H-PAD Steering Committee Newsletter #9

H-PAD Emergency Update
Occasional Newsletter #9, May 19, 2021
(Initially issued as #8 by mistake)
(also available as a pdf for downloading and/or printing)

Halt US Support for Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Human Rights!!!

Israeli assault on Gaza, May 2021
Israeli assault on Gaza, May 2021

H-PAD Action Alert: Our Voices Matter Now!
End Israeli Violations of Palestinian Human Rights
Rapid Response Needed

 For the first time, growing number of Democratic elected officials are challenging one-sided US support for Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-democrats-israel-palestinians/2021/05/18/0d78da76-b7ed-11eb-a5fe-bb49dc89a248_story.html?utm_campa

Immediate Background: As the Israeli-Palestinian crisis deepens, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and related organizations are generating one-sided pressure on members of Congress to “Stand with Israel.” One month ago, these groups prevailed on 330 Congressional Reps to sign a letter, insisting that, “reducing funding or adding conditions on security assistance would be detrimental to Israel’s ability to defend itself against all threats.”

For text of this AIPAC-driven letter and signatories:


However, the situation on Capitol Hill is changing now, with growing dissent. Grass-roots pressure for an alteration in US policy can make a difference.

If you have not already done so, please contact your Representative and Senators and ask them to   :

  • Demand an end to one-sided, unconditional US support for Israel.
  • Stand Up for the human rights of Palestinians
  • Oppose $735 million weapons sale to Israel
  • Co-sponsor Resolution H.R. 2590, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, prohibiting the use of US funds to support the military detention of children, the demolition of Palestinian homes, and further annexation of Palestinian territory
  • Urge an Immediate Cease-fire

To reach these elected officials, try going through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, or if the line is tied up, obtain additional contact information from their websites.

Background and Resources

“Joint Statement Calling on Biden Administration to Condemn Israeli government plans to Forcibly Displace Palestinians in Occupied East Jerusalem” (May 14, 2021)

Right before the current Israeli attacks on Gaza and East Jerusalem, 350 organizations including H-PAD signed this joint statement. It reads in part:

The undersigned grassroots and advocacy organizations stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem currently at risk of losing their homes and call on the Biden administration to immediately and publicly condemn the Israeli government’s plans to forcibly displace 1,550 Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Bustan neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem and to exert the utmost diplomatic pressure to prevent these potential war crimes from taking place. . . .

Israeli state violence is, of course, not limited to Jerusalem. We are horrified by Israel’s use of disproportionate and deadly force against Palestinians in Gaza which have already resulted in the killings of dozens of Palestinians, including children….

The Biden administration has repeatedly stated that it intends to center its foreign policy around respect for human rights and international law. We therefore call on the administration to uphold international law and act in accordance with the urgency of the moment to prevent the Israeli government’s forced displacement of thousands of Palestinians…

Click here for the whole statement and the list of supporters

“McCollum Introduces Historic Legislation: Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act” (Press Release, April 15, 2021)

“Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement today after introducing the Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Under Israeli Military Occupation Act . . . U.S. assistance intended for Israel’s security must never be used to violate the human rights of Palestinian children, demolish the homes of Palestinian families, or to permanently annex Palestinian lands,’ McCollum said…. ‘It is time for Americans, especially Members of Congress, to stand with Palestinians and Israelis who seek a future of peace and justice.’”

Click here for the entire press release, and click here for the full text of the bill.

Human Rights Watch, “A Threshold Crossed Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” (April 27, 2021)

“Across {Israel and the West Bank] and in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution….”

Click here for the full text of this extensive study.

Alice Lynd, PALESTINE-ISRAEL, INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: Violations by Israel and the Problem of Enforcement,

“This pamphlet was written in the summer of 2014, after the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers and Israel’s massive military response on the West Bank, and during Israel’s more massive incursion into Gaza….

“United States law states that no military assistance will be provided to a government that engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Yet the United States gives more military assistance to Israel than to any other country, currently in excess of $3.1 billion per year….”

Click here for this entire article.

Chicago Demonstration against Israeli attacks on Palestine, May 16, 2021
Chicago Demonstration against Israeli attacks on Palestine, May 16, 2021 (Courtesy of Melinda Power)

Join H-PAD, Engage the Current Struggle!

Join us in our ongoing activities; see our website https://www.historiansforpeace.org/, https://www.facebook.com/historiansforpeace; contact us at skotna@sage.edu