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After AIPAC ad implying she’s worse than ISIS, Rep. Betty McCollum calls the pro-Israel org a “hate group”

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Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum has put out a statement that refers to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a “hate group.” McCollum’s comments come just days after AIPAC pulled and apologized for Facebook ads that targeted pro-Palestine lawmakers and implied they were worse than the terrorist group ISIS.

AIPAC ran a series of Facebook ads that referenced “radicals in the Democratic party.” The text of the ad was accompanied by a collage featuring Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Betty McCollum (D-MN). “It’s critical that we protect our Israeli allies especially as they face threats from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah ISIS and — maybe more sinister — right here in the U.S. Congress,” one of the ads read.

McCollum has become a target of the pro-Israel organization as a result of introducing H.R.2407, an historic piece of legislation that aims to prohibit U.S. taxpayer money from being used to detain Palestinian children in Israel.“Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families,” said McCollum after introducing the bill, “It must be condemned, but it is equally outrageous that U.S. tax dollars in the form of military aid to Israel are permitted to sustain what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children.” H.R. 2407 currently has 23 cosponsors.

“We offer our unequivocal apology to the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress who are rightfully offended by the inaccurate assertion that the poorly worded, inflammatory advertisement implied,” AIPAC later said in an apology on Twitter.

“AIPAC claims to be a bipartisan organization, but its use of hate speech actually makes it a hate group,” reads McCollum’s statement, “By weaponizing anti-Semitism and hate to silence debate, AIPAC is taunting Democrats and mocking our core values. I hope Democrats understand what is at stake and take a stand because working to advance peace, human rights, and justice is not sinister – it is righteous.”

A coalition of progressive organizations recently launched a campaign encouraging Democratic presidential candidates to skip AIPAC’s annual policy conference next month.

Michael Arria

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

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21 Responses

  1. Joeygee23 on February 12, 2020, 5:55 pm

    Her opponent in her next election’s coffers just expanded exponentially. But it’s the Russians “interfering.”

    • Misterioso on February 13, 2020, 10:45 am

      Must watch short video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKz704QZf4g

      “American journalist banned for rejecting pledge to not boycott Israel” Feb. 11/20

      “American journalist Abby Martin was banned from speaking at a university in the state of Georgia after she refused to sign a pledge to not boycott Israel. Civil rights groups have called the move unconstitutional and filed a lawsuit against the university. “

  2. eljay on February 12, 2020, 6:23 pm

    (Pro-)Zionist groups like AIPAC and ADL are hate groups: They passionately hate justice, accountability and equality – perhaps only but definitely especially when they apply to I-P.

  3. Kay24 on February 12, 2020, 8:19 pm

    Before Russia, there was Israel, interfering in our country, getting their oligarchs and wealthy diaspora to contribute millions of dollars to political campaigns, controlling what the media says, getting the media, and their vicious trolls, to attack politicians like Betty McCollum who criticize Israel and it’s crimes, funding their opponents, and generally meddling in our politics, supporting those who will benefit Israel first. Politicians and Presidents invited them, and allowed them to stay and operate openly.

    Israel has made us fashion our foreign policies based on their demands, in fact many have the impression they write it for us, made us a pariah state when we were the only nation to not vote to condemn their crimes against unarmed civilians, we veto UN resolutions against them, and they receive the most aid from us.
    How about dealing with that first?

    Foreign lobbies operating so boldly in the US should be dismantled and banned, they have done too much of damage to our nation, and naming an entity like this with an “A” in front, does not necessary mean it’s interests are for America first. That is hogwash.

    Rep. McCollum is absolutely right, they are hate groups, they threaten, twist arms, and pour in millions of dollars, to oppose anyone who stands up to them, for all they want are obedient Americans who will bow their heads in a servile manner, and do their bidding. No wonder other nations are trying hard to get in on the game too, our politicians are that cheap.

    • genesto on February 13, 2020, 12:47 pm

      AIPAC and its lobby buddies are bullies, pure and simple. And, once again, the only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them and call them what they are – in this case, despicable racists dispensing hate.

      When you stand up to bullies, they eventually reveal their weakness and fall apart in Joe McCarthy-like fashion.

