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Israel practices ‘apartheid’ — Rep. Betty McCollum

US Politics

The highlight of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights conference that concluded Sunday in St. Paul was a speech by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) that was that very rare and brave thing in mainstream US politics: an unapologetic endorsement of Palestinian human rights.

McCollum denounced Israel’s “brutal” “cruel” policy of detaining and torturing children, which she has sought to sanction through groundbreaking legislation that would end U.S. aid that supports those practices. She said that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel: “why can’t I hold a foreign government accountable for how they abuse an entire population of people under their control?”

She referred to the power of the Israel lobby over other legislators — a power that she first defied in 2006, when she told the Israel lobby group AIPAC that it was barred from her office till it apologized for saying she supported terrorists. She said that more and more Congresspeople are at last willing to take on Israel openly, witness the 29 co-sponsors of her bill (all Democrats).

And most importantly, McCollum described Israel under its “nation state of the Jewish people” law, which was enacted last July, as an “apartheid” state.

“Friends, the world has a name of that form of government that’s codified in the nation state law, and it’s called apartheid.”

McCollum, 64, is a former social studies teacher who represents a district that includes all of St. Paul and its northern and eastern suburbs. She is endorsed by J Street, the liberal Zionist organization. Her speech, in which she accepted a leadership award, can be found on Facebook. We have transcribed much of it below.

Betty McCollum:

“Tonight’s very special to me. There are so many amazing people in this room. You’ve dedicated time and energy and resources with your hearts and souls for fighting for Palestinian rights. For me to be recognized for my work, I mean our work, it is humbling and I am deeply appreciative. To be recognized.

“This conference is being hosted by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and collectively you are the champions who come from every corner of our country… It is because of your collective work with our great partners that we are establishing a narrative in Congress that promotes Palestinian rights.

“And as I said, I’m honored to be here tonight but I’m also honored you’re in my congressional district here in St. Paul. I want to thank you for hosting this conference here in my neighborhood. (applause)

“I am able to receive this award, not just because of my work, but because of my constituents in Minnesota’s 4th District, they send me to Congress. They expect me to fight for progressive values, human rights and policies that respect our human shared dignity. As a representative I am a reflection of the people who elect me.

“So I work to promote peace, attack poverty, defend the rights of children, stand in solidarity with the oppressed, including the Palestinian people — is because I have the support of my wonderful constituents.

“Last November I introduced a bill in Congress, and it’s called ‘Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children,’ shorthand, HR 4391.

“It’s not a complicated bill. It says that U.S. aid to Israel shall be prohibited from being used to arrest, detain, abuse, torture or otherwise violate humanitarian law and the human rights of Palestinian children. Now we know thousands of thousands of Palestinian youth have been victimized by the Israeli system of juvenile military detention over the years. We know that because of UNICEF, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Israel’s B’Tselem, DCI Palestinian, and the U.S. State Department have all documented Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinian children.

“Now, as an American and as a mother, I don’t think it is particularly controversial or a statement  of moral courage to condemn a government that systematically arrests and abuses children. (applause)

“I don’t think it is particularly controversial, but as a member of Congress, I don’t think it should be a statement of political courage to say that the U.S. government should not spend one dollar of our taxpayers’ funds in supporting a brutal military detention that abuses children.

“In Congress you would think that that makes common sense but yet this is not the case when it comes to protecting Palestinian children, and when the government doing the abusing is Israel. With HR 4391, moving forward, we are making a clear unwavering statement that we are not going to support US tax dollars funding Israel’s cruel, brutal and dehumanizing system of juvenile military detention of Palestinian children. So let me say a big thank you to all my congressional co-sponsors, our partners in the faith community, our NGO champions, everyone in this room representing advocates and citizens all across this country.

“This bill is a statement of unity never seen before in Congress, it unites us in our common belief in human rights.

“It is a statement of our shared values of freedom, equality and justice for the Palestinian people. You all need to know that the members of congress cosponsoring this legislation, there is a profound commitment to Palestinian rights, and I admire their willingness to stand with me. Because it’s not easy. We are confronted by a right wing pro-Israel lobby that supports Israel’s brutality. And groups like Christians United for Israel, that worked for settlement expansion and delegitimizes Palestinians to justify their religious extremism.

“But there’s a truth we’re fighting for, and that is that the Palestinian people deserve freedom, justice and equality just like people anywhere in the world. They deserve to be citizens of an independent Palestine state and they deserve to live their lives without fear in their own homeland.

“Now my goal with HR 4391 is to offer, as I said, an alternative perspective, to force policy makers to think about the 3.8 billion dollars in U.S. aid to Israel and how that helps to enable, facilitate and enforce the military occupation of Palestinian lands and the repression of the Palestinian people.

“Yes, people in Israel, the Israel people, they deserve security and Israeli children deserve security too. But imprisoning, abusing, traumatizing another generation of Palestinian children in the name of security — it’s a lie. And we need to call it what it is. (applause)

“Israel’s military detention system is a weapon of occupation that terrorizes Palestinian children and their families into submission. I don’t want my tax dollars, or yours, to go to support that.

