Israelis destroying Palestinian homes, in early 2018. It's been going on for a long time (
by Dan Burns
Apr 20, 2021, 11:00 AM

MN-04: Rep. McCollum keeps trying, on Palestinian rights, vs. a cowardly Congress

While I very much enjoy and admire how Rep. Ilhan Omar tells it like it is and pisses people off, in my estimation Rep. Betty McCollum is the best of Minnesota’s current delegation to the U.S. Congress (including the senators). I could certainly nitpick with her record and agenda here and there, but that’s far more true with nearly all of the others. And it’s not like I’m perfect, myself.

Unfortunately, Rep. McCollum’s latest effort to get the U.S. to do something about the crime against humanity that is Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, is likely to get little if any more traction than her previous tries.

In the past two congressional sessions, McCollum introduced path-breaking legislation centering Palestinian rights. Her bills on Israel’s detention and ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israel’s separate-and-unequal military judicial system sought to prevent US funding for this practice, and to establish a US fund for reporting on Israel’s abuses and providing rehabilitative services to Palestinian children subjected to abuse.

In the last Congress, McCollum also introduced a bill to ensure that US funds do not support Israel’s de jure annexation of additional Palestinian land, a prospect raised by the Trump administration’s green-lighting of Israel’s unilateral annexation of up to 30 percent of West Bank in its January 2020 so-called “deal of the century” plan.

McCollum’s latest bill both reiterates her opposition to Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinian children and the possibility of its formal annexation of additional West Bank land, and expands her critique of Israeli occupation policies, making it the most extensive legislative effort ever introduced in Congress to end US complicity in the human rights violations endemic to Israeli military occupation.

The article lists the bill’s co-sponsors. They are few, and in the Minnesota delegation only include Rep. Omar. That is, Rep. McCollum’s equivalent of Sisyphus’s boulder is a Congress full of people, in both parties, who claim to be compassionate and ethical, but who when the chips are down are more than anything else just plain gutless.

A scientific phrase is “cognitive rigidity,” but in common parlance “living in denial” works just fine. People simply block out what’s confusing and distressing and might induce guilt. And from what I’ve seen it’s arguably more common on the whole among electeds than in the general population.

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