Jewish Voice for Peace: Call to action in USA

Posted on Jun 4, 2017

Issa Amro is a hero of the movement for Palestinian human rights. For thirteen years, he and the organization he founded, Youth Against Settlements, have struggled day in and day out to nonviolently resist the occupation. They keep Palestinians in Hebron in their homes, run a kindergarten and a summer camp, volunteer maintaining the city’s infrastructure, and provide a space for Palestinian youth to learn principles and tactics of nonviolent resistance. The UN named Issa “Human Rights Defender of the Year in Palestine” in 2010.

Issa has been arrested dozens of times, on false charges and for things that in the U.S. would be considered protected free speech, like “insulting a soldier” (which he says he didn’t do anyway). But now he is facing 18 charges in Israeli military court that could land him in an Israeli prison for up to three years. Amnesty International has called the charges “baseless and politically motivated.”1

The frankly amazing news is that Members of Congress are speaking out in support of Issa. They have initiated a letter asking the State Department to ensure that Israel drop the trumped up charges.

Please click here to ask your Member of Congress to sign on.

This is a big deal, and bigger than Issa’s case alone.

As we are about to mark fifty years of occupation, this letter explicitly expresses support for nonviolent protest as a means to oppose illegal settlements, and highlights the injustice of the military system and courts, citing Israel’s 99% conviction rate for Palestinians.

This letter in support of Issa could help keep him out of jail and ensure that he can continue his important work.

Tell your representative you want them to sign.

Right-wing extremist Israeli settlers are taking over the Old City of Hebron and displacing indigenous Palestinians from their homes. That’s why the Israeli government is trying to put Issa in jail. Not because he allegedly insulted a soldier, or broke someone’s camera.

It’s clear that Trump won’t help bring us closer to peace and justice in Palestine/Israel, but this show of leadership from Members of Congress gives me real hope. This is the first time in this session of Congress that we’ve had a letter about Palestinian human rights. Pressure from Members of Congress can win battles like this. This is an important opportunity, and we have to take advantage of it.

Four Members of Congress have already signed the letter. It’s critical that our elected officials lend their voices to Palestinian human rights defenders like Issa.

Please, click here to send a note to your Member of Congress, now.

With gratitude,

Rabbi Joseph Berman
Government Affairs Manager

 

 

1. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/israel-opt-drop-baseless-charges-against-palestinian-human-rights-defender/

Jewish Voice for Peace is a national membership organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people of Israel and Palestine. Become a JVP Member today.