“As Americans, living in the era of Donald Trump, it’s easy to fall into the trap of hopelessness and despair. Yet the Palestinian people face hopelessness and despair along with 50 years of military occupation and they continue to have the courage to persevere.

“And for the Israelis, Jews and Arabs, who reject racist policies, occupation, the extreme Likud Netanyahu government, I also commend their courage and their perseverance. (applause) You should applaud them.

“A few weeks ago in the coffee shop of this hotel I met with an amazing woman who was struggling for freedom for justice and her country’s democratic future. Her name is Aida [Touma] Sliman and she is a citizen of Israel, and she is also a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset. She’s fighting Israel’s recently passed nation state law, which codifies separate and unequal. It is a standard of racism that the United States rejected and outlawed more than 50 years ago.

“Aida’s written and told me, rather than working on equality for the benefit of all citizens irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity or national affiliation, Israel will now promote the development of exclusive Jewish communities. Friends, the world has a name of that form of government that’s codified in the nation state law, and it’s called apartheid. (applause)

“In this case (applause continues).. Thank you, thank you, but… What Brad [Parker of Defense of Children International/Palestine, who introduced her] didn’t tell you is I’m a former teacher — I appreciate, it’s overwhelming thank you very much but I’m going to get through this speech.

“So, she [Touma-Sliman] really inspired me with her courage and her determination. She’s there with a lot of other Israelis and they’re battling their own extremist government that’s delegitimizing and dehumanizing her very existence. And it’s in this context that I think about the future, not just for Palestine or for Israel, but for the future of our own country, the United States. We are now living in a nation which the policies of the president of the U.S. and his administration, are explicitly bigoted, dangerous and demeaning to all Americans. Think about a few of the destructive dangerous policies advanced by this president: the Muslim ban, the separation wall with Mexico, immigrant family separation, child detention, rejecting refugees, the only nation in the world to withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement, and reneging on the Iran nuclear deal, cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans while sabotaging health care for the most vulnerable Americans.

“It isn’t a wonder that Benjamin Netanyahu knows he has a green light to advance apartheid inside of Israel or endlessly expand the settlements or for Israeli security forces to force a massacre of scores of unarmed protesters in Gaza with complete impunity.

“Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are partners intent on destroying the future for the Palestinian people. There is no peace process, the U.S. is no longer an honest broker. There is no illusion of this White House even caring about Palestinians. The White House point person in the Middle East is Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner; a U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer by trade, and a right wing extremist by choice. And over the years Kushner and Friedman have invested financially in supporting, sustaining West Bank settlements. Settlements that violate international law. (applause)

“The two top American officials leading United States government policy on Israel/Palestine are not diplomats. They appear to be more like settlers, right wing settlers who actively seek to expand Israel’s control over Palestinian land, livelihoods and the future. It’s appalling.

“It’s also the reason why we’re witnessing the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress making every effort to extinguish any hope or possibility of an independent Palestinian state. A few days ago in his press conference President Trump articulated his vision of a Palestinian conflict calling the peace agreement ‘a real estate deal’. President Trump said, “If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that’s OK with me. If they want two states that’s OK with me, I’m happy, if they’re happy.” These are the profound words of the so-called leader of the free world?

“But it gets better. Mr Trump then went on to explain that China has great respect for him because of his– very large brain. We needed to laugh. Policy actions by this White House have explicitly targeted Palestinians and their interests, in their efforts to reward the Netanyahu government. It’s very clear that the unilateral relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the termination of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA and the eviction of the P.A.’s office in Washington are intended to delegitimize Palestinians as having status, rights, or even an identity in their homeland.

“And the termination of U.S. aid to non governmental organizations providing health care, education, humanitarian assistance to needy Palestinians is nothing more than a policy of blatant cruelty intended to inflict hardship and make vulnerable people suffer. It’s shameful but then again it should come as no surprise, President Trump tried to eliminate health coverage for 30 million Americans– why wouldn’t he cut health care to Palestinians?

“In Congress, Democrats and Republicans need to understand that the cost and consequences of 50 years of military occupation, Israeli settlements, check points, separation walls, soldiers – have made an independent Palestinian state all but impossible. There is clearly no reason for Palestinians to have any faith or any trust in America’s current president. But we must not allow them to lose faith in the American people. As Americans, as progressives, we must strive to make freedom, justice and equality — human rights, economic opportunity, and hope for the foundation for future U.S. policy for engagement with Israel and Palestine. It must be accountable and Israeli oppression must not be supported by U.S. tax dollars. The status quo of today must be rejected. (applause)

“A democracy, a real democracy does not accept 2nd class citizens. It does not segregate communities and it does not sponsor discrimination or military occupation. If the one state solution is an inevitable endgame of the Trump-Netanyahu axis, and I hope it’s not, I pray it’s not– but if it is then the American people must demand a U.S. policy explicitly requiring conditions that include equal rights and full citizenship for all Palestinians. (applause)

