Monday, July 14, 2014

Florida Congressionial Delegation Don't Care For You If You Are Palestinian

Tariq Abu Khdeir is a 15-year-old Tampa resident and Palestinian-American. Khdeir was pinned down and repeatedly kicked in the head by Israeli police in East Jerusalem.

Max Blumenthal reports that Khdeir was jailed in a Russian compound. According to Khdeir's family, he was beaten again while held in the compound.

According to Israeli police, Khdeir was involved in a violent protest. Police allege that Khdeir threw molotov cocktails. Khdeir denied participating in the protests to ABC News. If the allegations by the Israeli police are true then why hasn't Khdeir been charged.

Khdeir's family lives in Rep. Kathy Castor's district. Blumenthal reports that Castor's office has been less than helpful.

While sources close to Abu Khdeir's family say Castor's staff has treated the family with respect even as they rebuffed their demands, a distant relative who visited Castor's field office in Washington D.C. to plead for help said she was "yelled out, intimidated, and insulted" by a staffer.

Despite my repeated requests for an interview, members of Castor's staff have refused to discuss the case with me.

In a private letter to Abu Khdeir's family, Castor pointedly stated that she had not called for the teen's release and return to the US. Instead, she assured them that she "requested for Tariq to be provided with the appropriate and needed medical care and for [her] to be kept apprised of any plans of his return to the United States." In a separate letter to the US consulate in Jerusalem, Castor merely stated that she would "appreciate being kept apprised of any plans for the return of Tariq and his parents to the United States."

Rep. Dennis Ross accused Khdeir of being guilty without complete facts.

Though all of the facts surrounding the incident remain somewhat unclear," Ross wrote, "it is widely reported that Tariq was participating in a protest in Palestine in response to the kidnapping and murder of his cousin, a Palestinian teenager."

Sen. Bill Nelson has not issued a statement on Khdeir.

Khdeir gives a more detailed account to the Washington Post.

Assuming that Khdeir was involved in the protests it still doesn't explained why Israeli police continued to kick him in the head after he was already restrained.

Can Castor, Nelson or any other member of the Florida Congressional delegation look at that video and say the police force used was justified. Members of the Florida delegation rather do nothing for a constituent than risk being attacked for being anti-Israel. Leadership is about doing what is right. Leadership is not living in fear of the next two Fox News cycles.

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