US Rep. Betty McCollum touted the support of two organizations designated by Israel as terrorist groups for a new bill seeking to condition US aid to Israel.
Israel's Defense Ministry banned Addameer and Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) last year, due to their demonstrated extensive ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which the US also designates as a terrorist group. McCollum cites data collected by DCI-P in her proposal.
“The organizations operate under the guise of performing humanitarian activities to further the goals of the PFLP terrorist organization…They also assist in raising funds for the terrorist organization via a variety of methods that include forgery and fraud…[and] are controlled by the PFLP [and] employ PFLP operatives in management,” the Defense Ministry stated at the time.
Including terror-linked groups on a list of civil society organizations
McCollum included the organizations on a list of civil society groups that support her legislation, which also includes J Street, Americans for Peace Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Council on American-Isralmic Relations (CAIR) and others.
The bill seeks to prohibit Israel from using US aid “for the military detention, abuse or ill treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention; the seizure and destruction of Palestinian property and homes…[or] unilateral annexation of Palestinian lands in violation of international humanitarian law.”
“The US provides billions in assistance for Israel’s government each year and those dollars should go to Israel’s security, not towards actions that violate international law and cause harm.”Betty McCollum
“The US provides billions in assistance for Israel’s government each year and those dollars should go to Israel’s security, not towards actions that violate international law and cause harm,” McCollum said. “Peace can only be achieved when everyone’s human rights are respected, and Congress has a responsibility to not ignore the well-documented mistreatment of Palestinian children and families living under Israeli military occupation.”
Most Palestinian minors are arrested for throwing rocks at Israeli vehicles, which often cause injury and sometimes fatalities. In addition, minors have perpetrated many terrorist attacks, such as a 13-year-old who killed Border Police officer St.-Sgt. Asil Suaed, 22, during a routine bus inspection in Jerusalem. Last month, a 15-year-old from Nablus shot and injured two Israelis at point-blank range in Jerusalem before continuing on to school.
The legislation does not make exceptions for such cases.
Among the co-sponsors of McCollum’s bill are “squad” members like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex (NY-14), as well as Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), who represents Riverdale, which has a large Jewish population.
NGO Monitor, an Israeli research organization focused on the funding of anti-Israel organizations, said “the agendas of these PFLP-linked NGOs, not the realities on the ground. Since at least 2019, each annual State Department human rights report has recorded a decrease in the number of Palestinian minors detained by Israel, relative to the previous year.”