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HOOSER: Dems pass ‘cease-fire’ resolution

This past Saturday, the State Central Committee (SCC) of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i (DPH) unanimously adopted a formal resolution calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution also calls on the Biden Administration to promptly send and facilitate the re-entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including fuel, food, water, medical supplies, and to begin negotiations for a lasting peace.

Hawai‘i’s is now the second Democratic state party, after the Texas Democrats, calling for a cease-fire.

“This resolution serves as an acknowledgement that the pathway to peace cannot be illuminated by the awful glow of bombs bursting over Gaza,” said Will Caron, assistant secretary of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i and co-introducer of the resolution. “We must do everything we can to push our elected officials to exercise the United States’ immense influence over Israel, and bring the killing to an end. Only when the bombs stop dropping on Gaza can the pathway to peace begin to be uncovered and dug out of the rubble.”

The resolution further calls on the Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation to support the Ceasefire Now Resolution introduced by Representative Cori Bush at the national level that contains similar provisions.

In most political circles this issue and the surrounding debate is contentious to a point of toxicity but yet rank and file DPH members asked for leadership, and the SCC stepped up to do just that.

Read the complete resolution at

Hawai‘i’s leadership on this is something we should all be proud of and support. While maintaining a strong defense is of course important, the deescalation of global conflict, the bringing together of world leaders in civil dialogue, and avoiding armed conflict and the killing of innocent civilians is more so.

My hope is that our congressional delegation, state Legislature, and county councils will also unite in support of this resolution.

My further hope is that we, collectively might embrace and aggressively support the founding vision of the University of Hawai‘i Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace.

It could happen, you know.

The late United States Senator Spark M. Matsunaga “Sparky” vision was, “to institutionalize humanity’s concern for world peace, starting at a local level.”

With the stroke of a congressional budget pen, and the necessary leadership from the U.H. administration, the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace could very well be a vibrant global hub for positive change.

The Matsunaga Institute has a self declared mission “committed to building on Hawai‘i’s cultural heritage and island values: aloha, mutual aid and respect, sense of community, and caring for ‘aina” and is a “multi-disciplinary community of scholars, students, practitioners and other disciplines. It emphasizes critical thinking and collaboration to educate leaders in addressing contemporary and complex issues throughout Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as globally.”

Imagine for a moment the Matsunaga Institute actively serving as a meeting and gathering place for world leaders seeking to resolve their differences without bombs, bullets or bayonets.

Yes, imagine the peacemaking role Hawai‘i could and should serve on our planet and then make that call to each member of our Congressional Delegation:

Senator Brian Schatz 808-523-2061.

Senator Mazie Hirono 808-522-8970.

Representative Ed Case 808-650-6688.

Representative Jill Tokuda 808-746-6220.

Encourage them politely and professionally to support the DPH and Cori Bush Resolutions calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, and to support aggressively funding the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace.

You can even call after-hours and leave a message for them to hear.

Reach out also to U.H. President David Lassner (808) 956-8207 and ask him to support the Matsunaga Institutes growth as a true center of global peacemaking.

Speak up! Ask friends and neighbors to make the call. Hawai‘i will be a leader in global peacemaking — but it’s up to us to make that happen.


Gary Hooser served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Counci. He presently writes on Hawaii Policy and Politics at
Source: The Garden Island

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