JVP Health Advisory Council calls on the U.S. Congress and State Dept. 



Time is critical for us to urge our Members of Congress (MOCs) to call on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to demand that Israel lift the siege on Gaza and that the US Congress reinstate funding for UNRWA.  We know that if a COVID-19 outbreak starts in Gaza, it will be a catastrophe. As of today, the providers in Gaza reported they have no more coronavirus test kits. And that is just the very tip of the iceberg... 


Here is what you can do NOW:  It is simple and we hope you will let us know if you contacted your MOC and, how it went if you talked to anyone in the office. Do it now and you will feel good that can check this off your list! 


Here are your step-by-step instructions: 

  1. Contact your 2 U.S. Senators and your own U.S. Representative about this issue. 


  • Use this as a template and add your own message, or write a letter in your own words. 

  • If you are not sure who your U.S. Representative or Senators are-- go HERE to find out.  Once you identify your MOCs, you can click on their names to get to their websites and find a “contact” tab. Sending your message through their email form or a regular email to them is the best way to reach them. Or, you can call the office if you want to talk to a staff member. Whether you email them or talk to a staffer, let them know you would like a reply about any action they take.

  • It is most effective to keep your “asks” pretty concise. The two suggested things our US Government can do are to:

    • Leverage our (U.S.) financial and diplomatic capital on Israel to Lift the Siege (Blockade) on Gaza

    • U.S. Congress to Reinstate funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Admin. for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) for needed humanitarian relief.

  • MOCs may say they have no ability to do these things, but they do have voices and can pressure The Secretary of State and the White House to urge a lifting of the siege and they (Congress) can vote to appropriate funds for humanitarian aid and UNRWA.

  • This is from each of us and our health voice/credentials count! Craft your message from what we all know about health--the 13 yr siege on Gaza has had a drastic negative impact on all the determinants of health: Unemployment, poverty, food insecurity, environmental pollution, lack of potable water, lack of stable electricity, lack of sewage treatment, lack of movement for health care, creating an overburdened and under resourced health care system. Add COVID-19 infection onto that and it is a human rights catastrophe. 

  • One does not need to be an expert to contact their MOC--remember that your story is more important and impactful than a bunch of facts. Tell your MOC why this matters to you!! 

   2. Once you have contacted your Senators and your Representative (or a staffer), please let us  know by completing this form. There are two reasons we want to keep track of your calls/letters. One is that the JVP National Legislative folks can follow up on our asks to keep the pressure on, and secondly,we want to be sure to “cover” as many states/districts as possible. 

     3. Here is the text of the petition the HAC is sending to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Please sign onto this petition, if you have not already done so. Do that right now, too and you will feel good!!!


Resources for you: 

A few good resources on how COVID-19 infection and the political landscape will impact Gaza:

  • U.S. Policy Response to Coronavirus in Gaza, March 30, 2020

  • Coronavirus in Gaza: Just 40 ICU Beds for Two Million People Under Siege

  • Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Members of Congress: Warren, Van Hollen, Sanders, Leahy, Merkley, Udall, Carper and Brown.

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