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Thank your Rep. for Speaking Up for Palestinian Children

20 members of Congress signed the Congressional letter to President Obama urging his administration to take steps to "address serious human rights abuses against Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation." The letter, organized by Rep. Betty McCollum, calls for a Special Envoy for Palestinian Youth to work with human rights organizations, the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the rights of children are protected.

According to a report from Defense of Children International-Palestine, three-quarters of detained Palestinian children suffer physical violence. As the lawmakers note, an ever-present fear of arrest, detention, and violence for Palestinian children both violates their human rights and serves to fuel the conflict.

If your Representative signed, please call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, mention that you are a constituent and thank them for using their power to uplift the human rights of the most vulnerable. You can say something like:

"Thank you for speaking up for the rights of Palestinian children by signing the Betty McCollum letter urging the President to engage diplomatically to address the abuses of Palestinian youth in Israeli detention."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And please share this video highlighting the human rights abuses Palestinian children face by the Israeli military occupation using the hashtags #700ChildPrisoners and #NoWayToTreatAChild.

Cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act

In response to the assassination of Honduran indigenous environmental leader Berta Caceres on March 2, Reps. Hank Johnson, John Conyers, Marcy Kaptur, Keith Ellison, Jose Serrano, and Jan Schakowsky have introduced legislation that would suspend U.S. funding to the government of Honduras for police and military operations until the Honduran government investigates credible reports indicating the police and military are violating human rights.

Urge Reps. to cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act by signing our petition at MoveOn.

The U.S. is sending the Honduran government $18 million in 2016 for "security assistance." The State Department, the New York Times, and human rights groups have reported credible allegations that the Honduran police and military have committed gross human rights abuses – including torture, rape, illegal detention, and murder – with impunity.

HR 5474 requires investigations into killings of human rights activists and demands the Honduran government protect the rights of trade unionists; journalists; human rights; defenders; Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, small farmers and LGBTI activists; critics of the government and other civil society activists so they may operate without interference from the police or military.

Urge your Representative in the House to co-sponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act by signing and sharing our petition.

Thank your Rep. for voting no on sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia

164 Democrats and 40 Republicans voted yes on Rep. Conyers' amendment barring the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. The amendment was defeated 204-216. A switch of merely seven votes would have passed the amendment. We want those Reps. to know they have constituents who appreciate their vote and urge them to go further by co-sponsoring, if they haven't already, the Lieu-Yoho bill (HJR 90) to increase oversight over arms transfers to Saudi Arabia.

If your Representative voted yes, call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I thank Rep. ______ for voting to stop sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. I urge Rep ______ to co-sponsor the bipartisan Lieu-Yoho bill, HJR 90, to increase oversight over weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven't yet signed our petition to Congress in support of the Lieu-Yoho/Murphy-Paul bill, you can do that here.

Ask yr Rep: Why'd you vote for sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia?

16 House Democrats voted no on Rep. Conyers' amendment barring the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. 164 Democrats voted yes, along with 40 Republicans. The amendment was defeated 204-216. A switch of seven votes would have passed the amendment.

If your Representative is one of the 16, call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I'm very disappointed by Rep. _______'s vote to continue sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. I would like to know the justification for this vote. I would like a written response."

Leave your contact information so they can send a written response. If you receive a written response, please forward it to info@justforeignpolicy.org.

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Catholic bishops support Conyers amendment to ban transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia

Text of statement of the Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Office of International Justice and Peace

3211 FOURTH STREET NE • WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 • 202-541-3160 WEBSITE: WWW.USCCB.ORG/JPHD • FAX 202-541-3339

HR 5293 — Conyers Amendment on Blocking of Funds Related to Transfer of Cluster Munitions

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urges support for the Conyers amendment blocking funds from being used to transfer or authorize the transfer of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia.

(The PDF is here.)

House to Vote on Saudi Cluster Bomb Ban - Call Your Rep. Now!

