“U.S. tax dollars in the form of military aid to Israel are permitted to sustain what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children,” said Rep. Betty McCollum.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), vocal anti-Israel lawmaker and newly confirmed chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, is set to preside over a hearing Wednesday on future U.S. defense spending.
“The violence used by Israel against Palestinians, especially children, is shocking and abhorrent,” McCollum said in a statement entered into the Congressional record in December 2020.
She accused Israel of using military force and violence to “oppress, dehumanize, and deny fundamental human rights to an entire civilian population—women, men, and children.”
“Members of Congress and the American people deserve to know whether U.S. taxpayer funding to Israel’s Ministry of Defense is being used directly or indirectly to facilitate or enable violence against Palestinian children,” said McCollum.
“Committing human rights abuses with impunity and with U.S. taxpayer aid is intolerable and there must be accountability on the part of the U.S. Government,” she said.
In April 2019, McCollum introduced H.R. 2407, the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, which proposed cutting U.S. military aid to Israel over alleged abuses.
“Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families,” she said.
“It must be condemned, but it is equally outrageous that U.S. tax dollars in the form of military aid to Israel are permitted to sustain what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children,” said McCollum.
What impact McCollum’s position on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee may have on U.S.-Israel relations is unknown. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the budget for the United States Department of Defense.
McCollum has also called AIPAC a “hate group” and introduced legislation that would prohibit the U.S. from recognizing Israel’s application of sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
McCollum’s anti-Israel positions have gained the admiration of younger lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
When questioned about her willingness to cut aid to Israel in 2019, Ocasio-Cortez said, “I hope to play a facilitating role in this conversation and a supportive role in this conversation. But I also know that there have been people leading on this for a long time, like Congresswoman McCollum.”