CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS are frequent victims of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. They face physical abuse by Israeli military forces and are shuffled through an unfair court system without access to legal counsel or even their parents.The United States has long subsidized these abuses, giving billions of dollars in military aid to Israel every year. Now, a group of Democratic members of Congress is saying enough is enough.Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and nine co-sponsors on Tuesday introduced legislation that would require the U.S. State Department to certify every year that American military aid is not being used to fund the systematic abuse of Palestinian children.If passed, the bill — titled the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act — would explicitly prohibit U.S. aid from being used by Israel to support the administrative detention or physical abuse of Palestinian children. The bill says that detention of Palestinian children is “inconsistent with the values of the United States.”
THE CRIMINALIZATION OF political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West. In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal. On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as “the Palestine Exception” to free speech.But now, a group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine.
On Sunday, the families of several terrorist victims sued Facebook under an American anti-terrorism law. The victims died in multiple terrorist attacks in Israel in 2015 and 2016, and the families are seeking at least $1 billion in damages.
The plaintiffs allege that the social networking giant is liable as it provides “material support” to Hamas—which the United States government considers a terrorist group—by allowing its leaders and followers to openly use the service.