On Tuesday the House Rules Committee agreed that the Conyers amendment permanently banning the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia will be voted on by the full House.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to vote yes on the Conyers amendment to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Don't assume your Representative is a lost cause on this. There's a new bipartisan skepticism towards Saudi Arabia in Congress. We've never had a vote like this before, and we don't know how it will go.

Please call your Representative now and urge them to support the Conyers amendment to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.

And if you haven't signed our petition urging Congress to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, you can do that here.

Senator Baldwin: Explain Your Vote for Pentagon Bloat

On Thursday, June 9, the Senate rejected an amendment by John McCain to increase the Pentagon budget by $18 billion. The vote was 56-42 in favor; 60 votes were needed to pass. McCain's amendment tried to violate a bipartisan budget accord that increases in Pentagon spending must be matched by increases in domestic spending. 31 Democrats and 11 Republicans voted no on McCain's amendment; 44 Republicans and 12 Democrats and voted yes on McCain's amendment. McCain's amendment was opposed by groups who disagree with diverting our tax dollars from human needs to the bloated Pentagon budget, including Just Foreign Policy. So: a VICTORY! Hooray!

But Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who is widely seen as a "progressive Democrat," was one of the 12 Democrats who supported McCain's amendment to pad the Pentagon budget by $18 billion.

Urge Senator Baldwin to defend and explain her vote for McCain's amendment by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Tuition-Free Public College vs. McCain $18B #NDAA Pentagon Bloat

It's bad enough that more than half of our federal tax dollars go to the feed the bloated Pentagon and its fat cat contractors, while we're told there's not enough money for public education. But now Senator John McCain wants to pad the Pentagon budget with $18 billion more in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA].

Urge your Senators to oppose the McCain amendment by signing our petition at MoveOn.

How much money is $18 billion? Bernie Sanders' plan for tuition-free public college would cost $70 billion a year. So-called "conservatives" howled: you'll bust the budget! We don't have the money! But McCain's bid to pad the Pentagon budget by $18 billion is barely being noticed by the national media. You flush $18 billion down the toilet four times, you just threw away the money for tuition-free public college.

Urge Senators to oppose the McCain amendment to waste $18 billion more of our tax dollars on the Pentagon by signing and sharing our petition.

Sign-up to Deliver a Petition for Palestinian Children

Human Rights Watch has reported that Israeli security forces are abusing Palestinian children detained in the West Bank. "Israeli security forces are using unnecessary force in arresting and detaining children, in some cases beating them, and holding them in unsafe and abusive conditions," HRW said.

Minnesota Democratic Representative Betty McCollum is now circulating a letter to President Obama, urging him to appoint a Special Envoy for Palestinian Youth to travel to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel to hear directly from Palestinian youth, human rights and legal experts, NGOs, and Palestinian and Israeli officials, including police and military leaders, about the conditions of children in military detention and what steps can be taken to guarantee the internationally-recognized human rights of these children.

If you might be willing to deliver petitions to your local district office, please indicate that by filling out this form.

Speak up for Palestinian kids in military detention

The Friends Committee on National Legislation, Jewish Voice for Peace, the American Friends Service Committee, Defense of Children International, Churches for Middle East Peace and other groups - including Just Foreign Policy - are urging Members of Congress to sign Rep. Betty McCollum's letter calling on President Obama to act to protect Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.

Your Rep. has spoken up in the past for peace, diplomacy, and human rights. Please help us today by calling your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. Ask to speak to the legislative aide who handles foreign policy. When you speak to a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge Rep. _______ to sign the McCollum letter asking President Obama to appoint an envoy for the protection of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

If you haven't signed our petition to the House in support of the letter yet, you can do that here.

Human Rights Watch has reported that Israeli security forces are abusing Palestinian children detained in the West Bank. "Israeli security forces are using unnecessary force in arresting and detaining children, in some cases beating them, and holding them in unsafe and abusive conditions," HRW said.