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Presbyterians urged to contact Congress, President Biden to prevent further suffering in Israel-Palestine

Action Alert includes three specific steps Congress should take, including advice for the president to pass on to Israel’s government

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The U.S. Capitol (Photo courtesy of the Office of Public Witness)

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Public Witness issued an Action Alert Thursday urging Presbyterians to contact their elected officials — including President Joe Biden — to prevent further suffering in Palestine and Israel.

Weeks after an Israeli attack on Gaza that killed at least 242 Palestinians, Palestinians living under occupation continue to face violence and systematic discrimination, the Action Alert states. But instead of calling for accountability for this and other brutal acts, the Biden administration has approved a new sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel, despite objections in Congress and from a wide range of human rights groups. “At the same time,” the Action Alert notes, “the Biden administration also announced it would commit just $5 million to support reconstruction in Gaza — a fraction of what is needed.”

Violence has escalated due to the imminent threat of forced displacement of families in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the Action Alert states. Now Israel is again moving to displace those families and to demolish other homes. Palestinian activists and journalists protesting the threatened displacements are being arrested on a mass scale in Israel, in violation of their freedom of assembly and expression. Furthermore, Israel’s raid of Al Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, which left over 300 people wounded, represented a violation of the Status Quo agreement and provided further incitement to violence.

The Action Alert states Congress should take these steps to prevent further suffering in Palestine and Israel:

  • Explicitly speak out against the Sheikh Jarrah evictions and sign on to HR 2590, which would end U.S. funding for both home demolitions/displacements and the unjust military court system where many activists are being held.
  • Work to ensure that the destruction and harm caused by Israel’s attacks on Gaza are addressed. This means not only committing adequate funding to help Palestinians in Gaza, but also demanding an end to the 14-year-old Gaza blockade. Without ending the blockade, Gaza cannot recover.
  • Urge Biden to tell Israel to respect the Status Quo and holy sites in Jerusalem in order to prevent future attacks on Al Aqsa mosque.

Click this link to send your message.

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