Stand with Natalie Portman & @SenSanders: Speak Up for Human Rights in Gaza

Posted on Apr 24, 2018

Just Foreign Policy

April 24, 2018 – Palestinians in Gaza have the right to nonviolently protest without being shot with live ammunition. They have the right to travel to work, to seek medical care, to study, and to visit family. They have the right to drink clean water. They have the right to import and export.

For too long, too many have been too shy to speak up against the unjust and unnecessary suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza caused by unflinching U.S. support of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. In particular, too many Members of Congress have been too shy to speak up for too long – partly out of fear that they would be attacked by organizations and individuals whose definition of “supporting Israel” equals “the U.S. must support the war and occupation policies of the Israeli government no matter what, and any opposition to these policies by mainstream political actors in the United States must be crushed.”

But there’s a new moment now, because people with unprecedented mainstream platforms in the United States are speaking up.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the most popular politician in the United States, is leading a letter of Senators to the State Department, urging U.S. action to help relieve Gaza’s humanitarian crisis. The letter presses for full U.S. funding for United Nations assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, U.S. pressure to end restrictions on the movement and economic activity of Palestinians of Gaza, and U.S. assistance to rebuild Gaza’s infrastructure and economy to reduce reliance on outside aid. [You can watch a video clip about the letter here.]

Academy Award winning Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman has refused to attend an award ceremony in Israel because, she said, she “did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu,” because “the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities” is not in line with her Jewish values, and because she “must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.”

Urge your Senators and Representative to join and echo the Sanders letter by signing our petition.

Thanks for taking action, and thanks for all you do to help make U.S. foreign policy more just,

Robert Naiman, Sarah Burns, and Tyler Bellstrom
Just Foreign Policy

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