Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota just reintroduced her legislation in Congress that would prohibit US tax dollars from funding the Israeli military detention of Palestinian children—and this time, it’s an even stronger challenge to occupation and apartheid. The bill is the followup to H.R. 4391 in the last Congress, which gained 31 cosponsors.
This bill exists because every year, Israel detains and prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts that have a conviction rate of 99.74%. Instead of living free and safe childhoods, Palestinian children fear Israeli soldiers pulling them from their beds in the middle of the night to face torture and ill-treatment.
H.R. 2407, the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, amends an existing human rights law known as the “Leahy Law” to specifically prohibit US funds from being used for the “military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment” of children.
The bill aims to end US funding for Israeli human rights abuses and lay the groundwork for achieving justice. H.R. 2407 authorizes the appropriation of funds to monitor human rights abuses and to provide physical, psychological, and emotional rehabilitation to Palestinian children who have been victims of Israel’s military detention system.
To see the legislation, click here.
Help encourage Congressional support for this important Human Rights legislation by signing the Resolution in Support of H.R. 2407 and getting other organizations and individuals to do so as well. As we build a list of endorsements we will deliver the Resolution to Congresspersons to show that their constituents want them to support H.R. 2407.
Contact your member of Congress and tell her/him to co-sponsor H.R. 2407.The Congressional switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. When you call you’ll be asked your zip code, then you’ll be automatically transferred to your Representative’s office. It is important to call no matter where your Representative stands on the issue: they need to hear from you! Here is a suggested script:
“Hello, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent from ____. I’m calling today to ask my Representative to co-sponsor Congresswoman Betty McCollum’s bill HR 2407. This bill ensures that US funding cannot be used for the arrest, detention and abuse of children. Every year, Israel detains and prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts that have a conviction rate of 99.74%. I urge your office to sign onto McCollum’s bill right away.”
If you have any questions or want to organize a meeting with the Tree of Life with your Representative, contact John Fussell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign Here! A Resolution in Support of H.R. 2407
We are grateful to our Palestinian partners at Shoruq Organization for making this important video that shows the true cost of Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinian children. Here is a note from the folks at Shoruq:
We as Shoruq Organization based in Dheisheh refugee camp, Palestine are working with refugee children who live under the Israeli occupation in overcrowded camps. A lot of children in refugee camps have suffered from the Israeli occupation forces. The soldiers invade houses in the middle of night and arrest children.This experience impacts their lives forever and as the child in this video mentions, the experience of interrogation and detention steals their childhood. Our organization and programs aim to support and change the future for Palestinian children by highlighting their situation locally and internationally so we ask all of you to help us spread awareness and ask your members of congress to sign on to HR 2407: Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act. Your tax dollars are funding this nightmare for our children so please take action and help us make a better future for our children.
If you would like the file for this video to share on your website, email Allison@tolef.org. Please help us share it far and wide, so that we can convince Congress to support HR 2407.
Latest H.R. 2407 Endorsements
Tree of Life Educational Fund
Jewish Voice for Peace – New Haven
We Refuse to Be Enemies
Guilford Peace Alliance – Guilford
Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society – Madison
International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 478 – Hamden
Teamsters Local 443 – New Haven
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 90 – Wallingford
Coalition of Black Trade Unionist
Central Connecticut Democratic Socialist of America
Teamsters Local 191 – Bridgeport
Peace Task Force of the Unitarian Society – New Haven
Immigrant Bail Fund
Greater New Haven Peace Council
Ironworkers Local 15 – Greater Hartford
Connecticut Peace and Solidarity Coalition
Building Trades Council, Greater Hartford – New Britain
Teamsters Local 671 – Bloomfield
Amistad United Church of Christ – Hartford
Connecticut United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network
Teamsters Local 493 – Uncasville
Teamsters Local 677 – Waterbury
Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ
Shoreline Green Party
Muslim Law Student Association – UCONN Law School
Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA)
Middle East Law Student Association – UCONN Law School
Shalom United Church of Christ – New Haven
The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 42
Teamsters Local 1150
Sheetmetal Workers Local 40
Voices Across the Divide Committee
Social Justice Committee First Unitarian Universalist of New Haven
Farmington Valley American Muslim Center – Avon
Islamic Center of New London
Students for Justice in Palestine, University of Connecticut – Storrs
Muslim American Society – CT Chapter
American Muslims for Palestine
Hartford Friends Meeting (Quaker) – West Hartford
Kamora Cultural Corner – Hartford
CT Shoreline Amnesty Group
Tree of Life Educational Fund – MA Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston
Massachusetts Peace Action
Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) – MA Chapter
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – Cape Cod Chapter
Cambridge Bethlehem People to People Project
Lutheran’s for Justice in the Holy Land, OR