Congresswoman McCollum introduces first-ever legislation in support of Palestinian human rights

November 14, 2017
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Congresswoman McCollum introduces first-ever legislation in support of Palestinian human rights

Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum introduced groundbreaking and much overdue legislation on Tuesday calling on the U.S. government to guarantee that its annual aid package to Israel is not used to for the military detention and abuse of Palestinian children. The “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act” is the first bill introduced in Congress intended specifically to protect Palestinian human rights.

Rabbi Joseph Berman, Manager of Government Affairs:  “Jewish tradition teaches that each and every single person has inherent dignity and worth and must be treated accordingly. This bill is an important step that would align U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinian people with the norms of international law and a belief that both Palestinians and Israelis deserve human rights, equality, and safety.”

This legislation seeks to ensure that U.S. financial assistance to Israel is not used to support the military detention and abuse of Palestinian children. Israel arrests between 500 and 700 children each year, a majority of which have said they underwent physical violence during the arrest.  Children as young as 12 are arrested in the middle of the night during military raids in their homes, or taken from the streets and interrogated without their parents being informed or a lawyer present. While Israeli settlers living in the West Bank are considered minors till the age of 18 and subject to civilian courts, Palestinians are considered adults at age 16 and all are tried in military courts, which has a conviction rate of 99 percent.

Jewish Voice for Peace is proud to be a part of a broad coalition of social justice and faith-based endorsers of this legislation. It was introduced with nine original co-sponsors, including the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Mark Pocan (WI 2) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ 3), as well as Rep. John Conyers (MI 13), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL 4), and others.


Jewish Voice for Peace ( is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.


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