“So the burden for U.S. advocacy to improve the future for Palestine, again, is on your shoulders. Your commitment and your dedication is essential. Now we’re in a dark place but I also see a progressive movement that is awakening, and that’s willing to push back against the powers that once seemed so invincible. Even in Congress, there’s a growing group of Democrats who are disturbed and disillusioned by the conduct of the Israeli government. It allows for more open discussion among policy makers than ever before about Israel’s accountability. Let me be clear, holding the Israeli government accountable for its abuses is not anti-semitic. It is just being responsible and just. (applause) If I, if we can hold President Trump and the White House accountable then why can’t I hold a foreign government accountable for how they abuse an entire population of people under their control? (applause)

“But there is good news, I believe there’s a change coming to Congress in the new year, where there are strong progressive women and men who’ll be coming to Washington who will certainly have their voices heard and I’m certain these new voices will bring new energy to our movement. But a significant burden is still on us, to expand the coalition of NGO’s, faith groups, elected leaders and citizen activists. Because Palestinian rights are human rights and we must make them a litmus test for politicians and faith leaders, and leaders in our civil society. I can’t guarantee that our goals and missions for peace and justice and freedom and equality for Palestinians will succeed. But I know we can’t be silent.

“The hotel we’re in tonight is owned by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, a tribal nation located a few hours from here. In Congress I have made working with tribal nations a priority of mine. More than 20 years ago two women mentored me on Native American issues, they taught me the profound meaning of sovereignty. They were the late Marge Anderson, chairwoman of the Mille Lacs Band, and Melanie Benjamin, the current chairwoman of the Mille Lacs Band. Because here in Minnesota, this is not our land. It belonged to the Ojibwe in the north and the Sioux in the south. European settlers took this land from Native Americans. They subjugated them, they committed atrocities and for more than a century the U.S. government imposed state sponsored policies to extinguish their culture. The inter-generational trauma, the suffering from these abuses, they continue to be real. The healing is slow, and it is painful. But tribal nations are fighting for their rights, their dignity and their future and they are a vibrant voice in the present and in the future of our state and of our nation.

“I am proud to stand with them and work in partnership to help them protect their rights while building a better future for their children and generations to come. And that’s the same commitment I make to you tonight and to the Palestinian people. It’s a long road ahead. There must be peace, reconciliation and real hope for a better future before the healing can begin.

“What we need, the American people and our government, is to stand with the children of Palestine and to stand with their parents. Because they deserve their rights respected, their voices heard and their future to be one of hope, one of opportunity and most importantly one of peace. Thank you for allowing me to join you this evening. Thank you for recognizing me and the co-sponsors of our legislation. Let us work together, in the words of the Ojibwe, Miigwech”

About Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss

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52 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    October 2, 2018, 1:46 pm

    an incredible speech. i love Rep. Betty McCollum. thank you thank you thank you.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      October 2, 2018, 6:32 pm

      Amen

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 3, 2018, 10:28 am

      @annie, et al

      For the record:

      “A film produced by a group of Australian journalists has sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed Tel Aviv’s use of torture against Palestinian children.

      “The film, titled ‘Stone Cold Justice’ documents how Palestinian children, who have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, are subjected to physical abuse, torture and forced into false confessions and pushed into gathering intelligence on Palestinian activists. Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop has spoken out against Israeli’s use of torture stating that ‘I am deeply concerned by allegations of the mistreatment of Palestinian children,’ Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has described the human rights abuses documented in the film as ‘intolerable.’ But rights groups have slammed this statement, saying that the Israelis are doing nothing to change Tel Aviv’s policy to torture Palestinian children.

      “Last year a report by the United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund or UNICEF concluded that Palestinian children are often targeted in night arrests and raids of their homes, threatened with death and subjected to physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault. The film Stone Cold Justice has sparked an international outcry about Israel’s treatment of children in Israeli jails. However, rights groups have criticized Tel Aviv for not doing anything to create a policy that protects Palestinian children against arbitrary arrest and torture.”


      “Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children”

      “This film addresses the process of arrest, interrogation, and the policy of house arrest and their effects on children. The film provides accounts of children who were arrested in order to highlight a larger policy of persecution and targeting of Palestinian children in Jerusalem.”

    • festus
      festus
      October 9, 2018, 11:42 am

      “It’s not a complicated bill. It says that U.S. aid to Israel shall be prohibited from being used to arrest, detain, abuse, torture or otherwise violate humanitarian law and the human rights of Palestinian children.

      This is Zionism lite at best.

      How about a bill that prohibits aid to Israel period?

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        October 12, 2018, 10:04 am

        It’s a chimerical bill and an abuse of the concept of lawmaking. U.S. aid to Israel falls under the defense assistance rubric and is spent in its entirety on defense purchases in the U.S.

      • annie
        annie
        October 12, 2018, 11:21 pm

        even if it was spent “entirely” on “defense” purchases (a lie) as long as those purchases are maiming and killing civilians (they are), including palestinian children, it is wrong and immoral.

