Rep. Betty McCollum (D MN) is an exception proving the rule - supporting the rights of Palestinian children in a Congress largely ignoring them.
In June, she wrote John Kerry, saying “Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children is an indefensible abuse of human rights. I hope this letter results in State Department pressure on the Government of Israel to end this systemic abuse immediately.”
“Palestinian children should be treated exactly the same as Israeli or American children, without the fear that one day soldiers will arrest them, beat them, and lock them away in prison.”
On August 18, she wrote the State Department again - addressing the cold-blooded killings of Nadeem Nawarah and Mohammad Anu Daher during May 2014 Nakba Day protests.
Her remarks were unusually forthright - calling Daher’s murder “a blatant example of an unlawful killing that merits both condemnation and action by the US.”
An Israeli border policeman lethally shot him with an M-a16 rifle. “Most disturbing, Nadeem’s murder was captured on video as he walked innocently down the street.”
Daher was killed the same way - in cold blood threatening no one, clearly seen on video.
“As these killings exemplify, Israel’s treatment of Palestinian youths in the Occupied West Bank is unacceptable and must not be tolerated by the US or the international community,” said McCollum.
“Systemic human rights abuses are well documented, including the physical and psychological abuse of Palestinian children held in military detention.”
“The murders of (both youths) highlight a brutal system of occupation that devalues and dehumanizes Palestinian children.”
“It is time for a strong and unequivocal statement of US commitment to the human rights for Palestinian children living under (repressive) Israeli occupation.”
McCollum made three requests:
1. Raise these murders with Israel. Demand accountability. Prosecute the offenders for cold-blooded murder.
2. Have a State Department official attend their trial “to ensure appropriate standards of justice are achieved.”
3. The Leahy Law prohibits funding security forces of nations responsible for committing human rights abuses. McCullom wants it enforced against the 38th Company of Israeli Border police - the unit responsible for killing both youths.
Israeli abuse of millions of Palestinians is systematic and intolerable. Cold-blooded murder remains unaccountable. Murderers are free to kill again with impunity. Longstanding injustice continues.
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|Allen L. Jasson|