PURPOSE OF H.R. 2590
Introduced by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) an historic legislation bill, the H.R. 2590, aims to protect the rights and security of Palestinian children and families living under Israeli apartheid. It guarantees taxpayer money will not be used to support the Israeli government’s military detention of the Palestinian population. H.R. 2590 recognizes ethnic cleansing and police violence as agents of apartheid and the resulting forced exile of Palestinian persons.
The Palestinian people are governed by a legal system that privileges Israeli settlers. Approximately 45 percent of the Palestinian people in the West Bank are children and under international law children are granted special protections highlighted in article 37 of the Convention on the rights of the Child. Israel has violated such articles by torturing, imprisoning, and disregarding the well-being of Palestinian children. Each year “500 to 700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17” (H.R. 2590, 2020) are detained by the Israeli military. Thus, the ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem by the Israeli government, the creation of a homogenous geopolitical region, is strategically advanced on Palestinian children.
FORCED DEMOLITION AND REMOVAL OF PALESTINIANS
H.R. 2590 highlights the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israeli settlers. Since 1947, following the Palestinian war, the Israel government has used unlawful statues to segregate the Palestinian community to specific regions including the West Bank. These regions have decreased in size as regulations around building permits are manipulated to underserve Palestinians.
As a result, Palestinian families are forced from their homes because of discriminatory practices that denied them permits. According to The United Nations Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, “851 structures across the West Bank […] [and] East Jerusalem, [displaced] 1001 Palestinians, […] including 524 children” (H.R. 2590, 2020). Increased military policing has prevented Palestinians from addressing their evacuation orders in Israeli court.
HOW THE UNITED STATES CONTRIBUTES TO THE OPPRESSION OF PALESTINE
Since World War II, Israel has received $146,000,000,000 in funds from the United States. This partnership was further consolidated in 2016 when the U.S. and Israel signed a 10- year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aide, where MOU is set from fiscal year 2019 to 2028.
Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and the Arms Export Act of 1976, Israel has received monetary assistance for military purposes.
WHAT THE H.R. 2590 ACCOMPLISHES
All of these are reasons why you should support H.R. 2590. Not only does it hold the Israeli government accountable for is oppressive and discriminatory measures, it proposes a solution. H.R. 2590 states any funds provided to Israel cannot be used to support the:
- Abuse of Palestinian children,
- Destruction of Palestinian property,
- Annexation of Palestine.
To ensure all these policies are catered to,
- a certification verifying no funds were provided to the Government of Israel will be issued every year before September 30.
- Under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Secretary of State will be required to provide a description and extent of any detention or interrogation measures, a description and extent of seizure or destruction of Palestinian property, and a description and extent of Israeli settlement activities.
- A report will be sent to Congress outlining (1) specific programs and “items for offshore procurement” (H.R. 2590, 2020) in Israel, (2) the executive branch’s “compliance with legislative requirements” in Israel, (c) identify all monitoring done by Israel with respect to the United States defense, and (d) the impact of “offshore procurements on Israel’s military budget and domestic economy since 1991” (H.R. 2590)
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT PALESTINE
The occupation of Palestine is not a political conflict, it is a humanitarian crisis. Here is what you can do:
- Read and listen about the realities faced by the Palestinian community.
- Donate to organizations that provide direct aid.
- Text “RESIST” to 50499 to let your Congressional Representative know you support H.R. 2590.
- Send a letter to your Congressional representative to bit.ly/RiseUpWithPalestine
Active engagement is required to #freepalestine. Idle Instagram posts are not enough.