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Josh Ruebner

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US Ambassador David Friedman blatantly lied to Congress when he said he would oppose Israel’s annexation of West Bank lands and support a Palestinian state. He should be impeached for those misrepresentations, as well as for helping to block the visit to Palestine of Congress members Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (Photo: Center for American Progress/Flickr)

House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer landed today in Israel with 41 other Democratic Representatives for a week-long, all-expenses-paid junket sponsored by the the educational branch of the lobbying organization AIPAC. Dr. Craig Holman, Government Affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, who drafted the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, designed to curb the influence of lobbyist money in congressional travel, is unequivocal that the trip “defies the spirit as well as the letter of the law.”

Lindsey Graham, Chris Coons, and Maggie Hassan meet with Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a a bipartisan delegation of senators to Israel in February 2018. (Photo: Israel Government Press Office)

On Wednesday, six members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill to create a $50 million annual fund to “facilitate and finance joint economic ventures and people-to-people exchanges between Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans.” While the bill could be seen by well-intentioned members of Congress as a last-ditch attempt to revive the moribund prospects for a two-state resolution, Josh Ruebner says it should more accurately be seen as consistent with the Trump administration’s “deal of the century,” which appears in all likelihood to preclude the possibility of Palestinian statehood.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (Photo: Center for American Progress/Flickr)

On Wednesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives initiated a rarely-used legislative procedure to try to force a vote on a controversial bill that encourages states and localities to penalize individuals, nonprofit organizations, and companies that boycott for Palestinian rights. This is the latest GOP move in an ongoing, concerted effort to to portray themselves as the saviors of Israel and the Jewish people and paint the Democrats as an anti-Semitic, BDS-loving, radical left horde. And Democrats seem to be falling into the trap.

Rep. Betty McCollum (Photo: Aaron Lavinsky, Dml - Star Tribune)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) reintroduced yesterday her historic bill to promote the human rights of Palestinian children who face detention, interrogation, abuse and violence, including torture, and imprisonment by Israel through its separate-and-unequal military court system in the occupied West Bank. “Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families,” McCollum said in a strongly-worded statement.

Five children in the Abu Jarad family were killed, and a family “erased” by an Israeli Apache helicopter attack a year ago. The U.S. funds Israel’s military machine, and insures that there is never accountability for war crimes. A Capitol Hill briefing on July 29 led by the US Campaign to End the Occupation aims to end that immunity.