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Occupation magazine - Activism

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If anyone can open hearts, children can - the new US Congress meeting Palestine
Donna Baranski-Walker, Rebuilding Alliance

Good news: Palestinian youth are coming to brief the new Congress on Feb 5th! A Senior Senator is sponsoring the briefing because if anyone can open hearts, children can.

1. Invite your Senators and Congressperson to the Briefing
The #ICareAboutPeace Congressional Briefing will be held
on February 5th, 11am-Noon, in the Capitol Building, Room SVC 212-10

By far our most effective form of advocacy, this will be Rebuilding Alliance`s fourth #ICareAboutPeace Congressional Briefing. This event brings children from the West Bank and Gaza to Congress to present their visions of peace and justice.

This year, a child from Susiya will show the Pinwheel for Peace he made and explain what peace means to him. His mom will speak of when settlers turned their dog on his father. His cousin, Aysar, returns to now speak in English to provide an update of their village`s ongoing efforts to prevent the demolition of their village - and I hope he will talk about his birds and animals. If all goes well, for the first time, a teen from Gaza City and her mom will be allowed to cross their borders to join us. She was chosen as the best English-speaker among all the youth in the refugee schools in Gaza to come on this trip. Although she`s seeing hunger among her classmates, she too will speak of what peace means, and what peace looks like.

They will be joined by human rights defenders from Israel and Palestine to provide maps and context as we ask Congress to restore humanitarian aid for food, education, and health care and personally make calls to the Israeli Embassy to express concern, stop the demolition of Palestinian villages, recognize Palestinian planning rights, turn on the lights in Gaza, and open the blockade.

2. Next, invite the New Congress to go see for themselves.
Ask them to join Rebuilding Alliance`s second Congressional Leadership Learning Mission
to Jerusalem & the West Bank, March 15-23rd.

Seeing is believing. Rebuilding Alliance`s Congressional Leadership Learning Mission provides Congress with an opportunity to see the situation in the West Bank and Jerusalem with their own eyes. Because the State Department prohibits Congress from entering Gaza, we are actively pursuing permits that will allow our speakers from Gaza to join the Mission for one day.

Rebuilding Alliance will pay for each Senator`s or Representative`s trip and for one family member on this fact-finding mission in support of equal rights for Palestinians. Based upon Ethics Committee rules, participants have until February 13th to submit their application.

Gentle Constituent, it all starts with you. Each member of Congress promises to take action when a constituent faces an urgent issue with a Federal agency. Hungry children in Gaza, West Bank families whose homes may be demolished by morning - these are urgent issues. The letters I am asking you to send will receive a reply as your email is routed to their schedulers who will get back to you to confirm next steps.

Please spread the word.

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