On November 15, activists occupied the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9th District) and called on her to support a congressional bill that promotes human rights for children in Palestine.
Members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and other constituents held a sit-in at the office and read a list of 271 Palestinian children who have been arrested and detained by the Israeli military, as well as a list of the 8 children killed in Israel’s recent attack on Gaza.
Despite the fact that multiple Democratic presidential contenders have broached the subject of conditioning aid to Israel, there has been very little legislative action on the issue. In April, Rep. Betty McCollum introduced HR.2407, a bill that would amend the Foreign Assistance Act to prohibit U.S. aid from being used to detain children in Israel, or any other country. The bill currently has 22 cosponsors (including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib) but no companion legislation has developed in the Senate. JVP has launched a campaign encouraging Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and other Senators to introduce such a bill. Warren was recently asked about the bill directly, but avoided answering the question.
After the action concluded, US Palestinian Community Network tweeted, “The sit-in ended. We were promised a private meeting with Jan Schakowsky in the upcoming weeks to discuss the HR2407 Bill and express our disappointment in the unconditional support she has for Israel and its war crimes.”