      • festus
        festus
        October 17, 2018, 11:55 am

        Naftush: “It’s a chimerical bill and an abuse of the concept of lawmaking. U.S. aid to Israel falls under the defense assistance rubric and is spent in its entirety on defense purchases in the U.S.”

        Not really sure why this is a “chimerical” (as in fanciful or imaginary) bill of why Naftush cannot use an adjective that people actually understand. Nor why the proclamation that ” U.S. aid to Israel falls under the defense assistance rubric..” means it never can be stopped.

        Never understood the argument that because this $38 billion given to Israel from the pockets of the American taxpayer is spent on weapons provided by the American “Defense” industry that somehow this is not costing us American taxpayers anything and Israel is not getting anything for free. Must admit that, as many times as I have seen this illogical argument made, this is the first time I have seen it presented as falling “.. under the defense assistance rubric ..”

        Like we used to say in the 1970s, “eschew obfuscation”.

      • annie
        annie
        October 17, 2018, 12:46 pm

        the american taxpayer forks out money to defense contractors who in turn hire americans to make a product that’s given to israel for free. and this is spun as the american tax payer hires americans and therefore that is a good thing for americans. no, it might be a good thing if american taxpayers forked out money to contractors who in turn hire americans to make a product that’s given to the american people for free. instead, we are paying for free products for israel, to kill people. or what about american taxpayers forking out money to contractors, who in turn give all their american employees a weeks free vacation? this is not a win win for the american economy. how about the american taxpayer just not having to fork out that money? and what about saudi arabia actually paying for all those weapons they kill people with. trump makes it sound like a big deal, those billions. the way the hasbrats spin it, why not just give the weapons to saudi arabia for free? after all, it is putting american workers to work.

        anyway you look at it, the hand out to israel costs us. it’s coming out of the pockets of the american tax payer. every single one of those tax payers could turn around and hire an american worker to do something that benefits them, instead of israel.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        October 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

        @festus

        What is to understand about the argument that zionists make about the 38Bn?

        It’s pure bullcrap.

        The people making such an argument are either extremely stupid or they are extremely dishonest and have no moral compunction about straight up lies to advance their immoral project.

        I would not accuse naftush of being stupid.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    October 2, 2018, 5:43 pm

    It is refreshing to hear a voice like Betty McCollum. If only there were more like her in Congress.
    If only the zionists and their lobbies here did not control members of our Congress, and leaders here. If only the media had the courage to defy their zionist owners/bosses, and spoke the truth about Israel, and highlighted it’s crimes. If only.

  3. bintbiba
    bintbiba
    October 2, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Many warm and heartfelt thank you ‘s Phil and annie for bringing us the brave, inspired and uplifting speech by Rep. Betty Mc Callum . Multiple Kudos Rep. Mc Callum !!

    ( from a Palestinian born in Jerusalem 12 years before Israel was created on our land and exiled ever since )

    • annie
      annie
      October 2, 2018, 9:44 pm

      bintbiba! as always wonderful to hear your voice.

      • bintbiba
        bintbiba
        October 3, 2018, 11:49 am

        Thank you dear annie, I never stray too far away … … whereas the news lately is so hopeless- making that I haven’t the heart to make the slightest squeak lest I scream and scare the public !!!

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    October 2, 2018, 6:34 pm

    Please Spread this article everywhere on social media, including to Trump & his kids’ Twitter accounts!

  5. Boomer
    Boomer
    October 2, 2018, 7:09 pm

    Good for her. “Rare and brave” indeed. I expect that she will be crucified, at least metaphorically. We can hope for a miracle.

  6. Marnie
    Marnie
    October 3, 2018, 12:29 am

    “Now, as an American and as a mother, I don’t think it is particularly controversial or a statement of moral courage to condemn a government that systematically arrests and abuses children.

    “I don’t think it is particularly controversial, but as a member of Congress, I don’t think it should be a statement of political courage to say that the U.S. government should not spend one dollar of our taxpayers’ funds in supporting a brutal military detention that abuses children.”

    That couldn’t be more clearly explained, even for the the most obstinate rejectors of reality. I hope with Ms. McCollum’s fierce stand that others will be on board. It’s way past time to be concerned about the regulars, those paid and unpaid trolls for the zionist apartheid state, armed with their quivers full of slanders. FFS senators, show some damn backbone!!! The louder you get, the more clear you are, like this letter, the more you’ll be heard over the constant buzzing of the zionist hornets nest. Bravo Betty!

  7. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 3, 2018, 7:07 am

    We are living in a very interesting time.

    Judaism is no longer humanist.
    The GOP is no longer conservative
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/republican-party-conservative/571747/
    Israel is no longer a bipartisan issue

    The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse.
    Zionism is moving away from the window.

  8. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    October 3, 2018, 11:45 am

    I am not sure why you felt the need to put the word apartheid in quotation marks in the title of this piece

    It’s an apartheid not an “apartheid”.

    Playing with the language, twisting meanings of the words, pilpul, and not calling spade a spade – it’s a Zionist propaganda game.

