160 Organizations Demand Congress Stop Funding Israel’s Massacres

160 organizations representing Palestinian communities, Palestinian solidarity organizations, and the racial justice movement have signed on to the new joint statement “Stop Funding Israel’s Massacres,” calling out the U.S. government’s complicity and racist dehumanization of Palestinian life. Read the statement below:

Israel’s horrific murder of 10 Palestinians in Jenin, unprecedented for two decades in the West Bank, demands action

After Israeli forces massacred at least 10 Palestinian people in Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, Jan. 26, leaving dozens of injuries and destruction in their wake, Palestinian journalist Mariam Barghouti called the Palestinian reality under Israeli military occupation a “slaughterhouse.” 

While most U.S. politicians and media focused attention on a shooting by a Palestinian individual in an illegal Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem that followed, they remained silent on Israeli forces killing Palestinians in the Jenin massacre. This silence continued following the Israeli government’s moves to institutionalize their collective punishment and retribution responses to the shooting, including expediting gun permits for Israelis and punishing family members of Palestinian attackers by demolishing their homes and revoking social security benefits. This dehumanizing disparity reinforces the racist devaluation of Palestinian life. Peace is not possible without justice, which begins with an end to Israel’s military occupation, theft of Palestinian land, and attacks on Palestinian lives.

When this context is explained, it is clear all this violence is rooted in Israel’s brutality against the Palestinian people. The Jenin massacre was the bloodiest in the West Bank in about two decades, in one of the deadliest months: Israeli forces killed 35 Palestinians in the West Bank in 2023 so far, killing on average at least one Palestinian person each day. This Israeli violence marks an acceleration since 2022, when Israel killed 146 Palestinians in the West Bank, including killing Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was reporting in Jenin. And in Gaza, Palestinians living trapped under Israeli blockade endure structural violence each day, and have endured multiple Israeli bombing massacres over the last two decades, which have killed thousands of Palestinians including 49 people in August 2022.

This week, Secretary of State Blinken is meeting with the new increasingly fascist, far-right Israeli government. Blinken’s statements said nothing about the Israeli government’s plan to entrench illegal settlements, reaffirming the U.S. refusal to even recognize the context of Israel’s military occupation. We will not accept his politics-as-usual of words of concern without U.S. policy change, which gives Israel a free pass to keep massacring the Palestinian people. The images coming out of Jenin—an elderly woman killed by Israeli sniper bullets, hospital patients suffocating with Israeli tear gas, and ambulances denied access to the wounded by Israeli forces—are part of apartheid Israel’s greater systematic violence, which our government has chosen to fund with $3.8+ billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars a year. 

The Palestinian people’s ongoing demands for freedom in their homeland and basic human rights must be met by people around the world rising up with them. We demand Members of Congress take immediate policy action towards accountability: Stop arming Israel’s massacres against the Palestinian people by ending U.S. military funding to Israel. Real justice will not begin until we do.

Tell Congress: Stop funding Israel’s massacres of Palestinians

National Organizations:

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
ActionAid USA
Adalah Justice Project
American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine (AFRP)
American Muslim Bar Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action)
Catalyst Project
Center for Constitutional Rights
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Palestine Israel Network
Eyewitness Palestine
Fellowship of Reconciliation USA
Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Health Advisory Council of Jewish Voice for Peace
IfNotNow Movement
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA (ICAHD-USA)
Jetpac Resource Center
Jewish Voice for Peace Action (JVP Action)
Kairos USA
MADRE
Media Education Foundation
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Middle East Children’s Alliance
Movement for Black Lives
MPower Change
Muslim Peace Fellowship
Muslims for Just Futures
National Arab American Women’s Association (NAAWA)
National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)
Palestine Legal
Palestinian American Organizations Network (PAON)
Project South
Promoting Enduring Peace
Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
Rethinking Foreign Policy
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
US Boats to Gaza
US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
USA Palestine Mental Health Network
Veterans for Peace
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US

Local or State-Based Organizations:

