by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Many Americans now know that Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar—two members of “the squad” of far-left congresswomen so much in the news—were recently barred from traveling to Israel to agitate for the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. Fewer know all four members of “the squad,” including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, have co-sponsored a bill that accuses the Jewish state of torturing children. Fewer still know the claims made in the bill originate mostly from a group that could be described as the propaganda arm of a terrorist organization.
The so-called “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act“ was re-introduced in the House by Rep. Betty McCollum, whose congressional district neighbors Omar’s in Minnesota. Until recently, McCollum was considered a supporter of Israel, but a critic of its government.
In February, however, she condemned “[t]he right-wing, extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu and its apartheid-like policies,” adding “there are now members of Congress who are not willing to ignore the Israeli government’s destructive actions because they are afraid of losing an election.”
McCollum’s invective prompted Mark Mellman of the Democratic Majority for Israel to respond that Netanyahu “came to office in a fair and democratic election in which every Arab citizen of Israel had the same right to vote as any Jewish citizen.” Mellman added that “by suggesting that Jews have disproportionate influence on U.S. elections, the Congresswoman exploits an anti-Semitic trope widely used by far right forces from Czarism to fascism.”