Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association endorses U.S. legislation protecting Palestinian children from Israeli military prison


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2019
Contact: Sonya E Meyerson-Knox | sonya@jvp.org | 929-290-0317
(Philadelphia, PA) October 16, 2019: Jewish Voice for Peace is thrilled that the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association today endorsed House legislation designed to protect the rights of Palestinian children imprisoned by the Israeli military. Sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-D), HR 2407 would prohibit U.S. funding from contributing to “the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of children in violation of international humanitarian law.”

Congresswoman Betty McCollum thanked the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association: “This is a tremendous boost of support for H.R. 2407 from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. I thank these respected rabbis for helping to lead the fight for human rights. Their endorsement sends a strong signal to people of all faiths that every child deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Now it is time for the United States to send a clear signal that no U.S. tax dollars should enable the detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children by the Israel Defense Forces.” 

The Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act (HR 2407) ensures no U.S. military funding goes toward the military detention and prosecution of children – in Israel or any other country. 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. Many of these children are dragged from their homes in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, and prevented from speaking with their families for days. They face verbal abuse, humiliation, intimidation, and physical violence. These children are interrogated without family or lawyers present, in an effort to generate forced confessions, and may be detained for months on end. 

Rabbi Alissa Wise, Acting Co-Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace pointed out that: “A few years ago, the idea of legislation for Palestinian rights introduced in US congress was inconceivable, let alone that a leading association of rabbis would endorse it. The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association’s decision to endorse H.R.2407 is the clearest proof yet of the American Jewish community’s growing support for Palestinian rights.  

Rabbi Wise continued: “The RRA’s endorsement powerfully contradicts previously held orthodoxies about American Jewish communities and advocating for Palestinians, and is a bellwether of a seismic shift in what is possible. In this volatile and uncertain political moment, it is a welcome and needed reminder of the dynamism in D.C., and the American Jewish community more broadly. I am deeply proud today to be a Reconstructionist rabbi.”

Jewish Voice for Peace Government Affairs Manager, Beth Miller, said: “This bold and historic stance from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association clearly shows that the ground is shifting. Progressive movements across the U.S., including progressive American Jews, demand concrete steps toward justice and equality for Palestinians. Rep. McCollum’s legislation to protect Palestinian children from Israel’s human rights abuses does just that. We are thrilled and grateful to the RRA for sending a clear message to Capitol Hill that blind support for Israel is no longer the status quo and Congress needs to catch up.” 

Jewish Voice for Peace a proud member of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign, led by Defense of Children International – Palestine and the American Friends Service Committee. 

Rabbi Alissa Wise and Ms. Miller are available to speak with the media

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Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 500,000 online supporters, over 70 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.



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