Several progressive Democrats introduced an resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday criticizing the decision by Israel to declare six PFLP-connected NGOs as terror organizations.
Sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), it recognizes the “important work” of the six NGOs, censures the declaration by Israel and calls on the Biden administration “to condemn Israeli actions to repress Palestinian society.”
In a statement, McCollum said the decision by Israel “is a sign of incredible weakness more aligned with an authoritarian regime than a healthy democracy.”
“Israel’s decision to brand these prominent Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organizations exposes the truth that Israel’s occupation is violent, immoral and unjust, and that peaceful efforts to defend the rights of Palestinian children, women, farmers or prisoners must be declared illegal,” she said.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Cori Bush (D-Miss.), Chuy Garcia (D-Ill.), Marie Newman (D-Ill.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and André Carson (D-Ind.).
McCollum, who backs the BDS movement, has long accused Israel of mistreating PA Arab children. In particular, she has supported the organization, Defense for Children International-Palestine, one of the groups that Israel blacklisted for its ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a U.S.- and E.U.-designated foreign terror group.
Khaled Quzmar, general director of Defense for Children International-Palestine, thanked McCollum for the resolution, saying his organization is resolved “to continue defending Palestinian children and exposing human-rights violations inherent in Israel’s military occupation of Palestinians.”
Earlier this year, McCollum, chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, introduced the “Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” which called on America to bar aid to Israel for detaining PA Arab youth, destroying PA Arab homes or property, and/or annexing Palestinian-owned land.