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Betty McCollum

  • For J Street, holding Israel accountable is still a step too far

    J Street's 2019 conference heralded a new willingness to tie military aid to Israel to its human rights record. But the organization was quick to reaffirm a status quo of unconditional aid — despite ongoing abuses. What at first looked like a sea change on the horizon has turned out to be much less. One week after Democratic presidential candidates discussed conditioning U.S. military aid to Israel at J Street’s national conference in Washington, the liberal pro-Israel group makes clear that it continues to support unconditional aid, despite ongoing Israeli human rights abuses and settlement expansion. [tmwinpost] A statement issued Monday…

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  • J Street conference confronts America's 'blank check' to Israel

    WASHINGTON — In the shadow of the World Series, the reported killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the one-year anniversary of the Tree of Life Massacre in Pittsburgh, 4,000 people gathered in the U.S. capital for J Street’s eighth annual conference, titled “Rise to the Moment.” In some ways, J Street did just that. The conference was dominated by the message that the U.S. government should no longer provide — as the organization's president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, put it — a “blank check” to Israel. “It is important for the U.S. to take a very close look at whether or not our…

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  • Palestinian rights make a rare appearance in Congress

    A first-of-its-kind bill introduced this week focusing on the rights of Palestinian children could pave the way for greater transparency and accountability in America's dealings with Israel.    Members of Congress on Tuesday introduced a bill requiring the U.S. Secretary of State to certify that funds bound for Israel "do not support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children." The proposed legislation, put forward by Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum, had ten co-sponsors when it was announced. [tmwinpost] Although that number may seem small, especially when measured against the 268 current co-sponsors of the so-called Israel Anti-Boycott Act, the "Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act"…

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