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Just when we thought the anti-Semitic activities in the House of Representatives might be quieting down, Rashid Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have decided to push their hateful actions one step farther. Even worse, we are watching the House of Representatives being attacked from within, and no one is taking notice; the cries against anti-Semitism are pushing the questions about the integrity of the House into the background. These two issues arise due to Tlaib, Omar, and their fellow representative from Minnesota, Betty McCollum, who are co-sponsoring legislation that is filled with an abundance of false information directed—of course—against the state of Israel.
The story actually begins in 1979 with the creation of an organization called Defense for Children International; the Palestinian branch was founded in 1991 (DCI-P). This organization has extensive links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. For those who may not know, PFLP is a well-known terrorist organization.
Fast forward to November 2017, when McCollum sponsored bill HR4391, which would prohibit “U.S. assistance to Israel from being used to support military detention, interrogation or ill-treatment of Palestinian children in violation of international humanitarian law.” It’s important to note that our federal law already prohibits providing funds to a foreign security force that commits gross human rights violations; clearly, Israel was being targeted in this new bill. Also, the bill did die in committee, but was re-introduced on April 30, 2019.
Fortunately, the NGO Monitor researched the claims against Israel and updated their findings in 2017. Their research verified that “the entirety of the proposed bill is premised on factually inaccurate claims from anti-Israel advocacy NGOs, including direct quotes from the DCI-P’s “No Way to Treat a Child” 2016 report.
To give you a sense of the “facts” that were provided in this report and later versions, here is a sample:
From testimonies of 739 Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces from the occupied West Bank and prosecuted in Israeli military courts between 2013 and 2018, DCIP found that:
- 73 percent experienced physical violence following arrest
- 95 percent were hand-tied
- 86 percent were blindfolded
- 49 percent were detained from their homes in the middle of the night
- 64 percent faced verbal abuse, humiliation, or intimidation
- 74 percent of children were not properly informed of their rights
- 96 percent were interrogated without the presence of a family member
- 20 percent were subject to stress positions
- 49 percent signed documents in Hebrew, a language most Palestinian children don’t understand
(Words in bold appeared in bold in the report.) To characterize some of these actions as “abuse” is questionable.
Remember, the DCI-P wrote the majority of the bill that was submitted to the House by McCollum and her colleagues. In spite of her condemnation of Netanyahu and Israel’s “apartheid-like policies,” one member of the House spoke out supporting Israel. Mark Mellman of the Democratic Majority of Israel. He said, in part:
While Prime Minister Netanyahu proudly wears the right-wing label as McCollum asserts, and while many of us have serious disagreements with some of his polices, he came to office in a fair and democratic election in which every Arab citizen of Israel had the same right to vote as any Jewish citizen. Indeed, that same election resulted in the Joint Arab list being the Parliament’s third largest party.
In spite of the outrageous attacks on Israel and the Jewish people, a more insidious effort to manipulate the House is in play. In all this discussion, no one mentions the deceptive nature of the proposed legislation. Either the Representatives who submitted the legislation were grossly irresponsible in not checking out the accuracy of the information that substantiated the legislation; did not check the veracity of the DCI-P that wrote the report that was the basis of the legislation; or intentionally deceived their fellow representatives to further their agenda.
If any or all of these factors were involved in crafting the legislation, we all have a much more serious problem than anti-Semitism in our Congress. Our legislators are determined to find ways to stop funding Israel, apparently at any cost.
The reputation of the House Democrats has already been damaged with their hostile actions toward the President and his administration over the last three years. Now we have even more reason to distrust them.