As a partner of the No Way To Treat A Child Campaign led by DCI-Palestine and AFSC, Jewish Voice for Peace is organizing a letter from Jewish leaders in support of legislation recently introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN).
The “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act” (H.R. 2407) would prohibit any of the $3.8 billion in military aid the U.S. grants annually to Israel from being used to support the mistreatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.
Over 100 Jewish activists, artists, rabbis, writers and other leaders have already signed on to our letter to say that Palestinian children, like all children, should never experience military detention and torture. Join them and say clearly: no kids in cages, anywhere. Not in our name, and not with our tax dollars.
TEXT OF LETTER:
We are Jewish faith, organizational, and community leaders outraged and heartbroken about the State of Israel’s systematic mistreatment of Palestinian children.
Since the year 2000, an estimated 10,000 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 have been detained, prosecuted and incarcerated by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank. Often dragged from their homes in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, they suffer physical and emotional violence and frequently face verbal abuse, humiliation and/or intimidation. These children are interrogated without family or lawyers present, in an effort to generate forced confessions justifying their detention for months on end - often in solitary confinement.
This is unacceptable.
We hold a range of political perspectives; we are multiracial, multigenerational, religious and secular, come from different class backgrounds, and hold multiple genders and sexualities. All of us are compelled, as Jews, to speak out against injustice - above all when it is committed in our name.
We call on Members of Congress to cosponsor legislation recently introduced by Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN), the "Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act"(H.R. 2407). This legislation is straightforward - it prohibits any of the $3.8 billion in military aid the U.S. grants annually to Israel from being used to support the mistreatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. It poses a clear question to Congress - if you oppose widespread physical violence, forced confessions, denial of due process and other abuses Israeli forces inflict on Palestinian children, what are you willing to do about it?
Judaism recognizes that the wellbeing of society as a whole is determined by our treatment of children, and that all human beings are made in divine image. From the US to Israel/Palestine, we will not abide the brutalization and caging of children.