    Leave it out from Mondoweiss. 150/163

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 3, 2018, 1:47 pm

      “I am not sure why you felt the need to put the word apartheid in quotation marks in the title of this piece”

      I would have guessed that it was because the headline writer was quoting Rep. McCollum’s use of the word.

    • rafa santisteban
      rafa santisteban
      October 8, 2018, 1:45 pm

      There us a very big question here. “Apartheid” or “occupation”. The head of a key UNO body here, (wh I’ve forgot) insisted that it’s an “occupation” first rather than “apartheid”.

      That may well be the best way to go. “Occupation” can’t be objected to. There is no question that Israel is occupying holding 4-5m Palestinians under the gun, without rights. It’s indisputable.

      If you go with “apartheid”,pro- Israelis can split hairs forever. Personally, I’m happy to call it apartheid. But in my experience, Israelis have no answer to the charge of “occupying another people is a crime against humanity.” All they can do is divert the conversation or refuse to discuss. I recommend sticking to occupation.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 8, 2018, 2:22 pm

        @rafa santisteban “Occupation” can’t be objected to…

        Think again.

        Israel is not “occupying holding 4-5m Palestinians” as Gaza is not occupied. Nor is occupying another people is a crime against humanity, Israel’s occupation of disputed territory in the West Bank is a legal occupation.

      • annie
        annie
        October 8, 2018, 2:40 pm

        “disputed territory” is a legal term that is not applicable. it’s “occupied territory” under international law. as is gaza.

        you call it a “legal occupation” but not occupied? seriously?

      • amigo
        amigo
        October 8, 2018, 3:41 pm

        “Israel is not “occupying holding 4-5m Palestinians” as Gaza is not occupied.” mondonut

        The hell you say.

        “The UN has repeatedly affirmed in various fora that the Gaza Strip remains under Israeli occupation. For example, UN Security Council Resolution 1860, adopted 14–0 on January 8, 2009 — the U.S. abstained — stressed “that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state.”[6]

        In 2011, meanwhile, UN General Assembly Resolution 65/179 emphasised “the need for respect and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory” — i.e. including Gaza.[7] In 2012, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson affirmed that the body would “continue to refer to the Gaza Strip as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory until either the General Assembly or the Security Council take a different view on the matter.”[8]

        In November 2014, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague expressed agreement with “the prevalent view within the international community” that “Israel remains an occupying power under international law, based on the scope and degree of control that it has retained over the territory of Gaza following the 2005 disengagement.”[9]

        The reason this is important, why this book begins with this particular question, is because Israel and its supporters seek to contest or deny the Gaza Strip’s occupied status. They do so for propaganda purposes (see Question 2), but more disturbingly, in order to relieve Israel of its responsibilities as an occupying power, particularly in the context of the use of military force.

        [1] The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), http://www.unrwa.org/where-we-work/gaza-strip(last accessed 1/6/15).
        [2] UNICEF, http://www.unicef.org/oPt/overview.html (last accessed 1/6/15).
        [3] B’Tselem, ‘The scope of Israeli control in the Gaza Strip’,http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/gaza_status (last accessed 5/1/16).
        [4] Lisa Hajjar, ‘Is Gaza Still Occupied and Why Does It Matter?’, Jadaliyya,http://www.jadaliyya.com/…/is-gaza-still-occupied-and-why-d… (last accessed 5/1/16).
        [5] Adalah, ‘The Truth About Gaza’, November 2012, http://www.adalah.org/…/Adalah-Truth-about-Gaza-November-20… (last accessed 5/1/16).
        [6] UN press release, January 8, 2009,http://www.un.org/press/en/2009/sc9567.doc.htm (last accessed 3/6/15).
        [7] Resolution text available here: https://unispal.un.org/…/…/3f8f382bf9874a50852578770064392b… (last accessed 5/1/16).
        [8] Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, http://www.un.org/press/en/2012/db120119.doc.htm (last accessed 3/6/15).
        [9] Office of the Prosecutor — ICC — 6 November, 2014, http://opiniojuris.org/…/2014-11-03-Final-Report-on-Situati… (last accessed 3/6/15).

      • amigo
        amigo
        October 8, 2018, 3:43 pm

        “Nor is occupying another people is a crime against humanity, Israel’s occupation of disputed territory in the West Bank is a legal occupation.”mondonut

        The hell you say.I hope you are well paid for making a fool of yourself.

        “Is Gaza still occupied?

        Yes. According to international law Gaza is still occupied even though Israeli forces pulled out in 2005. This is the case for three reasons:

        1. Because the Oslo accords specifically affirmed that the Palestinian Territories would remain under Israeli occupation until the implementation of a final peace treaty.

        The Gaza Strip and the West Bank will continue to be considered one territorial unit, and that withdrawal from Palestinian population centres will do nothing “to change the status” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the duration of the accords.

        Israeli soldiers are still able to enter
        the Gaza Strip at will [AP]
        2. Gazans are still subject to the control of the Israeli military which retains the ability and right to enter the Gaza Strip at will.

