Yesterday, Republican State Representative Ron Weinberg (Loveland, CO) hosted an Israeli Delegation and six Israeli families of Hamas hostages taken Oct 7th, in the State of Colorado Capitol. In a press release Rep. Weinberg stated Sunday night, he would be hosting the delegation and families in both the State House and State Senate to honor these families and provide support after the vicious Hamas attacks and hostage taking and murder in Israel on October 7th.
Suddenly, Monday morning, Colorado State House Speaker McCluskie called Rep. Weinberg and said the Israeli visitors would not be allowed on the State House floor. Further she went on to claim bringing this issue into the (State) House, would bring detrimental effects on the House working together. Weinberg was surprised and asked about human decency.
Both the State Senate and even Colorado Governor Polis hosted and honored these Israeli families. But the State House rejection was complete.
Early Monday morning, the Israel American Council (IAC) came to support the family event. In fact, several house representatives surrounded these Israeli families as they shared their stories at the West Wing of the Capitol. Many tears were shed by these very moving real life stories. Many representatives in the room were Bi-Partisan listening to these heartfelt Israeli family stories including Rep. Amabile (Dem), Rep. Woodrow (Dem), Senator Michaelson-Jenet (Dem), Rep Bird (Dem), Rep Bottoms (Rep), Rep. DeGraaf (Rep), Rep. Bradley (Rep), Rep. Holtorf (Rep), Rep. Weinberg (Rep), Rep. Titone (Dem), President of the Senate Fenberg (Dem) along with Jeremy Jacobs from Stories of Antisemitism.
The Speaker of the Colorado House Israeli family rejection was sternly responded to by the State of Colorado House Republicans in a letter (obtained by Colorado Free Press):
During the 2023 “Special Session” and at the beginning of the 74th GA 2nd Session, McCluskie refused to adhere to the rules for the Speaker and bring decorum while the Pro-Palestinian protestors were screaming and throwing flags over the balcony of the gallery. While McCluskie encouraged other members of the House of Representatives to meet with the Pro-Palestinian protestors and Representative Epps later sat amongst the protestors yelling F…bombs from the gallery, it comes as no surprise McCluskie would refuse to allow the Israeli hostage members to be introduced from the floor. The promoting of Anti-Semitism goes even further, currently, there is also HB24-1169 titled “Repeal Divest from Companies with Israel Prohibitions Law” sponsored by Representative Epps. The purpose of the bill is to repeal the statutory provisions enacted in HB16-1284.
The Colorado House of Representatives passed HB16-1284 in 2016 and it was later signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper. The legislation orders the state Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) to identify all companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and add their names to a list of restricted companies. The bill then requires PERA to send notice to the company alerting them of their status, and if the company does not stop supporting BDS activities within 180 days of notification, the legislation requires PERA to divest from that company. The BDS movement was started by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) claiming Israeli companies are complicit in violations of Palestinian rights while also claiming Israel has a system of occupation and apartheid. Colorado Free Press will address both the history of the occupation and whether Israel is apartheid in an upcoming article.
Help put an end to House Bill #HB24-1169. The bill has not been scheduled on the House calendar; however, it is assigned to the House Finance Committee. Please contact the members of the House Finance Committee and express your concerns. The House Committee member link is https://leg.colorado.gov/committees/finance/2024-regular-session-0