Home>State Assembly>Toma and Petersen Release Joint Proclamation Supporting Israel

Toma and Petersen Release Joint Proclamation Supporting Israel

House Speaker and Senate Pres. condemn Hamas, Call on Biden to act against Iran

By Steve Kirwan, October 13, 2023 10:25 am

In a gesture of support for Israel, the Arizona Legislature filed a Joint Legislative Proclamation denouncing the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and calling on President Biden to defend Israeli and U.S. citizens. Signed by House Speaker Ben Toma (R-27) and Senate President Warren Petersen (R-LD14), the proclamation expresses Israel’s right to self-defense, demands an immediate cessation of hostilities against Israel, and calls for Joe Biden to act against Iran for orchestrating the terror attack.

The proclamation also calls for the capital’s copper dome to be lit up in blue to signify the State’s support for Israel and asks Governor Hobbs to fly all governmental property flags at half-mast. The document was signed Oct. 11, 2023, after both the House and the Senate released statements decrying the horrific events of the past week. Despite the symbolic nature of the decree, it underscores the unwavering support by Arizonans against the ideology of terror and in favor of Israel.

Speaker of the House Ben Toma speaking on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, July 31, 2023. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

The joint statement also stands in stark contrast to the anti-Israel and pro-Hamas demonstrations occurring at universities nationwide. At the University of Arizona in Tucson, students protested against Israel in blatant disregard for the brutal nature of the attack. In response to the protests, leaders from several UA departments, including Judaic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, released a joint statement speaking out against the violence.

The statement read, “We disagree, sometimes vehemently, regarding the Middle East — who is right and who is wrong — yet we work together with mutual respect, as scholars and responsible people, toward maintaining a campus community in which all students, staff, faculty, and visitors may exercise their freedom of speech, and are as safe as possible from bigotry, from incitement to hatred and violence, and of course, from physical violence itself.

“Police departments around the state have issued warnings to remain vigilant against antisemitic violence and, in some jurisdictions, increased police patrols around synagogues and Jewish community centers. The FBI also warned against possible pro-Hamas actions today, stopping short of providing specific threats.

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