On the TPP and settlement expansion in the West Bank, we mostly lost the first round of the fight over the Democratic Platform. The Platform Drafting Committee rejected an amendment opposed to the TPP and rejected an amendment opposed to settlement expansion in the West Bank.
There were five Sanders appointees on the fifteen-member drafting committee. There were also three other "progressive" House Democrats on the committee: Barbara Lee, Luis Gutierrez, and Elijah Cummings. Five plus three is eight; eight is a majority of fifteen. If these three "progressive" House Democrats had voted the right way, we would have won amendments against the TPP and settlements.
Call Luis Gutierrez at 202-225-8203, Elijah Cummings at 202-225-4741, or Barbara Lee at 202-225-2661. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:
"I am very disappointed by the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee's rejection of amendments against the TPP and against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. I demand that you publicly explain your votes."
Please ask the office for a written response.
When you've made your call, please report it below.
Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, chair of the Democratic Platform Committee, says an agreement on the platform language between the Clinton and Sanders forces could happen within days. One of the issues that has been in dispute is what the Democratic Platform will say about Palestinian rights and the occupation of the West Bank, especially about settlement expansion in the West Bank.
Urge Rep. Cummings to affirm opposition to settlement expansion in the West Bank by signing our petition at MoveOn
The other three House Democrats on the Platform Committee - Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, and Luis Gutierrez - all signed Rep. Betty McCollum's letter asking that the U.S. speak up for the rights of Palestinian kids in military detention. The other three House Democrats on the Platform Committee have also all co-sponsored HR 686, which calls for affirming U.S. opposition to settlement expansion in the West Bank. But Rep. Cummings didn't sign Rep. McCollum's letter, and so far he hasn't agreed to co-sponsor HR 686. That's reason for concern about where he stands on opposing settlement expansion.
Urge Rep. Cummings to affirm U.S. opposition to settlement expansion by signing and sharing our petition.
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.
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.
Hillary Clinton will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's policy conference in Washington March 20-22.
Urge Hillary to tell AIPAC that settlements are not Israel by signing our petition at MoveOn:
Just because Hillary is speaking at AIPAC, doesn't mean that she has to pander to AIPAC. When President Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice spoke at AIPAC last year, she told them things that they didn't want to hear: that their demands that Iran cease all enrichment of uranium were unrealistic, and that their demands that the U.S. walk away from negotiations with Iran and increase sanctions on Iran instead were unrealistic. AIPAC didn't like it, but Susan Rice didn't let that stop her from telling the truth.
November XX, 2015
His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian National Authority
His Excellency Benyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel
Dear President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu:
We write in anguish and grief at the latest outbreak of deadly violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. We appreciate your willingness to engage with Secretary Kerry and King Abdullah and hope you will build on that dialogue by doing everything in your power to avoid language and actions that increase fear, hatred, and violence. This moment calls on all of us to take actions that promote peace.
This violence is a familiar symptom of the underlying problem: the lack of a political solution that creates two states for two peoples, living side-by-side in peace and security. We know from experience in the region that when leaders make a commitment to the peace process, violence decreases.
Securing a lasting peace requires a commitment to humanizing the Israeli and Palestinian experience. Divisive rhetoric dehumanizes people and undermines the prospect of a two-state solution and long term peace.
We are committed to making this same plea to our colleagues in Congress. Members of the United States House of Representatives – and the American people -- have wanted peace and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians for decades. In order to be an effective voice for peace, we should pursue an approach the urges both sides to live up to their obligations under the Oslo Accords.
We have a historic opportunity right now to help change the game in Washington on U.S. policy towards Israel.
Controversy is spreading around Speaker Boehner’s decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3, where Netanyahu is expected to trash Obama’s Iran diplomacy and try to persuade Congress to pass new sanctions. J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren have called for Netanyahu’s talk to be postponed. Netanyahu’s political opposition in Israel is also denouncing his plan to speak to Congress only weeks before the Israeli election.
Now, Reps. Keith Ellison, Steve Cohen, and Maxine Waters are circulating a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to postpone the invitation until after Congress has considered the issue of Iran sanctions.
Call your Rep NOW at 1-202-224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:
I urge you to sign the Ellison letter calling on Speaker Boehner to postpone the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress until after Congress has concluded its consideration of new Iran sanctions.
UPDATE: The Ellison letter is now closed. The sample script now calls to skip the speech:
I urge Rep. ___________ to join Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, and 30 other Democrats in skipping Netanyahu's March 3 speech. Please stand with Democrats who support President Obama's Iran diplomacy, not with Republicans who want to tear President Obama down.
Report your call below.
Earlier today, a Just Foreign Policy activist delivered a petition to Sen. Ben Cardin's office in Baltimore calling on him to support diplomacy with Iran by opposing any new sanctions legislation, including the Kirk-Menendez bill.
A petition calling for Sen. Cardin to oppose any effort to punish the Palestinians for joining the International Criminal Court was also delivered.
Even if you have already called before, support the petition delivery by calling Ben Cardin’s Baltimore office NOW at (410) 962-4436 and saying
I support the petition being delivered to your office today calling on Sen. Cardin to support diplomacy with Iran by opposing any new sanctions legislation, including the Kirk-Menendez bill. As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, new sanctions legislation "will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails."
I also support the petition calling on Sen. Cardin to oppose any effort to punish the Palestinians for using international law to protect their human rights by joining the International Criminal Court. That means he should not support any effort to cut aid to the Palestinians, including Sen. Rand Paul's bill (S.34) and the proposed Gillibrand-Rubio letter.
When you’re done, please report your call here:
Thanks for all you do to protect diplomacy,
Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy
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Last Wednesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced that Palestine would become a member of the International Criminal Court on April 1. That same day, Sen. Rand Paul introduced legislation to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority— about $400 million a year—if the Palestinians don’t withdraw their application to join the ICC. And on Friday, Sens. Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, and Mark Kirk released a statement saying that the Palestinian decision to join the ICC was “deplorable, counterproductive, and will be met with a strong response by the United States Congress.”
In less than a week, Just Foreign Policy has collected nearly 15,000 signatures on a petition calling for Sen. Paul to withdraw his bill. But your Senators are also getting pressure to join Sen. Paul and others in trying to bully the Palestinians to withdraw their ICC application—which is why they need to hear from you NOW.
Call your Senators TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and say
Sen. ____ should not support Rand Paul's S. 34—or any other bill, resolution, letter, or statement—that tries to bully the Palestinians into withdrawing their application to the ICC by cutting US funding to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians shouldn't be punished for trying to use international law to protect their human rights. The UN has accepted Palestine's application to the ICC, and the US should respect this decision.
When you’re done with your call, report it below.