Members of Congress Call on Biden Admin to Stop Israeli Government Destroying Palestinian homes

Washington DC: Fifteen members of the House of Representatives sent an urgent letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken today, calling for action to halt the Israel government from forcibly displacing and making homeless over 1,000 Palestinian residents of the Masafer Yatta region. The letter, led by Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), asks the Biden administration to take immediate and concrete steps to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes and demands accountability for the Israeli government’s blatant violations of Palestinian human rights. 

Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta have been under threat of demolition and being forcibly removed from their homes by the Israeli military for decades. But on May 4, the Israeli High Court made a final ruling in the case, approving one of the largest forcible transfers of Palestinians from their land since 1967. Since the ruling was issued, home demolitions and community displacement have already begun. This is yet another example of ongoing ethnic cleansing by the Israeli government. 

Signers of the letter called upon the State Department to, “exert all available diplomatic pressure to ensure that Israel does not move forward with this devastating ruling,” including enforcing oversight and accountability required by the Leahy Law and the Arms Export and Controls Act to ensure U.S. funding and weapons do not continue to flow unchecked to the Israeli military as it forcibly transfers and displaces from their land – a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva convention that amounts to a war crimes.   

“Hollow words of concern from the Biden administration are not enough. Palestinians in Masafer Yatta are under daily threat from the Israeli military, living the terrifying reality that their homes could be destroyed at a moment’s notice, with funding from the U.S. government. The members of Congress who signed this letter are making it clear that we must hold the Israeli government accountable for its blatant violations of Palestinians rights.” 

Beth Miller, Jewish Voice for Peace Action Political Director

Representative Bush was joined in the letter by André Carson (IN-07), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Marie Newman (IL-03), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Mark Takano (CA-41), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13).

JVP Action joined a wide list of over 60 civil society organizations in supporting the letter, including: Adalah Justice Project, American Friends Service Committee, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, Amnesty International USA, Center for Jewish Nonviolence, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Defense for Children International – Palestine, Demand Progress, Dream Defenders, Highlander Research & Education Center, Human Rights Watch, IfNotNow, Indivisible, Movement for Black Lives, MoveOn, NDN Collective, Our Revolution, Progressive Democrats of America, Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ), US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Win Without War, and the Working Families Party. A full list of supporting organizations is below. 

Over 2,500 people over a few days wrote to their members of Congress, supporting Representative Bush’s letter and calling on the U.S. government to act immediately to stop the Israeli government’s attacks on Palestinians in Masafer Yatta and to hold it accountable for war crimes. 

JVP Action staff are available for comment. 

Supporting organizations:

  1. Action Center on Race & the Economy
  2. Adalah Justice Project
  3. American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine
  4. American Friends Service Committee
  5. Americans for Justice in Palestine Action 
  6. American Muslim Bar Association (AMBA)
  7. Amnesty International USA
  8. Arab American Civic Council
  9. Arab American Institute
  10. Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
  11. Center for Constitutional Rights 
  12. Center for Jewish Nonviolence
  13. Churches for Middle East Peace
  14. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
  15. Defense for Children International – Palestine  
  16. Demand Progress
  17. Democracy for the Arab World Now
  18. Democratic Socialists of America 
  19. Detention Watch Network
  20. Dissenters
  21. Dream Defenders
  22. DSA International Committee
  23. Eyewitness Palestine
  24. Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Palestine Israel Network 
  25. Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
  26. Good Shepherd Collective
  27. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  28. Highlander Research & Education Center
  29. Human Rights Watch 
  30. IfNotNow
  31. Indivisible
  32. Institute for Policy Studies New Internationalism Project
  33. Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA
  34. Jahalin Solidarity
  35. Jewish Voice for Peace Action
  36. Jews Say No! 
  37. Just Foreign Policy
  38. LA Jews for Peace 
  39. Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MNBBC)
  40. Movement for Black Lives
  41. MoveOn
  42. MPower Action Fund
  43. National Iranian American Council Action
  44. National Lawyers Guild – Palestine Sub-Committee 
  45. NDN Collective
  46. Northfielders (MN) for Justice in Palestine/Israel
  47. Our Revolution
  48. Palestine Legal
  49. Pax Christi USA
  50. Peace Action 
  51. Progressive Democrats of America
  52. Progressive Jews of St. Louis (ProJoSTL)
  53. Project South
  54. Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
  55. ReThinking Foreign Policy
  57. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
  58. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
  59. Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
  60. US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
  61. U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) 
  62. US Palestinian Council 
  63. Win Without War
  64. Women Watch Afrika
  65. Working Families Party