For Immediate Release
Michael Deheeger, 847-494-0356, email@example.com
Constituents Occupy Rep. Schakowsky District Office to Challenge Her Inaction on Protecting Palestinian Children on the West Bank and in Gaza
Members of Jewish Voice for Peace and allies recite the names of 271 Palestinian children detained and abused by Israeli military every month, and demand Rep. Schakowsky support bill to protect children
CHICAGO - A group of activists is occupying Rep. Shakowsky’s North Side Chicago district office to demand she cosponsor H.R. 2407,a bill that would protect the human rights of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. Each month, according to the Israeli Prison Authorities, an average of 271 Palestinian children are taken from their families. Participants are also speaking out against her failure to address the killing of 8 children in Gaza by the Israeli military this week.
What: Participants are reading the names, village, age and arrest date of 271 children detained in the occupied West Bank and 8 children killed in Gaza to demonstrate to Rep. Schakowsky the impact of her inaction.
Who: Primarily Jewish constituents of the 9th Congressional District, including Rabbi Brant Rosen. Members of Jewish Voice for Peace, US Palestinian Community Network, American Muslims for Palestine, Chicago Area Peace Action, American Friends Service Committee.
When: 11/15/19, 10:00 am.
Where: District Office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), 5533 N Broadway
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Why: For years, local activists and constituents have been urging Rep. Schakowsky to take concrete action to put an end to the arrest, detention and abuse of Palestinian children by the Israeli military in the West Bank. Most recently, she has been urged to cosponsor H.R. 2407, legislation that would ensure the annual $3.8 billion in military funding the Israeli government receives from the U.S. isn't being used for human rights abuses against Palestinian children. She he has refused to join 22 of her progressive colleagues in cosponsoring H.R. 2407.
Even worse, she appears to have begun misleading constituents as to the current situation on the ground facing children to undermine support for the bill. Over the summer, UNICEF made clear to Rep. Schakowsky that while Israeli authorities claim to have shortened the length of detention for children, and ended surprise arrests, the government hasn't given UNICEF any proof to back this up. UNICEF further confirmed that the number of children detained each month has remained steady at 271. Despite receiving this letter,Rep. Schakowsky claimed in emails to constituents as UNICEF claiming that “significant progress has been made by Israel.”
This week, as Israeli warplanes fired misses into Gaza, killing 34 civilians including 8 children, Rep. Schakowsky expressed support for Israel’s “right to defend herself.”
Media welcome: Interviews will be available with Rabbi Brant Rosen; Visuals include high school student backpacks covered with the names of detained children; signs reading “Protect Palestinian Children - Cosponsor H.R. 2407; a sign with the names of children killed in Gaza.
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Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.
JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.