Bright Stars awards Congresswoman McCollum
This Sunday, October 27, Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum was our guest of honor at a Minneapolis-area Bright Stars fundraiser. We seized the opportunity to celebrate her tireless advocacy for Palestinian children in Israeli detention centers. On behalf of our Minnesota Area Representatives, Rev. Dr. Raheb presented Rep. McCollum with the “Friends of Bright Stars” award, making McCollum the first U.S. political leader to receive the award. Rev. Dr. Raheb remarked during the award presentation, “We wanted to have a strong representative who deserved this award. You are the right choice.”
Receiving the award, Rep. McCollum offered these remarks:
“If we can’t agree on respecting the rights of the child, how [will] the child feel the hope and the opportunity that Bright Stars of Bethlehem gives them? [The hope that says,] “I am a person. I should stand tall. I should shoot for the stars. There is a better world out there. I should prepare myself for that.”What happens in Israeli detention centers is a total beat down. [It says to children], You don’t count. It doesn’t matter who your parents are. You have no hope. You have no future. We don’t respect you, even as a child.”
In her congressional tenure, McCollum has introduced legislation to promote human rights for Palestinian children by ending abusive Israeli military detention practices. Her legislation, the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, H.R. 2407, amends a provision of the Foreign Assistance Act known as the “Leahy Law” to prohibit funding for the military detention of children in any country, including Israel.
View the livestream of the award presentation HERE.