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.
For too long, Palestinians have been calling for freedom, justice, and equality. As organizations that share these values, we urge you to join us in confronting Christians United for Israel (CUFI).
CUFI has quietly become the largest organization in the United States driving support for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. With over five million members, CUFI uses its political leverage to ensure ongoing U.S. support for Israel’s colonization and military occupation of Palestine, including imprisoning Palestinian children; bombing homes, schools, and hospitals in Gaza; massacring peaceful protestors; and confiscating Palestinian land.
By its own admission, CUFI “led the charge to have the U.S. recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” and it continues to push for unconstitutional anti-BDS legislation and illegal settlement expansion.
CUFI is a Christian Zionist organization: Its ideology and politics are deeply entrenched in white nationalism, anti-Muslim racism, anti-Semitism, and other systems of oppression. In spite of its strong political influence on the Hill, CUFI has operated largely under the radar and received little attention in comparison with groups like AIPAC.
Until now. This is the moment to act: This July, many of your Congressional representatives will be attending CUFI’s annual summit as invited guests. We cannot allow CUFI’s influence to go unchallenged. Come to Washington, D.C. on July 7 and 8 to tell the world to #CounterCUFI!
Please consider calling or emailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and your own Representative:
- Speaker Pelosi: 202-225-0100, press “1” to leave a message, or email form
Rep. Mark Pocan: 202-225-2906 in DC, or email form
The vote is now scheduled for Thursday, 3/7/19.
The Democratic Party Attacks on Ilhan Omar Are a Travesty
I’m Jewish and have worked against anti-Semitism for decades. I was sitting a few feet from Omar at Busboys & Poets and I heard nothing—nothing—that smacked of anti-Semitism, overt or coded or otherwise.
On Thursday, November 29, 2018, CNN announced that it had severed ties with Temple University Professor and CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill over a speech he gave in support of Palestinian human rights at the United Nations a day earlier.
Professor Hill addressed the UN on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, drawing attention to the continued human rights violations perpetrated against the Palestinian people. Professor Hill has been vilified, defamed, and falsely accused of harboring hateful views. His words were distorted by pro-Israel groups seeking to undermine his call for one state with equal rights for all.
In his defense of the Palestinian people, Professor Hill did not call anyone to violence, nor did he call for the destruction of Israel. His legitimate criticism of Israeli apartheid policies, which include rights and privileges afforded only to Jewish citizens of Israel, has been unfairly conflated with anti-Semitism, which is a well-worn tactic used by pro-Israel activists to smear their opponents.
Professor Hill has been a tireless champion of human rights and justice for all people, and has always denounced all forms of hate and racism. On Thursday, he reiterated his position in a series of tweets, writing, “I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.”
CNN’s decision to dismiss one of its most popular commentators based on his principled stance against the oppression of Palestinians is blatant censorship. It’s hypocritical considering that one of its contributors is Rick Santorum whose hateful speech against Palestinians includes the denial of their existence. Another regular contributor, Alan Dershowitz, has a history of demonizing Palestinians and supported Israel’s use of torture against them. And yet, CNN chose to fire one of its few contributors of color.
The silencing of voices conducive to the free exchange of ideas is dangerous. It is not befitting a media outlet that prides itself on objectivity to stifle a critical viewpoint—much less one that is becoming increasingly mainstream.
On Wednesday, Marc Lamont Hill, a political commentator on CNN, delivered a speech to the United Nations in support of the Palestinian people. He advocated for their human rights, outlined how Israel denies Palestinians their basic liberties, and asked the international community to ‘commit to political action’.
The next day — under pressure from right-wing leaders and the Jewish establishment — CNN fired him.
This news is appalling. We are demanding that CNN reinstate Marc Lamont Hill because advocating for Palestinian rights should NOT be a fireable offense. In supporting Palestinian freedom, Marc Lamont-Hill was in no way being anti-semitic.
Marc Lamont Hill has spent much of his life fighting against racism and oppression in America. In a tweet responding to accusations against him, he said “I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things”.
Especially in the Trump Era, it is dangerous to link advocating for Palestinian rights to anti-semitism. It distracts from real threats to Jewish community — the rise of white nationalism.
Unfortunately, the ADL already vilified Marc Lamont Hill for his criticism of Israeli policy. Once again we are seeing the American Jewish establishment censor conversations about Palestinian rights by falsely claiming antisemitism, and it is setting a terrifying precedent.
First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive
Help provide a Maia Project water filter from the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) to serve clean drinking water to 3,250 students of two schools and their families in Rafah. This is a joint project of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, First Unitarian Society of Madison, Jewish Voice for Peace – Madison, and Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.
Free and open to the public. Donations will be gratefully accepted.
Can’t make the benefit but would still like to donate? You can donate online or send a check payable to MRSCP marked “water” to:
P.O. Box 5214
Madison, WI 53705