MCC photo/Meghan Mast.

Jarrah Masalmeh, now 18, in the barbershop he runs below his family home.

New legislation addresses detention of Palestinian children

Jarrah Masalmeh was 15 years old when he was arrested at 2 am by Israeli soldiers at his home in the West Bank. Charged with throwing stones, he was locked up for nine months.

Unfortunately Jarrah’s story is not unusual. Each year Israel detains hundreds of Palestinian youth, many of whom are subject to abuse and sometimes torture.

On November 14, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to help put an end to such practices. The bill currently has 16 co-sponsors. Please urge your legislator to co-sponsor the bill.

Policy updates

Immigration: The Trump administration announced that Temporary Protected Status will end for Haitians in 18 months and for Nicaraguans in 12 months. Debates over a year-end federal spending deal include whether protections for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, such as those provided by the Dream Act, will be added. The tax bills passed by the House and Senate would prevent many parents from claiming undocumented children, including Dreamers, on their taxes. Read more in the November immigration update.

North Korea (DPRK): Bipartisan, bicameral (House and Senate) legislation has been introduced as tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and DPRK. The No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act has more than 60 co-sponsors who want to ensure that military action is not taken against North Korea without the approval of Congress and to prohibit any use of funds for such a strike.

Recent articles

Hope disrupting hostility (North Korea)

"I will not forget you" (DR Congo)

The nightmare of military detention (Palestine and Israel)

Action alerts

Tell Congress: Oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act

Urge Congress to support common-sense gun policies


Immigration update: English | Spanish

Upcoming Events

January 13 and 19: Faithful Advocacy for Criminal Justice Reform (Lancaster, Pa.) event | Register here.

January 15: Mass Incarceration Service Day (Philadelphia). Register or donate items for prison care kits here.

April 20-23: Registration is now open for Ecumenical Advocacy Days' 2018 national gathering in Washington, D.C.

Staff updates

On November 13, Cherelle Dessus and others in the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition organized a press conference in the sixth district of VA to urge Rep. Goodlatte to move on criminal justice reform.

Charissa Zehr was a panelist at the Peace on the Korean Peninsula seminar November 13-15, sponsored by the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, sharing MCC’s perspective on faithful advocacy and humanitarian engagement in North Korea (DPRK).

On Nov. 20, Rachelle attended a consultation convened by Everence and Mennonite Church USA, following up on the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine” resolution.

On November 26, Charissa spoke at Oak Grove Mennonite Church (Smithville, Ohio) on the root causes of migration in Central America.