From left to right: Rep. Lowenthal, Rep. McCollum, Issa Amro, Rep. Pocan, Rep. Beyer and Rep. Ellison.
It has been a productive week for Palestinian rights in Washington! We are just catching our breath from accompanying Issa Amro, the Palestinian human rights activist, on a whirlwind tour of Capitol Hill. Click here to see pictures!
You have heard about Amro from us before; he is currently facing 18 charges in an Israeli military court for his nonviolent activism.
Issa met with more than ten Members of Congress and many more senior Congressional staff to discuss his case and share stories about life for Palestinians under occupation. He told them how Israel mistreats Palestinian children in its separate-and-unequal military court system, and enforces apartheid conditions – using his hometown of Hebron (Alkhalil) in the West Bank as an example..
In these meetings, we saw Members of Congress shake their heads in dismay and express their outrage when Amro told them how Israeli soldiers in Hebron try to create religious divides by forcing Muslims to walk on one side of the street, and Christians and Jews on the other, and how Israeli soldiers obtain fraudulent confessions from terrified Palestinian children rounded up and interrogated without the presence of attorneys or parents.
We cannot overstate how important it is for Members of Congress to hear these first-hand accounts from Palestinians, like Amro, living this reality. Your help in sharing these pictures on social media will help us arrange even more meetings like these in the future.
As you may remember, earlier this year 32 Representatives and four Senators sent letters to the State Department calling on the US to press Israel to drop the politically-motivated charges against Amro. This was the largest Congressional outpouring of support for a Palestinian human rights activist ever, and we are proud to have played a key role in making it happen.
As Amro’s trial progresses in Israeli military courts that hand down a conviction rate of 99.74 percent, we will be sure to keep you updated about support for Amro so he can continue his human rights work in Hebron.