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine
Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
Arab American Caucus of California Democratic Party
Arab American Civic Council
Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
Brooklyn For Peace
Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition
California Scholars for Academic Freedom
Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
Christian-Jewish Allies for a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine
Corvallis Palestine Solidarity
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Washington
Dallas Palestine Coalition
DC Statehood Green Party
Delawareans for Palestinians Human Rights
Dream Defenders
Episcopal Bishop’s Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, Diocese of Olympia
Friends of Palestine Wisconsin
Friends of Sabeel – Colorado
Greater Lansing Peace Education Center
Green Mountain Solidarity With Palestine
Historians for Peace and Democracy
Human Rights Awareness: Palestine Israel/MA 3rd CD (HRA:PI/CD3)
Indiana Center for Middle East Peace
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – Bay Area
Jewish Voice for Peace – Austin
Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area
Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston
Jewish Voice for Peace – Central Ohio
Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago
Jewish Voice for Peace – Cleveland
Jewish Voice for Peace – Detroit
Jewish Voice for Peace – Hudson Valley
Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles
Jewish Voice for Peace – New Haven
Jewish Voice for Peace – New York City
Jewish Voice for Peace – Pittsburgh
Jewish Voice for Peace – Sacramento
Jewish Voice for Peace – Seattle
Jewish Voice for Peace – South Bay
Jewish Voice for Peace – Tacoma Washington
Jewish Voice for Peace – Tucson
Jewish Voice for Peace – UCLA
Jews Say No!
Justice for Palestine – Syracuse
Kairos Puget Sound Coalition
LA Jews for Peace
Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land
Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
Marin for Palestine
Massachusetts Peace Action
Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR)
Mid-Missourians for Justice in Palestine
Middle East Crisis Committee – Connecticut
Middle East Crisis Response
Minnesota BDS Community
Monterey Peace and Justice Center
Muslim Students’ Association at University of Michigan
Nevada Green Party USA
No Rights/No Aid
Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel
Olive Branch Fair Trade Inc.
Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace
Pacific Green Party
Palestine Solidarity Committee at University of San Diego
Palestinian American Community Center of New Jersey (PACC NJ)
Palestinian Rights Committee of New York’s Capital Region
Partners for Palestine
Peace & Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
Peace & Planet News
Peace Action New York State
Peace Action of San Mateo County
Peace Education Center
People for Palestinian-Israeli Justice – Long Beach, CA
Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee
Progressive Jews of St. Louis (ProJoSTL)
Quakers Palestine Israel Network
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!)
Rochester Witness for Palestine
Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights
San Antonio for Justice in Palestine
Shomeret Shalom
Social Justice at Trinity Episcopal Church Asbury Park
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Social Justice Committee
Students for Justice in Palestine – Berkeley Law
Students for Justice in Palestine – Butler University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Rutgers New Brunswick (SJP-NB)
Students for Justice in Palestine – UVA
Texas Arab American Democrats
The Whatcom Peace and Justice Center
Tzedek Chicago
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East – Ann Arbor
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East MA Chapter
Universal Construction
Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land
Valley View Church
Vancouver for Peace and Justice – Vancouver, WA
Vermonters for Justice in Palestine
Veterans For Peace – Linus Pauling Chapter 132
Veterans for Peace – New Hampshire Chapter
Veterans For Peace – NYC
Veterans for Peace – Rachel Corrie Chapter
Veterans For Peace – Santa Fe Chapter
Veterans For Peace – Spokane Chapter #35
Virginia Coalition for Human Rights
Voices for Middle East Peace
Washington Advocates for Palestinian Rights
Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the Environment
Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club
WESPAC Foundation, Inc.
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – St. Louis chaper
Yemeni Liberation Movement
 

A Massacre Took Place in Jenin

January 26, 2023

This morning, Israeli forces murdered at least 9 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. They bombed homes, tear-gassed a hospital children's ward, shot at residents, and prevented access to medical aid. This unhinged massacre is the most violent Israeli invasion of the Jenin Refugee camp since 2002.

This Sunday, Secretary Blinken is going to Palestine to meet with the new Israeli government. Rather than another photo op with empty political slogans, it’s incumbent upon him to use this trip to announce a shift in US policy toward Israel.

We demand President Biden and Secretary Blinken make a clear public statement that the actions of the Israeli government will not be tolerated or funded by our tax dollars. It’s time for the U.S. to stop its foreign aid to Israel. 

2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in nearly 20 years, with the most deaths since the United Nations began recording fatalities in 2005. The new, far-right Israeli government and its forces remain adamant about continuing, if not increasing, their brutality. We're only 26 days into 2023, and Israel has already killed 30 Palestinians, including five children—setting a pace to double the murder of Palestinians in 2022.

While the brutal invasion of Jenin’s refugee camp is not an exception to the new Israeli Knesset, its outward, right-wing extremism, and determination to violence against Palestinians should be an immediate trigger for the United States to finally take a firm stand against the apartheid government. 

