J Street supports bill calling for strings on US aid to Israel

Bill by pro-Palestinian Democrat echoes false claims by anti-Israel groups linking U.S. aid to alleged child abuse.

By World Israel News Staff

J Street is backing a bill by left-wing Congresswoman Betsy McCollum based on claims that Israel allegedly uses American aid to abuse Palestinian children, Israel Hayom reported Monday.

McCollum, known for consistently criticizing Israel, submitted her bill that will: “Prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding to the Government of Israel from being used for … the military detention, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.”

Loaded with anti-Israel rhetoric, the bill got the support of the liberal group J Street, which says it supports American aid to Israel but “opposes Israel’s military occupation.”

“We believe that every dollar of our current security assistance to Israel should go towards measures that address Israel’s actual security needs — and that none of that money or the equipment bought with it should be used in connection with the demolition of Palestinian communities, settlement expansion or other actions that facilitate de facto annexation in the occupied West Bank,” Dylan Williams, J Street’s senior vice president of policy and strategy told the left-wing news website The Intercept, using the term “West Bank” to refer to Judea and Samaria.

“Policies like that trample on Palestinian rights and undermine Israel’s own long-term future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people,” Williams said, but he failed to address terror attacks carried out by Palestinian minors who are arrested by Israel.

An analysis of McCollum’s bill by the watchdog group NGO Monitor revealed that the proposed legislation contains “false claims” and was heavily influenced by the Palestinian group Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P).

NGO Monitor said the legislation is “essentially DCI-P’s project under McCollum’s name,” noting that DCI-P is linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated a terror group by the U.S. government. NGO Monitor identified 11 current and former DCI-P activists linked to the PFLP, including convicted terrorists.

The reported noted McCollum pays no attention to Palestinian abuse of children, including the use of child-soldiers in violation of international law.

In her bill, McCollum claims that Israel “prosecutes [Palestinian minors] before a military court system that lacks basic and fundamental guarantees of due process in violation of international standards.”

However, NGO Monitor noted, “Israel is required by international law to try Palestinians, including minors, in military courts. Use of Israeli civilian courts for Palestinians would require annexation of the West Bank – precisely the step that McCollum-DCIP condemn on pages 10-11 of the bill.”