The room was packed for the May 2017 Congressional Briefing on No Way to Treat a Child (Photo: DCI-Palestine)

This week there is an important Congressional briefing: the mayors of Bethlehem and the village of Wadi Foquin, which are both in the West Bank, will be speaking about the devastating impact of the Israeli settlements that surround their communities.

Urge your members of Congress to ATTEND this briefing and also OPPOSE current anti-BDS legislation pending in Congress.

Anti-BDS laws pose a serious threat to fundamental rights in the U.S., according to the ACLU and other civil rights authorities.

Over the past few years, laws that would suppress boycotts focused on Israeli human rights abuses have been passed in Congress and two dozen states across the country. More of this "anti-BDS legislation" is pending in Congress now.   

Dozens of faith groups and partners have taken action this week to alert the American public and Congress about our right to boycott and take other economic actions for justice - a protected form of speech according to the US Supreme Court.

Support their action - urge your members of Congress to reject all anti-BDS legislation AND to attend the briefing this week, where they can learn why so many Americans are boycotting for Palestinian human rights.

In Kansas this year, a Mennonite teacher was denied the right to a state teaching contract because she supports her church's call to boycott for Palestinian rights and would not sign a document certifying she does not.

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit for her against the state Dept of Education - the first serious legal challenge to anti-BDS laws.

On Nov 7, a coalition of Christian, Muslim and Jewish organizations published a full page statement in The Kansas City Star, standing against this unconstitutional denial of rights. (See it on the right.)

The statement "CALLS ON ALL AMERICANS to join us and the ACLU in defending our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Urge state legislators and members of Congress to reject anti-BDS legislation as an infringement on the rights of American citizens."  See the full text, signatories and endorsements

This newspaper statement came just one day after 20 top Christian leaders from 17 national organizations and denominations sent an Open Letter to Congress, stating their opposition to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.  See the letter and signers.

It is urgent that we all stand for First Amendment rights and oppose anti-BDS laws.  And attending the briefing this week will help Congress understand why we boycott and divest for Palestinian human rights.

Click the button below to contact your members of Congress.

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United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) is an international grassroots peace movement in the United Methodist Church responding to 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. UMKR seeks – through nonviolent action and in partnership with our Palestinian sisters and brothers in Christ – freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis.

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