        Furthermore, Israel retains control over all of Gaza’s public utilities, airspace, sea shore, and borders, including Gaza’s border with Egypt.

        It is Israel that both sets and collects Gaza’s taxes and customs and controls its population registry.

        It controls Gaza’s international relations, whether or not they can open a seaport or an airport, and continues its military activity along the Gaza Strip’s coastline.

        Taken together, these powers mean that all goods, services and people entering or leaving Gaza are subject to Israeli control.

        3. Because the conditions which constitute the end of an occupation have been defined in international law and in Gaza’s case those conditions have not been met.

        Your Views

        “Forty years and yet no solution to an occupation”

        Saeb Erekat, Senior Palestinian negotiator

        Send us your views

        The Nuremburg Tribunal expounded upon The Hague Regulations’ basic definition of occupation in order to ascertain when occupation ends.

        It held that “the test for application of the legal regime of occupation is not whether the occupying power fails to exercise effective control over the territory, but whether it has the ability to exercise such power.”

        In that case, the tribunal had to decide whether Germany’s occupation of Greece and Yugoslavia had ended when Germany ceded de facto control to non-German forces of certain territories.

        Even though Germany did not actually control those areas, the tribunal held that Germany indeed remained the “occupying power” – both in Greece and Yugoslavia generally and in the Territories to which it had ceded control – since it could have re-entered and controlled those territories at will.

        Is ongoing, open-ended occupation legal?

        Settlements in East Jerusalem
        are set to be expanded [EPA]

        No. Under international law the occupier is obligated to end the occupation as quickly as possible.

        The occupier has to safeguard the rights of the occupied population during the temporary period in which the occupation is maintained.

        Continuing an occupation is illegal because the occupier cannot usurp by force the rights of the occupied people, who retain title to their land and resources by virtue of the fundamental right to self-determination.

        UN Resolution 242 of 1967, which calls for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied during the 1967 June War, is based on the principle of what it calls the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.”

        Can the occupier settle on the occupied land?

        Special report

        Click here for more video and eyewitness reports

        No. Any move by the occupier to infringe of the rights of the occupied or change the status of the occupied land through, for example, annexation, confiscation of resources, population transfer, or destruction of civilian property is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory.

        Expropriating the property of an occupied people is also forbidden by the Hague Regulations.

        This means all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem are illegal.

        All house demolitions or forced relocations in these areas are illegal.

        Is violent resistance against an occupation legal?

        Yes. People have a right to resist “colonial domination and alien occupation and racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination as enshrined in the Charter of the UN” and/or to resist illegal practices of the occupier according to Article 1(4) of Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions.

        Territories before the 1967 war
        Palestinians fighting Israel to achieve self-determination have the legal status of combatants as defined by the UN General Assembly in 1973.

        The Palestinians’ struggle is considered legitimate and in full accord with the principles of international law.

        Any attempt to suppress a struggle against a colonial or racist regime or alien occupation is incompatible with the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and constitutes in itself a threat to peace and security.

        Is it legal to target Israeli civilians?

        No. International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on civilians who are not directly participating in hostilities.

        Parties to a conflict are obliged to distinguish between civilian and military infrastructure, to respect the principle of proportionality in all military operations and to refrain from any form of collective punishment against a population.

        That means there is no protection under international law for launching Qassam rockets on Israeli population centres.

        Under international law, this is not protected or justified.

        Are Israeli air strikes or targeted assassinations legal?

        No. For various reasons, international law tends to support the conclusion that Israeli air strikes and targeted assassinations are illegal.

        Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a former Hamas leader,
        is among those assassinated by Israel [AP]

        From a legal standpoint, there are three critical issues that determine the legality of these policies: the law of self-defence; international humanitarian law; and the principle of proportionality.

        1. Self-defence. Defenders of these Israeli practices cite Article 51 of the UN Charter, which states: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.”

        However, Article 51 is in reference to self-defence from an armed attack by a state.

        Hamas, Palestine, etc are not a state, they are an occupied people, so Article 51 does not exactly apply and Israel is left with the option of dealing with Palestinian attacks as a law enforcement problem.

        In this case, Article 51 is inapplicable which makes the targeted killings “unlawful reprisals” or “extrajudicial acts of homicide”, both of which are prohibited by international law.

        2. International humanitarian law. Many international law experts agree the Israeli Palestinian conflict is an “armed conflict” to which the laws of war apply.

        Most of these experts agree that Palestinians fighters who belong to a force are “combatants” -they have a command structure, wear fixed distinctive signs and carry their weapons openly, they deserve POW status if captured and are immune from prosecution for fighting.

        However, Israel does not deal with enemy Palestinian combatants as soldiers, nor does it deal with them exclusively as civilians/criminal gangs.

        Israel occupied swathes of territory in
        the wake of its 1967 military victory
        Israel blurs the line between policing and waging war, by treating the Palestinians as combatants by targeting and killing them during fighting, then treating them like civilians/criminals and punishing them for their acts afterwards.

