Skip to content

Colorado’s State Democratic Party Endorses House Resolution 2407 Defending Palestinian Children Incarcerated in Israeli Prisons (but is not included in the state Dem Platform)

August 24, 2020

Palestinian Youth, incarcerated in Israeli Prisons

At its July 2020 meeting, the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party voted to endorse H.R. 2407 – the House of Representatives resolution “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.

The vote in favor was an overwhelming 163 in favor, 26 opposed, 43 no position and 16 abstentions.

Over the past few years a number of Colorado groups have educated and agitated about the fate of Palestinian children incarcerated in Israeli prisons, many tortured and otherwise mistreated. Friends of Sabeel, the Center for Freedom and Justice in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center have all endorsed the bill and lobbied different Congressional delegations asking for support.

The passage of a resolution in support of H.R. 2407 suggests that the ground work done by these groups was not in vein.

Colorado Dems Support HR 2407 but the leadership blocked discussion on the resolution and refused to put it in the state platform

Some months ago the Denver Democratic Central Committee came out in support of HR 2407, now the same bill was overwhelmingly passed at the state Democratic Party Central Committee meeting.

In a statement released by the Center for Freedom and Justice – Colorado, it was noted:

The Center for Freedom and Justice – Colorado is pleased that Colorado Democrats came out in support of H.R. 2407, but we are left wondering why support for this resolution is not included in the state Democratic Party platform. We are sensitive to this subject because our organization has done development projects for Beit Ummar, a West Bank village in Area C.

In past years, a full 1/3 of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons have come from Beit Ummar, the town in the West Bank’s Area C that the Center for Freedom and Justice – Colorado has done development projects for. We are pleased that Colorado Democrats came out in support of H.R. 2407 and wonder why, given the fact that its Central Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor that support for this resolution is not included in the state Democratic Party platform.

Despite the overwhelming vote in favor, oddly, the resolution was not included in the state Dem Platform as is the usual practice when such a resolution is passed. According to one source who participated in the vote on HR 2407, Morgan Carroll, State Chair blocked discussion of the Resolution, in violation of party rules. Dennis Obduskey, Co-chair, blocked discussion of the Resolution on the State Platform.(1)

Despite the overwhelming vote in favor, oddly, the resolution was not included in the state Dem Platform as is the usual practice when such a resolution is passed. According to one source who participated in the vote on HR 2407, Morgan Carroll, State Chair blocked discussion of the Resolution, in violation of party rules. Dennis Obduskey, Co-chair, blocked discussion of the Resolution on the State Platform.

In an email, Morgan Carroll despites the allegation that she denied blocking discussion on the resolution.

I get it: First we’re told to “play by the rules” (we – Colorado supporters of Palestinian rights) and being good American citizens, doing what we can for God and country, living the dream, we do precisely that. We follow the rules and whatta ya know? Colorado Dems show concern for Palestinian children! Overwhelmingly in fact.

And so they change the rules! Cruel world!

H.R. 2407 was introduced in the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Rep. Betty McCollum, MN 4th District (since 2001). At last count it had 23 sponsors, among them Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Barbara Lee, Eleanor Norton, and Bobby Rush. (For the full list of sponsors).

Although referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the recently primary-defeated U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chair and a long time ardent defender of Israel, refused to table the resolution before the committee where it has languished. Now that Engel will no longer chair the committee, it is possible, but unclear, if introduced in the next session – which is expected – it will receive more respectful attention.

___________________________________

The text of the resolution states:

WHEREAS on April 30, 2019 U.S. Representative Betty McCollum introduced H.R. 2407 Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.

WHEREAS “respecting and defending the rights of children is a fundamental American value that cannot be ignored,” stated McCollum.

WHEREAS According to Jewish Voice for Peace, “Since the year 2000, an estimated 10,000 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 have been detained, prosecuted and incarcerated by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank. Often dragged from their homes in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, they suffer physical and emotional violence and frequently face verbal abuse, humiliation and/or intimidation. These children are interrogated without family or lawyers present, in an effort to generate forced confessions justifying their detention for months on end — often in solitary confinement.”

WHEREAS Defense for Children International – Palestine reports that 75% of Palestine children endured physical violence after arrest.  See their short video, “No Way to Treat a Child,” https://youtu.be/GxIp2eNEy4A

WHEREAS Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Israel’s B’Tselem, and the U.S. State Department have all documented Israel’s military mistreatment of Palestinian children in occupied West Bank.

WHEREAS H.R. 2407 doesn’t decrease funding for Israeli, only how the funds are used.

WHEREAS H.R. 2407 prohibits U.S. taxpayers funding “the military detention, interrogation, abuse or ill treatment of children in violation of international humanitarian law.”

WHEREAS H.R. 2407 has 22 cosponsors including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib.

WHEREAS H.R. 2407 has been endorsed by Jewish Voice for Peace, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, the Presbyterian Church, United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America among others.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we, The Colorado State Democratic Party Central Committee, endorse H.R. 2407, Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation

___________________________________

Ignored by Colorado Mainstream Press, Criticized by Colorado mainstream Jewish Press

Virtually ignored in Colorado’s mainstream media, the Democratic Party’s endorsement of H.R. 2407 drew immediate criticism from two Colorado Jewish news sources.

In its July 20 issue, Denver-based Jewish Colorado condemned the resolution describing it as “an anti-Israel resolution.” In what was a bit of a stretch – to put it mildly – Jewish Colorado president and CEO Rabbi Jay Strear claimed that HR 2007 to be “full of falsehoods attributed to groups engaged in round-the-clock demonization of Israel and its supporters in the United States.”

But then a 163 in favor against 26 opposed at the Colorado Democratic Central Committee meeting is hardly “a minority of individuals.” As for wolf cries of “anti-Semitism” raised in the article, frankly, they fall flat.

The long established Intermountain Jewish News – with a history of targeting Rep. Betty McCollum for her support of Palestinian rights – had a much longer article. The arguments were – as they say – “same old, same old” – accusing those behind the resolution as “a minority of individuals who persistently represent a particular point of view and is accepted by what I (Rabbi Stears again) would say is a silent majority.

But then a 163 in favor against 26 opposed at the Colorado Democratic Central Committee meeting is hardly “a minority of individuals.” As for wolf cries of “anti-Semitism” raised in the article, frankly, they fall flat.

_____________________________

  1. Email to author
3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2020 3:38 pm

    I just posted on FB. JOHN

    Get Outlook for Android

    ________________________________

  2. Gene Fitzpatrick permalink
    August 27, 2020 6:44 am

    Several observations come up.

    The plethora of non-Caucasian and dearth of Caucasian co-sponsors of H.R. 2407 in Congress is there to see. The Aipac attempt to continue to possess the chairmanship of the House Foreign Affairs Committee post-Engle is, one can be sure, unremitting and will with Pelosi’s blessing be successful.

    Betty McCollum is a heroine.

    The Coloradan peace and justice groups that worked to effect this State Central Committee vote are owed our unqualified appreciation.

    Israel’s 5th Column in the Colorado Democratic Party and Assembly is still very much alive and dynamic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: