This special edition of Palestine Portal News is devoted to the bill being introduced in the House of Representatives in support of Palestinian children.
  • Article from The Intercept by Robert Mackey
  • Resources and links for action from No Way to Treat a Child
  • Political analysis from Josh Ruebner
  • Also: last chance to sign the Kairos Palestine petition
Support House Bill HR2407
NEW LEGISLATION PROPOSED  by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, would ban Israel from using any of the billions of dollars in military assistance it receives from the United States every year to pay for the detention, interrogation, or torture of Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank.

From the article on The Intercept by Robert Mackey: "McCollum’s bill,  HR 2407 , would amend the Foreign Assistance Act to prohibit funding for the military detention of children in any country, including Israel. The proposed law would also provide $19 million a year to American, Israeli, and Palestinian nongovernmental organizations to monitor the treatment of children detained by Israel’s army and offer physical and psychological treatment."

"'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 statement on Wednesday. '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.'"

Read the complete article . It includes a history of the issue, video reports from the ground, and commentary.
Here is an excellent, one-stop resource on the Bill from No Way to Treat a Child. It includes comprehensive background and links to voice your support to Rep. McCullum, to contact your representative, and how to become a citizen supporter.
Finally, if you are a fan of Josh Ruebner's political analysis, (and if not you owe it to yourself to become one), you will not want to miss his background & analysis of the McCullum Bill on Mondoweiss. (And if you are not already a subscriber, visit Mondoweiss and become one).

"Israel is the only country in the world which routinely detains and tries children in a military court...The bill is also significant for proposing the authorization of a $19 million annual fund for nongovernmental organizations both to document and make publicly available information regarding Israel’s abuse of Palestinian children, and to provide rehabilitation services to Palestinian children who have suffered from this abuse. This marks the first time that Congress has attempted, in a small but concrete way, to remedy the impact on Palestinians of its military and political support for Israel."

"The number of Members of Congress who have spoken out on behalf of Palestinian children’s rights has grown incrementally since McCollum first started advocating on this issue four years ago. With the addition of many progressive first-term Members of Congress, such as Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who  pledged  to support this legislation on the campaign trail, those numbers should continue to rise."

A Palestinian call to international civil society

Last month we alerted you to the petition from Global Kairos for Justice, a partner of Kairos Palestine. The petition will be published on the occasion of the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

Time is running out to join the thousands who have signed this petition in advance of the May 15th anniversary of the Nakba.

The petition declares as unjust and illegal the occupation policies and practices of the State of Israel, including creating over 700,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948, occupying the remaining 22% of Palestine in 1967 in contravention of UN Council Resolution 242, imposing an unjust system of military law, and adopting the discriminatory July 2018 Nation State Law. It calIs on the State of Israel "to end the occupation of Palestine, restore the full and equal rights of and end discrimination against Palestinian citizens living in Israel and all inhabitants of the Land and respect the right of return of Palestinian refugees."