        This means Palestinians fighting for self determination have neither the rights of soldiers, nor the rights of civilians.

        If Palestinian fighters are “combatants” then they have the rights of soldiers including POW status.

        If Palestinian fighters are criminals then they are civilians and killing them without a court trial is completely illegal.

        The Geneva Conventions on the Law of War, particularly common Article 3, prohibit the intentional killing of civilians.

        Common Article 3 prohibits: “(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;” and “(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognised as indispensable by civilised peoples.”

        Other international human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, state that arbitrary execution is unlawful.

        3. Proportionality. Any given action by a state must be substantially proportional to the given threat or wrong.

        This principle also finds support in the Hague Regulations of 1907 which prohibit the use of arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.

        One could argue that because Israel’s policy of targeted killing has resulted in the deaths of multiple civilians, and because they are the occupying power and have the far less violent option of simply arresting the offending individuals, an air raid on a population centre is always disproportionate.

        SOURCE: Al Jazeera

        Yeah we know mondonut , it,s AJ but don,t kill the messenger, check the message.

      • amigo
        amigo
        October 8, 2018, 4:04 pm

        mondonut , forgot to give you the link for the two articles.We know you are not allowed to use it but those seeking the truth may wish to use it.

        https://www.aljazeera.com/focus/1967-40yearsofoccupation/2007/06/2008525173238746353.html

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 9, 2018, 8:28 pm

        @annie, you call it a “legal occupation” but not occupied? seriously?

        Reading comprehension Annie. Gaza is neither disputed territory nor occupied. The West Bank is both, disputed and legally occupied. I thought that was pretty clear from my previous comment.

        Israel’s occupation of disputed territory in the West Bank is a legal occupation.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        October 10, 2018, 7:08 am

        The normal human right surely is to be an enfranchised citizen in a sovereign state. There may be exceptions and I think that genuine occupation situations are among these. They are marked as exceptional by being clearly temporary, by the acceptance on the occupier’s part that the territory is not his and by the consequent intention to restore the normal right as soon as there is law and order, perhaps including a war crimes tribunal. I’m not ashamed of the very fact of British occupation of some of Germany after WW2, which (though some shameful things hsppened) seems to me to fit this bill. The Israeli ‘occupation’ regime, which is really a conquest in progress, does not.
        Conquest does not necessarily breach the basic right mentioned, since it may be accompanied by enfranchisement – though we might say it was wrong on other grounds. The claim to rightful sovereignty over the territory must be assessed on whatever merits it has. However to advance this kind of claim is by no means to have reason to disfranchise the current inhabitants, quite the reverse, since it is the mark of a rightful sovereign that he governs justly, which means in part with the aid of elected representatives of the population.
        Whatever words we use the ability to split hairs is probably inexhaustible.

  9. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    October 3, 2018, 12:43 pm

    Many thanks to Rep. McCallum.

    I must question however the bill to end US spending for mistreatment of children. I would understand a bill to deny ALL US money to Israel for Israeli misdeeds, but Israel can always say it is spending its own money for arresting children, etc., and not spending a dime of US money and then where are we?

    OTOH, the bill I’d like to see has no chance of passing, I fear, whereas just perhaps her bill might pass. If not today, then someday soon. It is part of the theater of legislation and theater is very important here.

  10. Rogelio
    Rogelio
    October 3, 2018, 1:44 pm

    I just called The DC office of Rep. McCollum to thank her for the wonderful speech. The representative that answered was extremely appreciative because of the heat they were taking from “the other side”.
    Perhaps other Mondoweiss readers could do the same.

  11. klm90046
    klm90046
    October 3, 2018, 3:23 pm

    Just as we now lament the genocide of Native Americans, just as we now self-flagellate for our slave ownership and the slave trade, just as we weep for the five million Vietnamese we murdered, so too will we, one day, regret our enabling role in the repression and dehumanizing of Palestinians. One day. Alas, it could be decades or even centuries away.

  12. Steve Macklevore
    Steve Macklevore
    October 3, 2018, 3:45 pm

    “…U.S. is no longer an honest broker. ”

    It never was, Betty, it never was.

  13. Rashers2
    Rashers2
    October 3, 2018, 5:29 pm

    Congratulations to Rep. McCollum for having the conviction to articulate what is obvious to all (apart from the trolls from Hasbara Central) who read this news site but which shamefully few elected representatives in the USA have the courage even to skirt around when talking about I/P.
    Let’s hope that this speech inspires other liberal Democrats to “come out” over Israel and its apartheid; and to tell the Lobby where to put its campaign money, its blackmail and its threats. Only by bringing honest criticism of Israeli policies and, by extension, of the Zionist political ideology in front of the public through the MSM will Israel’s make-up crack and its mask disintegrate for all to see the ugly reality which lies beneath.

  14. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    October 5, 2018, 3:17 am

    By her definition both the US govt and she participate in apartheid (, or the recent liberal definition of it) as well. Lots of work to do.

