On April 8, eleven members of congress released a statement opposing the Israeli government’s potential annexation of the West Bank. The action comes amid reports that the country’s new coalition government will move forward with a unilateral annexation plan.
Brad Parker explains, “Everybody can understand the physical violence against a child. I think that’s a universal red line that exists for most people. And in that, I think was the overarching sort of consideration in shaping the campaign. We wanted to have something that was really basic, straightforward, accessible, relatable so that it expanded the movement and also complemented the other things that were happening.”
Introducing The Shift, a new weekly politics newsletter from Mondoweiss that takes you the front lines in the battle over Palestine in U.S. politics.
Congressional Republicans continue to push legislation that targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and their first move of 2020 is the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
On January 9, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced H. Res. 782. The legislation, which is cosponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and David Kustoff (R-TN), would encourage “public schools to design and teach a curriculum about the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and the vital and historic importance of the Jewish State of Israel.” The bill also cites the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which it claims is spreading “rampant anti-Semitism” across college campuses.
In a Twitter thread, Rep. Omar detailed her opposition to the resolution. “The goal of these changes was clear: to pass a resolution that will not actually bring a resolution to this conflict,” she wrote, “That’s why the resolution doesn’t have support from Palestinians in Congress or Palestinian advocates. We are told to swallow these changes in the name of ‘pragmatism.’ But there is nothing “pragmatic” about a vote that makes peace unachievable.”
Democratic politicians voted overwhelmingly to condemn BDS, but a new poll carried out by Data for Progress says 44% of Democratic voters support BDS, with just 15% opposing it. 53% agree that the movement is legitimate, and 48% of Dems are opposed to anti-BDS laws, with just 15% supporting them.
Members of Jewish Voice for Peace, American Friends Service Committee, and other constituents occupied the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9th District) and called on her to support a congressional bill that promotes human rights for children in Palestine. The protesters read a list of 271 Palestinian children who have been arrested and detained by the Israeli military, as well as a list of the 8 children killed in Israel’s recent attack on Gaza.
Voters want aid to Israel conditioned over humans rights violations. Elizabeth Warren has become the third candidate to address the idea: “Right now, Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements, [but] that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution. It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table…Everything is on the table.”
A week before Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were barred from entering Israel and Palestine by Benjamin Netanyahu, a group of congressional staffers attended a tour of the area carried out by a former Israeli intelligence official. According to the itinerary filed with the House Ethics Committee, the staffers traveled to various sites on a 7-day excursion that featured lectures from an Israel Defense Forces base commander, a Palestinian billionaire who has worked alongside occupation forces, and an Israeli settler who advocates for the annexation of the West Bank.