AMP unequivocally condemns the United States’ absurd and tone-deaf call to Palestinians to continue security coordination instead of condemning Israel’s crime and massacre. If the Israeli government expects this massacre to pave the way for annexations within the West Bank, they must rest assured that it will not be accepted by the Palestinian people, by Americans, and nor should it be accepted or enabled by the U.S. government. It’s overdue for the United States to stop enabling Israel's violence against the Palestinian people, and put an immediate end to Israel's settler-colonial, apartheid system.
 

Nine Palestinians killed in Israeli raid in Jenin

 

Jenin & London — Nine Palestinians have been killed during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank – the deadliest in years – Palestinian officials say.

A woman aged 61 was reported among the dead in the flashpoint town of Jenin.

The Israeli military said its troops went in to arrest Islamic Jihad militants planning “major attacks”.

The Palestinian presidency accused Israel of a “massacre” and later announced it had ended co-ordination with Israel on security matters.

A 10th Palestinian was meanwhile shot and killed during a confrontation with Israeli troops in the town of al-Ram, near Jerusalem, as residents protested against the Jenin raid, Palestinian officials said.

Masafer Yatta Instagram Live!

Tune in to learn how you can stand in solidarity with Palestinian people as they defend Masafer Yatta from Israel’s violence. We’ll be joined by Sami Huraini, a Palestinian activist and co-founder of Youth Of Sumud / شباب صمود, based in Masafer Yatta.

Since June of 2022, the Israeli regime has been demolishing multiple homes and an elementary school for Palestinian children in Masafer Yatta. The Palestinian people in Masafer Yatta have existed and tended to their land for generations. Now, within a matter of minutes, Israeli forces could uproot the lives of nearly 1,000 Palestinian people in Masafer Yatta through demolitions, arrests, and constant attacks on their lives.

Please be sure to join us on Monday at 7:00 PM Palestine time/12:00 Noon ET to learn how you can help defend Masafer Yatta. Our collective action can and will make a difference, and it is up to us to show up for Palestinian people now and for future generations.

#DefendMasaferYatta

231 Palestinians were killed this year. These are their stories.

2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in decades. We kept a record of all those who were killed by Israeli state and settler violence.

YUMNA PATEL, MONDOWEISS, DECEMBER 31, 2022

Some of the Palestinian martyrs from 2022. (Illustration: Yumna Patel/Mondoweiss)

2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in decades. In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem specifically, this year marked the highest number of killings of Palestinians in the territories since the UN began recording fatalities in 2005. 

The killings began almost instantaneously, with the first two Palestinians killed within the first week of January — one by an Israeli soldier, and one by an Israeli settler. From then on, the killings did not stop. 

Since the start of the year, Mondoweiss has kept a record of all the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers. As part of our documentation efforts, we have cross referenced the numbers and names of those killed with reports from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, local and international news agencies, and independent journalists.  

At the time of publication, the total number of Palestinians killed in 2022 stood at 231. This number also includes 53 killed in Gaza, 49 of whom were killed during Operation Breaking Dawn in August, and five Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who were killed inside the territory of the Israeli state. 

The vast majority of the deaths this year, however, came from the occupied West Bank, with 173 Palestinians killed. For the purpose of this report, we will focus on those who were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or those who were residents of the West Bank and Jerusalem but were killed in other parts of occupied Palestine. 

This list does not only include Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli soldiers, or run over by Israeli settlers. It also includes Palestinian political prisoners who died inside Israeli prisons as a result of “direct medical negligence,” or those who died while resisting Israeli apartheid and colonialism, and are thus considered “martyrs” — those who died for the cause — by the Palestinian public.

Among the 173 killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were 39 children aged 17 and under, making them close to 27% of the total deaths in the territory. 

According to our documentation, the least amount of Palestinians killed in a month this year was six, and the highest number was recorded in October, when 30 Palestinians were killed — almost one person every day on average.

Within the West Bank, the highest number of casualties occurred in two specific regions: Nablus and Jenin, representing 19% and 34% of the total casualties, respectively. The particularly high number of deaths in the two regions of the northern West Bank can be attributed to the resurgence of armed resistance witnessed in both areas, which the Israeli military focused its efforts on quashing this year. 

