BREAKING: McCollum reintroduces historic Palestinian rights bill in Congress
I’m writing to share some incredibly exciting news. Yesterday Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced H.R.2407, the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.
This powerful bill documents in great detail how Israel commits gross human rights violations against Palestinian children through its separate-and-unequal military detention and judicial system. It catalogues how Palestinian children are systematically abused and are subjected to violence, including torture, by Israeli forces.
This tragedy of child incarceration has affected my family. My cousin Mousa was 16 years old when he was arrested. He was accused of throwing stones at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison. While in prison he was tortured. The scars of his time in prison remain with Mousa.
It’s not often that Members of Congress speak so openly about Israel’s terrible treatment of Palestinian children and it’s even rarer for legislation to be introduced to protest it.
Not only does Rep. McCollum’s bill draw attention to Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinian children. It also recognizes how the United States is complicit in Israeli policy through the $3.8 billion in weapons taxpayers provide every year.
It also amends the “Leahy Law” to add a provision to prohibit US funding for Israel’s detention and associated human rights abuses of Palestinian children, and authorizes $19 million both to document the abuses Palestinian children are subjected to by Israel and provide rehabilitation services to them.
In the last Congress, Rep. McCollum introduced a similar bill, the first one in Congressional history to advocate for the human rights of Palestinian children. Last year we mobilized together with many allied organizations to help get 30 Representatives to cosponsor that bill.
Let’s work even harder this year to get even more Representatives to support this new-and-improved version of the bill. You can start that process by emailing and calling your Representative today and asking them to cosponsor it.
Last month, American Muslims for Palestine sponsored a Palestine Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill which more than 500 of you attended! We urged Representatives to support this bill when it came out and now that it’s been introduced, let’s be sure that the entire American Muslim community rallies to build support for it.
Jamal Najjab | Director of Government Relations
PS: Would you like more details about what this bills says, what it would do to change the law, and why it is so significant? Please be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions about the bill, which you can use to build support for it in your local community and with your Representative.