68 Progressive Organizations Tell Congress: Divest from Violence; Invest in Justice for All



WASHINGTON, DC, June 23rd, 2020

Led by US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), Adalah Justice Project, MPower Change, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Democratic Socialists of America Palestine Working Group, Students for Justice in Palestine: University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Eyewitness Palestine, 68 progressive organizations responded to the Black Lives Matter uprising and Israel’s threat to annex more Palestinian lands by calling on Congress to divest from militarism and policing, from the US to Palestine. A PDF is available here and individuals can take action here.

Dear Members of Congress,

We, the undersigned organizations committed to shaping policy towards justice for all people, call on Congress to take concrete steps to hold Israel accountable for its stated plans to formally annex the West Bank, as well as for its ongoing military occupation, displacement, and oppression of the Palestinian people, by ending US military funding to Israel. Further, we call on you to stop the flow of federal dollars to local police. These demands stem from our united commitment to divest from militarism and instead invest in community needs, like education, housing, and healthcare for all, in order to create safety and justice for all.

The U.S. investment in militarism and policing of communities of color is global, and so our vision for justice policy must be shaped by our commitment that racial justice has no borders. Just as we join in the demand for our tax dollars to be divested from brutal police violence and a repressive military response to protesters asserting that #BlackLivesMatter, we call for an end to U.S.-funded violence abroad.

The Israeli government has clearly stated its intent to formally annex parts of the West Bank – a process that has been de facto underway for decades. Annexation is a war crime that will undoubtedly result in continued violence against Palestinians, including in the forms of home demolitions, displacement, and land theft. Our tax dollars must go toward the desperately needed PPE for healthcare workers caring for our communities, financial relief for undocumented and indigenous people, and meeting the needs of the global climate crisis by implementing policies like the Green New Deal.

Firstly, we call on you to take concrete steps to hold the Israeli government accountable for its ongoing human rights violations and oppression against the Palestinian people by ending the annual flow of $3.8 billion in military and weapons funding.

We are deeply disappointed that the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has chosen this time to prioritize passage of S. 3176 the United States-Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020. Rather than demanding accountability, passage of this bill – and its companion in the House H.R. 1837 – sends a message that Israel can take any action with total impunity. We ask that you speak out firmly against S. 3176/H.R. 1837 now and oppose the final legislation should it come to a vote. Now is the time to hold the Israeli government accountable and show that the U.S. will not fund ongoing Israeli military injustices.

Secondly, we call on you to uplift the vision of safety first advanced by the Movement for Black Lives, to divest from policing and militarism and instead invest in Black communities by reallocating resources to community-led safety initiatives, education, housing, and healthcare for all. Concretely, this means immediately amending the HEROES act to defund the $300 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, and working to end it entirely. It also means taking further federal action to advance the vision laid out in the 8 To Abolition policy demands.

As we build a new future coming out of this pandemic, we must build towards justice and safety for all people—from the U.S. to Palestine.


National Organizations:

18 Million Rising
About Face: Veterans Against the War
Adalah Justice Project
Al-Awda: The Palestine Right To Return Coalition, National Body
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
American Muslims for Palestine
Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Center for International Policy (CIP)
Democratic Socialists of America Palestine Working Group
Eyewitness Palestine
Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)
Islamophobia Studies Center
Jewish Voice for Peace Action (JVPA)
MPower Change
National Arab American Women Association
National Lawyers Guild – Palestine Subcommittee
National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)
Palestine Legal
Palestinian Youth Movement
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Uprooted & Rising
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR)
US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
Veterans for Peace
War Resisters League

National Church Based Organizations:

Disciples Palestine/Israel Network (Disciples PIN)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Palestine Israel Network (EPF PIN)
Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church
Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN)
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME)
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network (UCC PIN)
United Methodists’ Holy Land Task Force (UMHLTF)

Local/Community Organizations:

AF3IRM Hawai‘i, HI
AF3IRM Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
AF3IRM San Francisco-Bay Area, Oakland, CA
Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine, Cambridge, MA
Arab American Civic Council, Orange County, CA
Asian American Advocacy Fund, GA
Christian-Jewish Allies for a Just Peace for Israel/Palestine, Philadelphia, PA
Corvallis Palestine Solidarity, Corvallis, OR
Dorchester People for Peace, Dorchester, MA
Dream Defenders, FL
Indiana Center for Middle East Peace, IN
Justice For Muslims Collective, DC, MD, & VA
Law Student for Justice in Palestine: Berkeley Law School, Berkeley, CA
New Generation for Palestine, Detroit, MI
Occupation Free DC, Washington, DC
Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, VA
Peace Action Massachusetts, MA
Peace Action Montgomery, Montgomery County, MD
Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee, Pittsburgh, PA
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC), Portland, OR
Progressive Peace Coalition, Columbus, OH
Students for Justice in Palestine: Bard College, Mid-hudson valley, NY
Students for Justice in Palestine: Brown University, Providence, RI
Students for Justice in Palestine: Butler University, Indianapolis, IN
Students for Justice in Palestine: Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA
Students for Justice in Palestine: Earlham College, Richmond, IN
Students for Justice in Palestine: Montclair University, Montclair, NJ
Students for Justice in Palestine: University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Students for Justice in Palestine: University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Tree of Life Educational Fund, CT
Yalla Indivisible, Orange County, CA
Yemeni Alliance Committee (YAC), CA