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Dem Rep says he might support bill prohibiting detention of Palestinian children…if it only focused on “younger” children

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At a town hall in Santa Barbara last week, Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) was asked about H.R. 2407, the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act. Despite pressure from local constituents, Carbajal has not signed on to cosponsor Rep. Betty McCollum’s (D-MN) historic bill. The legislation would prohibit U.S. aid from being used to detain children in any foreign country, including Israel.

“Since 2000, more than 10,000 Palestinian children have been subject to the Israeli military court system,”McCollum’s bill explains, “Israeli security forces detain children under the age of 12 for interrogation for extended periods of time even though prosecution of children under 12 is prohibited by Israeli military law.”

During the Q&A, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) commended Carbajal for opposing Trump’s family separation policy at the border and called on him to show the same kind of leadership toward Palestinian children:

There are other vulnerable people who also need your support and about whom we have spoken with you. These are the Palestinian children who regularly suffer abuse by Israeli security forces. These children in the West Bank face arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment under an Israeli military detention system that denies them basic rights. They’re often [forced to give] confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture. Remember these are children. Teenagers. How can protecting these children not be decent and the right thing to do? The decent and right thing for you to do is support H.R. 2407, introduced by Congresswoman McCollum and supported by many of your colleagues. This bill would protect not only children in Palestine, by amending the Leahy Law, but children around the world. We’ve met with you in person. We’ve responded in writing to your questions and concerns and we’ve submitted over 150 postcards from your constituents in support of H.R.2407 and yet we’ve still received no substantial response. Will you tonight commit to supporting H.R. 2407….?

Carbajal’s response focused mainly on the ages of the children being apprehended by Israeli security forces:

Whether it’s in our country or any other country around the world, due process and due rights and protection of children is paramount and one my highest priorities. So, you have gotten my attention on this issue…and I will continue to consider it…I’m trying to look at the complexity of this issue and let me explain to you what I mean by that. There’s been concerns that I offered that…children in general…a number of individuals that have been caught up in the skirmishes between Israel and Palestine….some, not all, are older youth….let me just share with you that I’m trying to work through the complexity of those issues. Maybe the bill could look at a younger group of children….If in this country you had skirmishes between any group, all of a sudden you would begin looking at the issue more critically. I’m trying wade through the human right issues that you’re raising and I know are around in your passion….let me just say that I am continuing to consider it, thank you for raising it and I will continue to look at it.

JVP Action, the political advocacy wing of JVP, tweeted out a video of Carbajal’s answer. “Rep. Carbajal responded that he wants to differentiate between younger children & ‘older youth’,” it reads, “This is unacceptable. No child under 18 should be arrested in the middle of the night, interrogated without parents & lawyers, or subjected to abuse. This is #nowaytotreatachild.”

McCollum’s bill currently has 23 cosponsors.

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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7 Responses

  1. Ossinev on January 30, 2020, 3:31 pm

    I doubt that the esteemed Mr Carbajal would be apply the same age test to his own children.

    Equally I expect that he strongly believes that “older young” (sic) Israeli Jews who commit hate crimes or terror crimes can never be classified as “older youth” and should never be detained.

    • JWalters on January 30, 2020, 8:49 pm

      Exactly! Mr. Carbajal’s “complexity” is in trying to simultaneously support justice and take money from ruthless criminals. Getting trickier and trickier in this internet age, with all those facts leaking out everywhere! Why, the truth could give voters the wrong impression. Such a quandary!

  2. Misterioso on January 30, 2020, 7:04 pm

    Video: ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children
    https://vimeo.com/86575949

    “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.”

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDPeeD_RPk
    “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.”

  3. tony greenstein on January 31, 2020, 11:48 am

    Note the weasel words ‘I’m trying to work through the complexity of those issues.’

    There is nothing at all ‘complex’ about this. Israel does to Palestinian children what it doesn’t do to Israeli Jewish children. Why? Because it runs a miiltary occupation of a civilian population whilst it steals their land. what could be simpler?

    • just on January 31, 2020, 5:34 pm

      Agree, tony~ well said.

      Carbajal was born in Mexico. How does he feel about the disgrace at the US border and detention of children? How old are his 2 children? Is it really “complex”? Nope.

      So here’s something that happened while the disgusting ‘plan’ was announced:

      “Palestinian School Torched in West Bank Hate Crime

      Graffiti was signed with name of the illegal Jewish outpost Kumi Ori, similar to a series of hate crimes in past months, including the arson of a Jerusalem mosque

      A classroom in the Palestinian village of Einabus near in the West Bank was torched in a hate crime on Tuesday morning.

      The arson was allegedly signed by residents of the Jewish settlement of Kumi Ori, near Yitzhar. “You’re demolishing homes?” graffiti in the scene read, referring to the outpost’s demolition earlier this month, “That’s only for enemies! Regards from Kumi Ori.”

      Nobody was hurt in the attack in Einabus, but school property was damaged. “The settlers’ aggressiveness and the destruction of property have unfortunately become routine,” Einabus Mayor Taleb Hamed said. “Almost every week, there’s an attack that causes damage.”

      Residents of the village reported the crime to the Israeli police, which said it was en route to the scene, escorted by Israeli soldiers.

      Last week, an East-Jerusalem mosque was torched and graffiti was sprayed on the walls of the building. One of the slogans sprayed on the walls also named the outpost of Kumi Ori. Graffitti on the mosque read, “destroy for Jews?” referring to Israeli demolition of two structures at the outpost, “destroy for enemies!” …

      … Of the 256 incidents last year, 50 were described as “price tag” attacks, six as potential terror attacks, and 200 as acts of vandalism, such as the uprooting of trees.

      Only 30 administrative orders were issued against Jews in the West Bank in the same year, including restraining orders, evening curfews and orders barring meetings between certain youths.”

      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-palestinian-school-torched-in-west-bank-hate-crime-1.8465560?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  4. Talkback on January 31, 2020, 1:14 pm

    His basically saying: The older they get, the more their rights can be violated under Jewish oppression.

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