In late 2021, the Israeli army amended its already loose open-fire regulations in the occupied West Bank, officially allowing troops to shoot at Palestinians who had thrown rocks or Molotov cocktails at civilian vehicles, even if the Palestinian no longer presented an immediate threat. 

The military spokesperson has maintained that the amended regulations only apply when rocks or fire bombs are thrown towards civilian vehicles, not when such objects are thrown towards forces during military raids, and that soldiers are to follow a protocol in which the use of deadly force is a last resort. The nature of the killings this year, however, tell a different story. 

According to documentation collected by Mondoweiss, the vast majority of those killed were shot by Israeli police, border police, and the military during confrontations with Israeli forces. While there was a significant rise in armed confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli armed forces this year, many of those killed were shot while unarmed, or while throwing stones or Molotov cocktails towards Israeli army vehicles and armed soldiers. In many cases, rights groups deemed that those killed did not pose an explicit threat to the lives of the Israeli soldiers when they were killed.  

These are the names and faces of every Palestinian who, according to our records, was killed or died as a result of Israeli military, settler, and colonial violence in 2022. 

Occupied West Bank & East Jerusalem

Total deaths: 173

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ACT NOW: Prevent water cistern demolition in Sfai, South Hebron Hills

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December 24, 2022

In this time of Hanukkah, while Jews celebrate the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 days, the Palestinian village of Sfai in the desert of Masafer Yatta is about to have its water cisterns demolished. There could not be a more cruel irony. No water means no life.

We are supporting our friends at Rebuilding Alliance in their campaign to ask Congress to intervene in the demolition. On December 26th (the 8th day of Hanukkah), Israel’s Army is scheduled to respond in court to the appeal filed by the village of Sfai seeking to protect their water storage system. That means the judge can rule as early as the 27th — when Congress is out of session. The attorney believes that political intervention is needed now more than ever.

It’s easy to act. We are asking you to do three things today:

  • Send a form Email to your Representatives and Senators with one easy click HERE.
  • Call your Representative HERE.
  • Call your Senators HERE.

Your phone call to a congressional office is very influential, even if you just leave a voicemail. Here is the script for your call:

My name is ________ and I live at _______. As your constituent, I need your help tostop the demolition of water storage cisterns in the Palestinian village of Sfai and prevent the escalating demolition of humanitarian infrastructure in Masafer Yatta. This is urgent: please call the Israeli Embassy State Department today or tomorrow at the latest.

  • In June of last year 2021, the village of Sfai’s water mains were demolished by the Israeli Army, leaving only the water cisterns to sustain the community.
  • Now, the water cisterns are at risk of being demolished.

Please have your staff call the Israeli Embassy and the U.S. State Department on my behalf as a constituent. Fast track Congressional intervention has prevented the demolition of Palestinian villages and schools.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM NOW

South Hebron Hills Watch is a group of Israeli American volunteers who forged a strong connection with Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills and Jewish activists who are providing witness and physical support to these communities. We are not affiliated with any political party or organization but partner with like-minded people and organizations that support nonviolent activity on the ground and amplify the plight of these Palestinian families in the face of a broader effort to remove them from their lands. Please follow us on Facebook , Instagram, and Twitter. Subscribe to our mailing list.

 

How the Israeli government will turn its Jewish critics into dissidents

The transformation of Israeli leftists into dissidents is a reminder that no one is safe from the attempts to turn the ‘wrong kind’ of Jews into enemies.

Edo Konrad, +972 Magazine, December 16, 2022

Israeli activists hold a protest in Tel Aviv against Israeli military rule over Palestinians in the West Bank, September 23, 2021. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)
Israeli activists hold a protest in Tel Aviv against Israeli military rule over Palestinians in the West Bank, September 23, 2021. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Most left-wing Israeli Jews do not generally think of themselves as political dissidents, and have likely never aspired to such a status. Despite the lavish praise they receive for their bravery, Israeli-Jewish leftists have the ability to speak out without suffering the consequences faced by Palestinians, not to mention activists in other undemocratic states. Leftist Jews have very often been afforded the privilege of being opponents of the right, rather than its enemies.

But all that seems like it may change, and far quicker than even the biggest pessimists in my camp anticipated. In just the last month, since Itamar Ben Gvir was appointed as presumptive national security minister, Bezalel Smotrich given the power to lord over the day-to-day lives of millions of Palestinians in the occupied territories, and Avi Maoz granted the power to implement his homophobic agenda in school curriculums, the shifts have been palpable for Jewish critics of the state and its occupation. The government has not yet been formed, but it is clear to everybody which way the wind is blowing.

