A congresswoman from Minnesota characterized AIPAC’s advocacy for the Jewish state as promoting “hate.”
Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum put out a statement on Wednesday blasting the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a “hate group.” The statement comes days after the nearly 70-year-old organization removed and apologized for Facebook ads referring to “radicals in the Democratic party,” with a collage featuring Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and McCollum.
In her statement, McCollum said she defends “human rights and freedom.” However, the pro-Palestinian politician said that she is “determined to [fight countries that] dehumanize, debase, and demonize individuals or entire populations to maintain dominance and an unjust status quo,” a reference to Israel.
McCollum maintained in her statement, “AIPAC claims to be a bipartisan organization, but its use of hate speech actually makes it a hate group.”
She said that the Facebook ads “incite followers by attacking me, my colleagues, and my work promoting human rights for Palestinian children detained in Israeli military prisons,” referring to the ads as “hate speech.”
According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs terror statistics from 2015-2019, many terror attacks are perpetrated by teenagers and even pre-teens, the youngest being 12-years-old.
AIPAC posted its ads in response to McCollum’s proposed bill H.R. 2407 aimed at limiting US financial support of Israel should it use “detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian” minors suspected of being terrorists or aiding terror. The bill currently has 23 co-sponsors.
One AIPAC ad read, “The radicals in the Democratic Party are pushing their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel policies down the throats of Americans.” Another said, “It’s critical that we protect our Israeli allies especially as they face threats from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah ISIS and — maybe more sinister — right here in the U.S. Congress.”
McCollum’s anti-Israel record includes accusing the Jewish state of “apartheid,” voting against an anti-boycott bill that would thwart the BDS movement, which seeks Israel’s destruction, and promoting legislation that would make it more difficult to confront Palestinian terror.
When McCollum accused Israel of “apartheid” in 2018, Dan Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith International CEO and executive vice president, called the remarks “slander and a grotesque mischaracterization of the State of Israel, which is an exemplary member of the community of democracies,” reported JNS.
Zionist Organization of America President Mort Klein commented at the time, “McCollum’s bigoted and absurdly false propaganda claim only proves her ignorance and her unhinged hatred of the Jewish State of Israel.”
AIPAC is a lobbying group that advocates for pro-Israel policies with Congress. Founded in 1951, representatives from the organization regularly meet with members of Congress and hold events. It does not directly make any campaign donations and is considered bipartisan.
In an apology, AIPAC wrote on Twitter, “We offer our unequivocal apology to the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress who are rightfully offended by the inaccurate assertion that the poorly worded, inflammatory advertisement implied.” However, the ad “alluded to a genuine concern of many pro-Israel Democrats about a small but growing group, in and out of Congress, that is deliberately working to erode the bipartisan consensus.”
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) February 8, 2020