Two years ago, our administration withdrew from U.N. Human Rights Council, which means we no longer have a vote. Now the council is turning its attention on the U.S. -- investigating our abuses.

Several significant things have happened here in recent months. Among them, the George Floyd tragedy, which resulted in mass demonstrations and destruction of property. Questions have surfaced regarding our police officers and their training.

Jewish Voice for Peace and If Americans Knew report abuses regarding the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Their recent publications indicate that since 9/11 our country has been sending thousands of police and ICE officers to Israel for training including military-style tactics when apprehending possible offenders.

In addition, Israeli Defense Force officers have been coming here to continue this training in resist and repressive policing tactics -- including in Minneapolis.

This is alarming. These tactics have been familiar with the Palestinians for decades. They are subjected to abuse of human rights, violation of international law, apartheid and ethnic cleansing

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. The U.S. is not only complicit with this abuse to the Palestinians but we also give monetary support to the Israeli government with $3.8 billion annually.

Israel has no Middle East allies. The U.N., International Court of Justice and European Union are all aware of this abuse and oppression and have supported BDS -- boycott, divestment and sanctions -- against Israel for 15 years. Congress has voted to oppose BDS and to give Israel an additional $38 billion in the next 10 years.

Israel must be held accountable.

It must be known that there are Jews and Jewish organizations in Israel and the U.S. defending and advocating for the Palestinians. B'tselem has an excellent reputation for reporting abuses to both Jews and Palestinians.

Another major issue is Israel's intent for annexation of Palestinian land, which is also against international law. Approval is under congressional consideration.

Let's put an end to the military-style tactics that have been shared with our police and cast a negative vote regarding annexation.

The Jewish people and the Palestinians should be able to live with equality, justice and peace for both. A Jewish woman from Jerusalem shared a profound comment, "We must move

beyond the Holocaust. The abuse and oppression of the occupation is stripping the joy out of Judaism."

Lynne Rigg

Red Wing