Tell progressives in Congress to support the newly introduced legislation to hold Israel accountable.
It was a typical Friday afternoon when 14-year-old Izz al-Din al-Batsh lost his eye. He had finished his homework and Friday prayers and was working at his father’s vegetable shop in the heavily segregated old city of Hebron in the West Bank. As is common for an afternoon in Hebron, young Palestinian boys, fed up with a life of apartheid and military occupation, were clashing with Israeli soldiers. They had rocks; the soldiers had full armor and heavy weapons. Izz wasn’t in the line of fire and wasn’t throwing rocks. “We were just watching the clashes and all of a sudden I felt something hit me in the face,” he said. Izz learned at the hospital that he had been hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet, and would lose his right eye.
This shouldn’t be happening with US funding and that’s why Rep. Betty McCollum, along with a superstar squad list of original cosponsors, has introduced legislation to prohibit taxpayer money from funding Palestinian oppression. All progressives in Congress should be on the bill. This means Barbara Lee, Jamie Ruskin, Maxine Waters, Andy Levin, Ro Khanna, and more. Contact them now and ask them to join.
Check out who is on the bill already: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Cori Bush (MO-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Andre Carson (IN-07), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Marie Newman (IL-03), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Pramilla Jayapal (WA-7) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-34).
Here’s why Andy Levin, Barbara Lee, and Ro Khanna should be thrilled to join:
Andy Levin, after traveling with JStreet to see the situation on the ground, tweeted, “Yesterday, I traveled to the southern West Bank, including the Palestinian village of Susya, which the Israeli government has destroyed twice and currently denies access to water. Yet we watched the government utility, right before our eyes, lay in pipes right across the village’s land to deliver tap water to an illegal Israeli outpost nearby. It was simply incredible. As angry as the situation made me, the resilience of the Palestinian villagers left an even stronger impression.”
Ro Khanna recently took to Twitter to condemn the burning of Palestinian orchards by settlers and the demolition/bulldozing of Palestinian villages by the military. Then he told Jewish Insider that US assistance to Israel “should not be used for anything that violates human rights.”
Barbara Lee, during the 2018 Great March of Return protests, tweeted, “Deeply concerned about of the killings of peaceful Palestinian protests on Gaza border. The US and international community must come together immediately to put an end to this conflict and work to improve conditions for the people of #Gaza.”
Then there are the lawmakers who joined previous McCollum legislation to end the abuse of Palestinian children. These include Anna Ashoo (CA-18), Jim McGovern (MA-2), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), and others. Contact progressive members of Congress now and ask them to join McCollum’s legislation.
According to Izz’s cousin Karim, the soldiers fired directly at Izz even though he wasn’t participating in the clashes. According to the military, it was a mistake, maybe a ricocheted bullet. “Whether he was shot on purpose or not,” Karim said, “the reality is that he is a child, and he lost his eye as a result of the soldiers’ actions.”
The Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act is the first step in ending the abuse of Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli military. Contact progressive members of Congress now and tell them to join.
Ariel, Danaka, Carley, Ally, Ann, Carley, Ciara, Cody, Emily, Farida, Grace, Jodie, Kelly, Leila, Leonardo, Madison, Mary, Marcy, Maxine, Michelle, Moses, Nancy, Paki, Sana, and Teri