    • Ernie on February 13, 2020, 3:35 pm

      Poor old America! ‘We’ always behaved so admirably until Israel came along and perverted ‘our’ foreign policy! (https://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2007/11/dog-wags-tail.html)

  4. Misterioso on February 12, 2020, 8:24 pm

    To be brief:

    Major kudos to Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum!! She is a great and courageous American humanitarian who comprehends the horrors inflicted on the indigenous defenselss Palestinians for nearly 72 years by Zionists of foreign origin paid for in large measure by U.S. taxpayers (about $15 million per day.) The fanatical, pro-“Israel,” anti-Palestinian lobby is scared to death of her. She is also tilling the ground for the future. Zionism, a 19th century racist, colonialist settler ideology, is headed for history’s dumpster and more and more American youth, including increasing numbers of enlightened Jews, are helping to bring it about.

  5. pabelmont on February 12, 2020, 8:31 pm

    Rarely has a spade been so expertly and publicly and honestly called a “spade”. Kudos Rep McCollum (and thanks to the other 23 sponsors of the draft legislation).

  6. Donald on February 12, 2020, 11:43 pm

    I am guessing this will get about as much attention in the press as the OPCW scandal ( which is being ignored by everyone including what one might laughably call the American left.). Or it will get as much attention as the UN torture expert who says Assange is being tortured.

    It will get attention if it can be made to fit a useful narrative. Otherwise not.

    • kschuber on February 13, 2020, 8:28 am

      Important to note that AIPAC didn’t apologize to the people it offended but to people who were offended by its offensive allegations. Classic demogagic behavior.

    • genesto on February 13, 2020, 12:41 pm

      Yes. Nothing in the MSP that I could find today on this. Reverse the rolls and it would be ‘breaking news’ that Wolf Blitzer would be climbing over everyone to report first!

  7. Richard Baldwin Cook on February 13, 2020, 1:24 am

    AIPAC is not the only hate group targeting our nation. When the project is land theft and ethnic cleansing, these goals must be hidden from view as much as possible. Fortunately, decades of comments made by Zionists competing with each other to out-hate Palestinians, give the game away.

    “IF THERE ARE OTHER INHABITANTS THERE, THEY MUST BE TRANSFERRED TO SOME OTHER PLACE. WE MUST TAKE OVER THE LAND. WE HAVE A GREATER AND NOBLER IDEAL THAN PRESERVING SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSANDS OF ARAB FELLAHIN.”

    MENAHEM USSISHKIN, CHAIR OF JEWISH NATIONAL FUND, 1930.

    Source: Israel Law Resource Center, Feb. 2007 – International Law Study Guide covering Ethnic Cleansing.

    (c) Israel Law Resource Center, February, 2007.

    http://www.israellawresourcecenter.org/websitematerials/mapsg/mapsg16zionistquotes.html

  8. Talkback on February 13, 2020, 8:36 am

    Finally someone has the correct reply. Next level: Accuse them of Jewish racism, too.

  9. Vera Gottlieb on February 13, 2020, 10:41 am

    Isn’t it time to put an end to this endless hatred of Palestinians? An end to making their lives miserable? And end to smearing those people standing up for Palestinians? israel’s behaviour is shameful.

  10. James Canning on February 13, 2020, 11:02 am

    Some people think Aipac is a threat to the national security of the US.

  11. zaid on February 13, 2020, 8:27 pm

    i wish jeremy corbyn had the same attitude towards the smears.

  12. CHUCKMAN on February 14, 2020, 12:12 am

    Oh, for a few more brave and honest politicians like Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum.

  13. Shiralee on February 14, 2020, 5:14 am

    Way to go Betty tell it like it is! The JNF have been absolutely pivotal in the foundation of Israel and the settlements industry. But in just about every western country, the JNF, or its incarnation, has TAX FREE charity status. That means TAX PAYERS are being duplicitously co-opted into directly underwriting Israel’s contravention of various international laws, in addition to the Geneva Convention. It’s about time that politicians the world over start opening that little can of worms.

  14. Talkback on February 15, 2020, 8:59 am

    McCollum apparently had a second tweet:

    “@AIPAC’s non-apology is just another attack. Occupation, annexation, & hate speech is AIPAC’s agenda.
    https://bit.ly/2UEUkj0 #StopAIPACsHate”

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