If you know Congresswoman Betty McCollum, you know she’s a champion of justice for human rights, including the rights of Palestinians. She is in fact famous in human rights circles for her bill seeking to protect Palestinian children from the abuse of Israeli military detention. It was no surprise that the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights would offer her a leadership award at their annual conference this year, but it was what McCollum said in her acceptance speech that’s really noteworthy. In recent months, Israel passed the Nation-State Bill, which explicitly codified discrimination, declaring that the right to self-determination is “unique to the Jewish people.” McCollum commented on the passage of the bill, saying: “the world has a name for the form of government that is codified in the Nation State Law – it is called ‘apartheid.’ And, in this case, Israel is rejecting core democratic values and replacing them with bigotry, racism, and segregation.” It is hard to think of another occasion where a member of Congress spoke with such honesty and clarity about what is unfolding in Israel/Palestine. And if you haven’t read McCollum’s full remarks, you should. They’re even on video.

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