For eight months now, the war on Gaza, which many experts and historians have called a genocide, has gripped the world’s attention. Demands for a permanent ceasefire have echoed across the world. Over 100 cities in the United States have passed ceasefire resolutions. And in places like Southern California, it’s Latinos who’ve shown up to pressure their local governments to join the ceasefire movement. Polling also shows Latinos are the most likely group to oppose sending more military aid to Israel.

In this episode, we discuss how some Latino communities are mobilizing around Gaza and whether this solidarity will impact the vote in November. Maria Hinojosa sits down with Crystal Silva McCormick, visiting instructor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Joshua Martinez, organizer with Latino Muslim Unity, and Sara Awartani, assistant professor in American Culture at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. They tell us what’s informing their solidarity with Palestinians and how different Latino communities, from student organizers to evangelicals, are responding to this moment.

Israel’s ongoing military assault on Gaza over the past eight months has killed over 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Entire neighborhoods across the Gaza Strip have been destroyed, including hospitals and universities. The destruction follows the October 7th attack by Hamas on Israel, which killed more than 1,100 people, with another 250 taken hostage, and over 100 still being held, according to Israeli officials.

The violence and pain in the region has led many communities in the U.S. to mobilize. Joshua Martinez, a Jewish Mexican-American, is organizing by pushing for local ceasefire resolutions. “We screamed and shouted and pressured and pressured, it was a lot of pressure on them,” Joshua says of his Pasadena City Council. “You really saw the force of the community and it was really breathtaking.”

Other Latino communities have made the connection with Palestine to their own struggles. For some Puerto Ricans who have mobilized in support of Gaza, these connections go back decades. “There are folks who are thinking about the U.S. military, the role of bombing in Vieques and the sending of bombs then to the Middle East,” says Palestinian-Puerto Rican scholar Sara Awartani.

Crystal Silva McCormick studies the longstanding support for Israel among Latino evangelicals. But even within this community, there’s a spectrum of beliefs, she says. “That said, those who are committed because of their Christian faith to supporting the modern state of Israel, have I think become more than ever committed to those ideas.”

Featured image by Nour Saudi.

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