Palestine-Israel

Additional Information on the Federal Legislative Agenda, 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Palestine-Israel

Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Detention – YES

Representative MsCollum of Minnisota is the sponsor of H.R.2407 which prevents U.S. funds from being used to detain Palestinian children in violation of UN standards. Israel has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a document which Israel routinely violates by detaining over 500 children a year and trying them before “a military court system that lacks basic and fundamental guarantees of due process in violation of international standards.”[1] These violations of basic rights of children have been routine since 2000. This bill calls for an additional section to be included in the Leahy Law, specifying limitations on assistance to foreign security forces concerning the foreign security and courts abuse of children. This press release from Congresswoman McCollum explains more about why she decided to sponsor the bill, as do these resources

Opposing BDS and efforts to delegitimize Israel – NO

H.Res.246 was introduced in March by Representative Schneider of Illinois and was cosponsored by four Massachusetts Representatives: Kennedy, Neal, Keating, and Trahan. This is a resolution that MAPA does not support. This bill is an effort to ‘delegitimize’ the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel as well as an effort to oppose the ‘delegitimization’ of the State of Israel. The BDs movement has been occuring for the past 14 years and took inspriation from the South African anti-apartheid movement in an attempt to use non-viokent methods to place pressure on Israel to comply with international law.[2] This House resolution is accompanied by S.Res.120 which was introduced to the Senate by Senator Cardin and Massachusetts Senator Markey is one of the resolution’s cosponsors. H.Res.246 passed its’ House vote on July 23rd with a vote of 398 to 17 even though the resolution effectively silences “the opposition to Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians and Ethiopians” and violates one of America’s founding principles of free speech.[3]

More information about the Israeli detainment of children can be found here: https://nwttac.dci-palestine.org/hr4391_factsheet_military_detention 

‘Endless Trip to Hell’: Israel Jails Hundreds of Palestinian Boys a Year. These Are Their Testimonies” by Netta Ahituv 

More information on what the BDS movement does and is calling for can be found on their website: https://www.bdsmovement.net/what-is-bds

BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate” by Natahn Thrall

Israel’s settlements: 50 years of land theft explained” by Zena Tahhan

Here is a link to regular updates on the legislative status and cosponsorship of these bills. And this is a link to some background infomation on the issue. 

Sources:

[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2407/text

[2] https://www.bdsmovement.net/what-is-bds

[3] https://twitter.com/RashidaTlaib/status/1149032471855554562