3rd Thursday Alert: Tell Congress to pass H.R. 2590, holding Israel accountable for violations of Palestinian rights
This year marks a decade since the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy first formed to serve as an informal coordination body for Churches and church-based organizations working to support peace and justice in Israel-Palestine and the broader Middle East. Soon after forming, Faith Forum members began sending out “Third Thursday” messages to supporters to encourage action for change. Our messages have focused on many different issues – settlement construction, home demolitions, restrictions on Palestinian movement, killing of Palestinian without accountability, denial of religious freedoms, and more.
Take action with us again: call on congress to pass H.R. 2590 which calls of accountability for Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.
Because of the commitment of supporters like you, tens of thousands of messages have been sent to members of Congress lifting up these concerns and asking for changes in US policy. And we have seen positive impacts.
The introduction of legislation calling attention to Palestinian human rights concerns, like H.R. 2590, are demonstrative of a growing coalition within Congress that recognizes that violations of Palestinian’s rights cannot be ignored. Your actions are making a difference.
At the same time, the situation on the ground in Israel and Palestine has not improved. Home demolitions, settlement construction, settler violence, forced displacement, the Gaza blockade and other violations of Palestinian rights continue unabated. As we have also noted previously, the different rights violations that we have highlighted cannot be viewed in isolation from one another. Taken together they are each part of an Israeli structure of control and occupation that systematically discriminates against Palestinians in all parts of Israel/Palestine. And it is this systematic inequality and discrimination that must end if peace is to be achieved. As Speaker Pelosi and a Congressional delegation travel to Israel this week to express “ironclad” US support for Israel, they should make sure to meet with Palestinians and visit the occupied territories, including Gaza.
Last month Amnesty International became the latest organization in a growing list of Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights organizations to issue a report detailing how discriminatory Israeli actions and policies qualify as a form of Apartheid against Palestinians.
As faith communities, we have not all taken a position on the use of the term “Apartheid.” Even so, in its 2021 General Synod resolution, “A Declaration for a Just Peace between Palestine and Israel,” the United Church of Christ “rejected…Israel’s apartheid system of laws and legal procedures.” Together, we recognize the systematic and structural inequalities that shape life for Palestinians and understand that we must study and prayerfully consider these reports and their conclusions. Here are links to the Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and B’Tselem reports. [B’Tselem is a partner of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) through Global Ministries.] And our Palestinian Christian partners have spoken of Israel’s apartheid systems for two decades.