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Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) published a statement on May 11, 2021 calling on the Biden administration to assist in de-escalating conflicts around the world. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images)

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) published a statement on May 11, 2021 calling on the Biden administration to assist in de-escalating conflicts around the world. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images) 

Decrying Global Violence, Jamaal Bowman Says 'White House Must Act'

Congressman calls on Biden administration to everything in its power to de-escalate "tensions around the world."

Brett Wilkins

In a statement published Tuesday decrying global violence, Rep. Jamaal Bowman urged the Biden administration "to do all it can to assist in de-escalating" conflicts around the world, while also asserting that U.S. foreign aid "should never be used to harm."

 "My heart is breaking for people around the world experiencing oppression and hurt."
—Rep. Jamaal Bowman

"There's so much we're dealing with within our own borders that it's often difficult for Americans to turn our attention to the problems of people overseas, but it's hard at this moment not to be struck by the extent of suffering around the world," wrote Bowman (D-N.Y.).

"Whether it's the infringement of human and civil rights of Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah, the violence against those praying in the Al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in East Jerusalem, police violence against Colombians, a military coup in Myanmar, an ignored genocide in Ethiopia, or the ethnic cleansing of the Uyghurs in China, my heart is breaking for people around the world experiencing oppression and hurt," he continued. 

Bowman then focused on the latest crisis in Palestine, where protests against the Israeli government's ethnic cleansing of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem and a violent raid on the Al-Aqsa mosque have escalated into what many fear could be the next major assault on Gaza.

According to authorities in Gaza, 28 Palestinians including 10 children have been killed by Israeli forces, while two women—an elderly Israeli and her Indian caretaker—were reportedly killed in Ashkelon as Hamas fighters fired what the militant resistance group said were 137 rockets into Israel. 

"The United States must step in and rapidly broker a ceasefire to de-escalate and bring us closer to a two-state solution," stressed Bowman.

"The very name Jerusalem means City of Peace," he continued. "Violently evicting families from their homes in which generations have lived is not an act of peace. A show of strong force during prayer is not an act of peace. Destroying holy sites is not an act of peace. Hamas rocket attacks are not an act of peace. Israeli government airstrikes are not an act of peace."

"At the end of the day, it is imperative that the United States have an even-handed approach and ensure our nation is not complicit in stoking the flames of conflict through continued settlement expansion and home demolitions that undermine the two-state solution, perpetuate endless occupation, and threaten the long-term security of both Israelis and Palestinians," the congressman wrote. 

Bowman's statement came as U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price faced criticism from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and others for failing to condemn Israel's latest killing of civilians—including children—in Gaza. 

"This is a unique moment with multiple mounting global crises, and the United States has the responsibility to lead," Bowman concluded. "Our foreign aid to other nations should never be used to harm. I urge the Biden administration to do all it can to assist in de-escalating these tensions around the world."

The U.S. gave $448 million in aid to Colombia in 2020, the highest amount in nearly a decade. About half of that assistance goes to the nation's military and security forces, which, according to international human rights groups, continue to commit numerous crimes and abuses. 

Israel receives around $3.8 billion in unconditional annual U.S. military aid and billions more in loan guarantees. Under international law, Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as its ongoing settler colonization of Palestinian territory are illegal. Israeli and international human rights groups accuse the country's government, military, and security forces of perpetrating crimes including ethnic cleansing and apartheid

Bowman is a co-sponsor of a bill introduced last month by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) that would place conditions on the billions of dollars in annual military aid given to Israel in a bid to stop its government from using the funds to kill, torture, imprison, displace, or otherwise harm Palestinian children and families.

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