians in Gaza, with over 100,000 confirmed killed, injured, or missing at the hands of Israeli forces in what was then 145 days, and in light of the violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, 15 organizations in Hawaii demanded at the press conference an end of Hawaii’s “strategic partnership” with the State of Israel.

The 15 organizations calling for a termination of all “strategic partnerships” with Israel to be immediately terminated are: Jewish Voice for Peace-Hawaii, Hawaii for Palestine, Rise for Palestine, Kona 4 Palestine, Maui for Palestine, Kauai for Palestine, Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine at the University of Hawaii, Veterans For Peace-Hawaii, Seed of Love Hawaii, Humanists of Hawaii, Weaving Our Stories, AF3IRM Hawaii, Sabeel-Hawaii, World Can’t Wait-Hawaii, and Hawaii Peace and Justice.

In a statement, Jewish Voice for Peace-Hawaii coordinators Imani Altemus-Williams and Julie Warech wrote:

As Jews in Hawaii, we believe that maintaining any alliance with Israel is co-signing the ongoing genocide against Palestinians. Israeli actions are not about Jewish safety but rather the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land. We call on Governor Green to stand with the Jewish values of shalom and tikkun olam by terminating this partnership and refusing to enable atrocious war crimes. We call on Governor Green to take a public stand for a CEASE-FIRE NOW.

Petition originator Jason Mizula, who has visited the West Bank of Palestine, stated, “The State of Hawaii’s strategic partnership with such a government contradicts our values here in Hawaii—values rooted in respect for all life forms and peaceful coexistence. By continuing this partnership, we are cosigning these acts that go against our principles. Occupation is not aloha. Apartheid is not aloha. Genocide is not aloha.”

Fatima Abed of Rise for Palestine said: “The International Court of Justice has found Israel’s actions in Gaza likely constitute war crimes and genocide, in direct violation of international law. The contract between Hawaii and Israel not only supports the current genocide of over 30,000 innocent people, 13,000 of which are children, but also supports the same system of colonialism that continues to cause harm to Hawaii and in particularly Kanaka Maoli.”

Sam Peck, a University of Hawaii (UH) undergraduate and member of Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine (SFJP) at UH, said:

Through its support and partnership with Israel, the U.S government and the State of Hawaii are directly responsible for the murder of over 20,000 children. Countless more have been orphaned, amputated, and have died slowly under rubble while their loved ones looked on, powerless to help. By continuing its partnership with Israel, the State of Hawaii is endorsing these atrocities, and stating that it believes they should continue unchecked. We believe that the State of Hawaii and its representatives do not wish to continue supporting such a heartless genocide, and as such we call on Governor Green to terminate the state’s partnership with Israel. SFJP at UH also calls for an immediate cease-fire and an end to funding for Israel.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright who has been to Gaza eight times commented, “What Israel is doing to Palestinians in Gaza is not self-defense, it is genocide, pure and simple. The numbers of people killed and injured and the level of destruction of housing, hospitals, schools and universities, and other infrastructure is intended to force Palestinians out of an uninhabitable Gaza—it is genocide and a second Nakba.”

She continued: “Hawaii, its state institutions, and universities should not continue a partnership with a country that conducts genocide. We demand Governor Green rescind Hawaii’s ‘strategic partnership’ with Israel.”

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.