Monday, 15 September 2014

US Congressman Danny Davis calls for lifting the blockade of Gaza

US Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) has called for a lifting of the blockade against Gaza. In a September 8th letter to the Chicago Sun Times, one of the City’s two major daily newspapers, Davis urged an end to the blockade on humanitarian and strategic grounds. Congressman Davis now joins the only two other members of Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Barbara Lee, who have spoken out against the blockade.

Davis’ move is the result of a sustained effort by the Committee for Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP), urging the Congressman to advocate for an end to the Israeli occupation and to stop military aid to Israel. For years our community-based organization and other constituents in his district have met periodically with Rep. Davis’ staff to educate them on the issues and to urge action. In this most recent attempt, CJPIP was able to broker a meeting at a local church with the Congressman during the Congressional summer recess. We brought more than 40 constituents with us. The Congressman was visibly moved by our presentations that highlighted the horrific impact of Israeli attacks and siege on Gaza, linked the Israeli military occupation to police brutality and the breach of civil rights in Ferguson, MO, and illustrated connections to other human rights causes amplified by economic activism and divestment campaigns. At the end the meeting, he pledged to write a statement. The Sun Times letter was published about two weeks later. CJPIP will continue to monitor the Congressman’s votes and circulate his statement, so that others may follow suit.

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