Israeli police have since summoned Israel Frey, a left-wing Haredi journalist, for interrogation over a tweet praising a Palestinian who sought security forces, rather than civilians, for a planned attack (Frey has thus far refused to appear before the police). Israeli soldiers attacked and threatened leftists, some of them journalists, during a tour in occupied Hebron (a routine event for Palestinians in the city). Right-wing activists managed to pressure the Pardes Hanna-Karkur Local Council to cancel a screening of my colleague Noam Sheizaf’s new film on the occupation due to his politics. And on Thursday, during a hearing by the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Likud MK Hanoch Milwidsky interrupted Breaking the Silence Executive Director Avner Gvaryahu to call him a “traitor” and an “informant” who should “be imprisoned.”

The path to this moment was paved long ago. While loud and unabashed, there have been relatively few Jewish left-wing dissidents in Israeli history who have challenged the Israeli regime — from conscientious objectors, to nuclear whistleblowers, to groups such as the Israeli Black Panthers and the smattering of other independent left-wing groups — while most have focused on reforming specific policies. Meanwhile, Israel has an increasingly right-wing public that has become accustomed to managing an endless military dictatorship over the West Bank and a lethal siege on Gaza, and has little patience for anyone who criticizes it, or even speaks about it openly. The political right, from former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett — the hero of the “government of change” — to Smotrich and Ben Gvir, believe in forcing Palestinians to kneel before Israel (lest we forget that Bennett’s government dissolved over his coalition’s failure to re-authorize separate West Bank legal systems for Palestinians and Israeli Jews).

(From right) Members of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich, Itamar Ben Gvir, Dudi Amsalem, and Ofir Sofer seen during a vote for the new Knesset speaker, Jerusalem, December 13, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(From right) Members of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich, Itamar Ben Gvir, Dudi Amsalem, and Ofir Sofer seen during a vote for the new Knesset speaker, Jerusalem, December 13, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Meanwhile, much of the Zionist left no longer has anything of value to say about the occupation, and very often closes ranks with its opponents on the right in attacking Palestinians and the radical left. In Jewish-Israeli society, this has left behind a shrinking cadre of left-wing Jewish activists who recognize that dismantling apartheid and colonialism is the only way to move toward a more just future for Palestinians and Israelis.

Into that vacuum left by the Zionist left swept far-right groups with connections to the Israeli government that have made it their duty to seek out those Jewish Israelis who refuse to toe the party line. A little less than a decade ago, these organizations were behind a chillingly concerted bottom-up effort to delegitimize anti-occupation groups such as Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Ta’ayush, and others because they refused to remain silent in the face of Israel’s human rights abuses. What seemed like a novel phenomenon in 2015 is now part of the playbook for every single aspiring right-wing politician. In this sense, the attacks of the last month are not new, but they carry a great deal of weight given the makeup of the new government.

Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed how, time and time again, it is Palestinians who are repeatedly on the front lines of Israel’s repression, most prominently in the story of Dr. Ahmad Mahajna, who is still fighting for his job after he was falsely accused of handing sweets to a 16-year-old Palestinian who carried out a stabbing attack and who was in his care at Hadassah Medical Center. For over a month, Mahajna was ceaselessly attacked by the media and far-right activists for his so-called support for “terrorism,” until enough people came forward to put an end to the witch hunt. If left-wing Israeli Jews are being transformed into dissidents, Palestinians are always one false move from being labeled enemies of the state, simply by their very existence.

Yet this transformation of Israeli leftists into dissidents is a reminder that no one is safe from Ben Gvir, Smotrich, and Maoz’s attempts to suss out the “wrong kind of Jews.” After they come for Palestinians — particularly in Area C of the West Bank, so-called mixed cities, and the Naqab/Negev — they will come for the anti-apartheid activists. After that, it could be anyone who resists the religious coercion of the agents of Jewish theocracy.

Jewish dissidents-to-be need to know the path will be fraught and often dangerous. Some of us will inevitably leave (plenty already have), while others, particularly those without anywhere to go, will either stay and fight alongside Palestinians, asylum seekers, the LGBTQ community, and any other group this government comes after, or step away from activism altogether. Those looking from the outside at what is transpiring on the ground at lightning speed need to know that we are only at the very beginning.

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