FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. - April 16, 2021
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Endorses New Legislation on Palestinian Rights
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes the introduction of new Congressional legislation, HR 2590 the Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) on Thursday, April 15, 2021. HR 2590 would ensure no U.S. funds to Israel are used to detain or mistreat Palestinian children; seize and demolish Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank; or facilitate the unilateral annexation of Palestinian land in the West Bank by the Israeli government. The legislation would also require the Secretary of State to certify on an annual basis to Congress that U.S. military assistance to Israel would not be used for these purposes. Congresswoman McCollum was joined by 13 of her colleagues as original co-sponsors: Reps. Bobby Rush (IL), Danny Davis (IL), Andre Carson (IN), Marie Newman (IL), Ilhan Omar (MN), Mark Pocan (WI), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Ayanna Pressley (MA) Jamaal Bowman (NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Cori Bush (MO), and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (IL).
Kyle Cristofalo, CMEP’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, said: “Since the start of 2021 the number of Palestinian homes and structures under demolition orders continues to rise contributing to growing defacto annexation, Palestinian children continue to face mistreatment and detention at the hands of the Israeli military system, and the threat of formal annexation remains a very real possibility. Congress must ensure U.S. funds to Israel are not used to further these practices and violate the rights of Palestinians. Instead, Congress must encourage U.S. policies that will help bring a just and sustainable end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine and a future in which the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians are honored. We encourage all members of Congress to support this critical legislation.”
Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.