Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq., ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak and ZOA Director of Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
The ZOA strongly condemns the frightening selection of notorious Israel-hater Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) to be the Chair for of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Defense. This appointment places a rabid Jew-hating Israel-basher in a position to severely damage vital U.S. and Israeli security.
Throughout her entire congressional career, McCollum has been one of the most vicious opponents and haters of Israel imaginable; a prime sponsor of anti-Israel legislation; and a basher and boycotter of pro-Israel American organizations. For instance:
- McCollum was one of only 2 Congresspersons in the International Relations Committee (out of 38) and among only 8% in the full House to vote against the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 – a bill to curb and defund Hamas.
- McCollum repeatedly sponsored the diabolical, Orwellian-named “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act,” in multiple years. Fortunately, McCollum’s bill has never even come close to being passed. McCollum’s bill libels and seeks to financially penalize Israel for arresting brutal Arab teenagers who are terrorist-murderers of innocent Jews – such as the 17-year-old Arab terrorist who broke into the home of an American-Israeli Jewish family and deliberately, brutally stabbed to death a sweet young innocent 13-year-old Jewish-American-Israeli girl who was sleeping in her bed, Hallel Yaffa Ariel.
Every civilized country in the world arrests and incarcerates such violent offenders. Israel moreover has special rules in place to protect children in its legal system. (See “ZOA: J St Funded Cong. McCollum Should Withdraw Bill Penalizing Israel for Questioning/Arresting Young Palestinian Terrorists,” Nov. 28, 2017.)
Moreover, when Hamas and Fatah give young children (such as 8-year-olds) knives and tell the children to go stab Israelis, Israeli soldiers simply takes the knives away, give the children water, and return the children to their parents (at significant risk to the Israeli soldiers). (See “WATCH: Israeli Soldiers Safely Return 8-YEAR-OLD Palestinian Boys Sent Across Border With Knives,” CUFI,Apr 5, 2019.)
- In a display of extraordinary insensitivity and hatred to Jews, McCollum introduced her 2019-2020 version of the foregoing defamatory bill, on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The “Squad” of antisemites Ilhan Omar (D-MN), AOC (D-NY), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) signed on as co-sponsors to McCollum’s bill.
- McCollum also repeats her false defamation about Israel’s arrests of terrorists at Amnesty International events, the House floor, and at other events.
- McCollum is a major promoter of the antisemitic anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) – and has been nicknamed “BDS Betty.” In October 2018, McCollum received a “leadership award” from the main BDS group in the United States – the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), at their annual conference. During her acceptance speech, McCollum falsely accused Israel of “apartheid.” (“U.S. Representative Accuses Israel of ‘Apartheid’,” Jerusalem Post, Oct. 15, 2018.)
The USCPR oversees and coordinates hundreds of BDS organizations and reportedly fiscally sponsors and funnels tax-exempt donations to the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), which is tied to terror organizations Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). (“American BDS Umbrella Organization has Financial Ties to Terror Groups — Report,” Times of Israel, June 2, 2018.)
- In a formal press release, McCollum demonized AIPAC as a “hate group” that is guilty of “incitement,” “weaponizing antisemitism,” and “mocking our core values.” (“McCollum Statement: Hate Speech Makes AIPAC a Hate Group,” McCollum Press Release, Feb. 12, 2020.) Similarly, in March 2020, McCollum tweeted that AIPAC’s agenda was: “Occupy & annex Palestinian land; Dehumanize Palestinians; Imprison Palestinian children; and Promote Islamophobia” and added the hashtag: #StopAIPACsHate.” (See “Rep. Betty McCollum’s Tweet and Comments “Flatly Anti-Semitic,” Rabbis Say,” CJV, Mar. 5, 2020.)
- McCollum also boycotts AIPAC, and demonized an AIPAC member in her community (who politely objected to one of McCollum’s anti-Israel legislative actions as “vile” and “hateful”). (See “Minnesota Legislator Boycotts AIPAC,” Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2006.)
- The anti-Israel extremist group J Street PAC funds Betty McCollum’s campaigns for Congress. (See JStreetPAC’s Federal Election Commission reports here.)
- McCollum’s anti-Jewish record is so hateful that the “Stop Antisemitism” organization named Cong. McCollum “Antisemite of the Week.” (“Antisemite of the Week: Betty McCollum AKA BDS Betty,” Feb. 22, 2020.)
Rep. McCollum’s appointment as Chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee places her in a position to do enormous damage to Israel, U.S. foreign policy, and vital Israeli-U.S. cooperation on developing defense systems that benefit both countries. Every military spending measure must be approved by her committee before being passed by the House. McCollum will no doubt block and/or insert onerous requirements for Israel to ‘prove’ herself to be innocent of spurious charges, in order to thwart aid to, and military cooperation, with Israel. McCollum’s new position is thus a major threat to U.S. and Israeli security. Congress needs to remove McCollum from this position.
The selection of McCollum to chair the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee is the second shocking example this month of the House Democratic Caucus elevating radical anti-Israel lawmakers to key positions. Earlier this month, antisemite and BDS-promoter Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was promoted to be Vice Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. (See “ZOA Opposes and Urges Retraction of Appt. of Israel-Hater, Antisemite Ilhan Omar to “Human Rights” Leadership Post,” Feb. 12, 2021.)
Radical left wing and Islamist Jew-hatred is being rewarded and enabled in Congress, instead of censured. (See “ZOA & Rabbis: Ilhan Omar’s Promotion Shows ‘Antisemitism Now Accepted in Congress’,” Breitbart, Feb. 22, 2021.)
McCollum’s (and Omar’s) irrational bigoted hatred of and actions against America’s greatest and most reliable ally must have consequences. ZOA urges every Democratic politician, and others as well, to condemn Rep. McCollum and her appointment. ZOA urges all organizations of good will who care about the common defense of the U.S. and Israel to join with ZOA in speaking out about this frightening and dangerous appointment.