  15. bcg
    bcg
    October 6, 2018, 12:42 pm

    @DeBakr: “And most importantly, McCollum described Israel under its “nation state of the Jewish people” law, which was enacted last July, as an “apartheid” state… “Friends, the world has a name of that form of government that’s codified in the nation state law, and it’s called apartheid.”

    Here in the U.S. there’s plenty of racism but we don’t pass legislation stating that America is the nation state of white Christians – we’re more subtle about it, but in Israel they have no shame in openly announcing that one quarter of Israel’s citizens are second class.

  16. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    October 6, 2018, 4:38 pm

    For a full flavour of American Jewish Zionism and its feral racism listen to this deranged creature Laura Loomer being systematically shredded by George Galloway:

    Full of highlights but George the classic IMO is at the end when he terminates the interview after asking the idiot if she believes that all 2 Million Gazans are terrorists and she replies “not all some of them are Christians”.

    An absolute muttonhead (no offence to sheep) and so typical of her kind.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      October 7, 2018, 12:23 pm

      I don’t know who is loopier – this fruitcake or Judge Kavanaugh who thinks climate protection is unconstitutional. WTF

  17. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 7, 2018, 7:11 am

    Israel has been a bipartisan issue in US politics since 1967 at least.

    Last week’s DC circus showed that bipartisanship is dead.

    Flaky Jeff Flake who is retiring said :
    “There is no value to reaching across the aisle any more. There is no currency. “

    2 more angles :

    “Democrats called the investigation a sham. Republicans said it was thorough.”

    https://balkin.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-vicious-entrenchment-circle.html?m=1

    “And, as it happens, there’s a stark contrast between the two parties these days on most important questions of governance, with virtually no overlap (i.e., the most conservative Democrat is not as conservative as the most liberal Republican, etc.)”

    Israel has decided to lie down with the GOP. Israel is going to be as polarizing as Kavanaugh.
    Let’s see how that works out.

  18. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 7, 2018, 10:23 am

    2 settlers shot dead in the West Bank. Netanyahu calls it terrorism. WTF

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/07/palestinian-shoots-dead-two-israelis-in-west-bank-army-says

    • annie
      annie
      October 7, 2018, 12:47 pm

      probably so they can bulldoze the family home. we’ve had these workplace rage freakouts here too, but they are not described as terrorism, obviously.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 7, 2018, 2:04 pm

        Most of the Palestinian kids in the OT are terrorised regularly by the goons in the Israeli Army.
        I am so sick of Israeli shooting and whining.

      • annie
        annie
        October 7, 2018, 2:15 pm

        the nyt has a big bold headline about it..heck, that doesn’t happen for palestinians kids shot routinely. i think there were 7 shot last friday, two of them were 12 and 14. where’s the msm headline? exactly.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 7, 2018, 7:55 pm

        Israel thinks this is forever. The social engineering Israel has carried out on its own people to ensure it is means that it can’t be. The more the settlers win the more the collapse of Israel is assured. The NYT is neither here nor there in the great game.

      • annie
        annie
        October 7, 2018, 8:10 pm

        The NYT is neither here nor there in the great game

        if, by nyt, you mean the msm, then i don’t think it’s neither here nor there. i think it’s relevant. i think it speaks volumes children being slaughtered don’t make headlines when workplace violence/murder does.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 8, 2018, 1:47 am

        The NYT can’t stop Israel from its self-destructive path. Donniel Hartman is a right wing rabbi. At the time of the Goldstone mess he wrote a blog about how the Jewish community could manage its own business and that it didn’t need anyone else. Israel is unmanageable. Hartman was wrong. So are the Sulzbergers.

  19. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    October 9, 2018, 5:01 am

    A big kudos to the Congresswomen. She bucked the system.

    Now she should move on to grassroots issues that directly affect her constituency. Now she should move on to making the United States safer and stronger. Now she should move on to help save the planet.

    Don’t count on it. She’s caught in the vortex, going round and around and around and round.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 9, 2018, 8:23 am

      || Jackdaw: … Now she should move on to grassroots issues that directly affect her constituency. Now she should move on to making the United States safer and stronger. Now she should move on to help save the planet. … ||

      I agree with you that all American politicians should focus on America and American issues and stop bending over backward advocating, defending, supporting and catering to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in the Middle East.

  20. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 9, 2018, 10:41 pm

    This is very interesting. Israel wants to deport Ms Alqasem but will relent if she publicly denounces BDS. Does Israel have a problem with BDS? The public recantation is very Spanish Inquisition. And who did the Spanish Inquisition target?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/10/us-student-barred-from-israel-over-alleged-bds-support-to-fight-case

  21. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 9, 2018, 11:24 pm

    The notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is on the US Supreme Court. She is Jewish . Here is a snippet from wiki.

    “In addition, she decorates her chambers with an artist’s rendering of the Hebrew phrase from Deuteronomy, “Zedek, zedek, tirdof”, (“Justice, justice shall you pursue”)”

    Where did Israel go wrong?

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