In 2018, Americans were horrified to learn that migrant children were being cruelly separated from their families at the U.S. border and imprisoned in intolerable conditions.
Many U.S. lawmakers - on both sides of the aisle - joined the national outcry to say this is an UNACCEPTABLE practice for the United States.
Yet – under Israel's military occupation that is generously subsidized by Congress with U.S. tax dollars – abusing and imprisoning Palestinian children has been ACCEPTABLE and standard practice for many years. These children are subjected to abuse that has never even been considered in the United States.
It is time for U.S. legislators to oppose the abuse of Palestinian children by the Israeli military.
These kids' stories of abuse are terrifying and heartbreaking - often taken from their families in the middle of the night, put in choke holds, blindfolded and handcuffed, thrown into jeeps, traumatized and coerced into confessions during interrogations where no parent or advocate is present, strip searched, beaten, and tortured. They are tried in military courts that lack the basic standards for a fair trial and the conviction rate is over 99%.
Roughly 10,000 Palestinian children have suffered such abuse since the year 2000.
EVERY lawmaker should be appalled at this treatment of children by the Israeli military, which the U.S. gives $3.8 billion each year. The U.S. MUST STOP FUNDING these egregious violations of children’s essential human rights.
The historic bill H.R. 2407 seeks to ensure just that. The Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act can put a stop to U.S. tax dollars funding such abuse.
Also called the "McCollum Bill," it was recently brought to Congress by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN). Now H.R. 2407 needs co-sponsors!
Mark Harrison [far left], Director of Peace with Justice at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), with Rep. Betty McCollum [center front row] and other supporters of H.R. 2407. Both GBCS and UMKR are ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS of this bill.See the list here
We are witnessing a new thing emerging in the United States. A few years ago, no one in Congress would have stood up for Palestinians’ human rights. Last year, the first version of the McCollum Bill had 30 co-sponsors in Congress!
There is a growing conviction among the American public, and even starting in Congress, that U.S. policy on Israel/Palestine can and should hold Israel accountable for human rights violations.
THAT'S WHAT H.R. 2407 WILL DO: The "Leahy Law" is part of the Foreign Assistance Act; it is supposed to ensure U.S. aid does not go to military units that violate human rights. It has not been applied to Israel. A good way to start is focusing now on the treatment of children.
So this new bill will amend the Leahy Law to prohibit U.S. military aid from funding the military detention or abuse of children in violation of international humanitarian law.
This bill would apply to children globally, wherever U.S. military aid is received;any person of conscience should be able to support it!
Send your Representative a message: US funding for abuse of Palestinian children must stop. Click below and you will review the message before sending it:
UMKR is an international grassroots peace movement of laity and clergy in the United Methodist Church. We are responding to the Palestinian Christians' urgent call, in Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth, for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land. OUR GOAL: UMKR seeks – through nonviolent action and in partnership with our Palestinian sisters and brothers in Christ – freedom, equality, and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis. Learn more about UMKR
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