Middle East

Last winter Rafee, his wife and sons received heating fuel through a program supported by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Syria. In 2015, their hometown had been attacked by ISIS, and eventually the family fled to another village. There they struggled to pay for rent and medication, so they were grateful for the fuel assistance…

Read more After ISIS, now what?

The MCC Washington Office recently hosted members of our new network of “volunteer advocacy coordinators” in D.C. for training, networking and advocacy. The network is an effort to increase advocacy throughout the U.S. through engagement with the Washington Office. Coordinators represent the states of California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. During their time…

Read more Network forms to increase advocacy efforts

When her amendment sailed through the House Appropriations Committee last month, even Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, was surprised. For more than a decade, she has been trying unsuccessfully to get Congress to debate the use of military force. Soon after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Congress passed legislation authorizing the use of…

Read more War without end

Since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, instability has been the governing force in the lives of many Syrians. While local and international powers have compounded the civil war with their own interests and sectarian conflicts have sprung up around the fray, Syria’s people continue to be threatened by mortar attacks, missile strikes, chemical weapons, and violence…

Read more Strangers in their own land

Funding bills for 2018 moving forward On July 27, the House of Representatives passed a “security minibus” set of spending bills for fiscal year 2018. It includes $1.6 billion for 70 miles of additional physical barriers along the southwest border with Mexico. House leadership added the border wall money in such a way that no separate vote was…

Read more Washington E-Memo

One morning this past January a 14-year-old Palestinian boy left his school after finishing his exam. Some boys were throwing stones at an Israeli military jeep. He continued on, but was followed by Israeli soldiers who shot him with a rubber bullet, then tied his wrists and blindfolded him. He was interrogated for hours and accused of…

Read more Two stones, two justice systems

Welcoming the newcomer June 20 marked World Refugee Day, at a time when a record 65 million people around the word have been forced from home. But the U.S. continues to be less than welcoming to newcomers. Last week the House passed legislation cracking down on “sanctuary cities,” as well as a bill to stiffen penalties for…

Read more Washington E-Memo