Max Blumenthal criticizes U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) for inaction on Tampa teenager beat up by Israeli police

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The Tampa teenager who was allegedly beat up by Israeli Police could be on his way home as early as this week; Tariq Khdeir was beaten and jailed and remains on house arrest in East Jerusalem.

But a well-known author is questioning how much help the Khdeir family is getting from their federal representatives from Florida. Max Blumenthal’s latest article in AlterNet is called “Florida congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent,” which criticizes Tampa Congress member Kathy Castor.

A spokesperson for Congress member Kathy Castor said she was not available for an interview, but that Blumenthal’s article is inaccurate and misrepresents the contents of her private letter to the Khdeir family. Castor’s office would not provide us a copy of that private letter to her constituents.

Here is the text of the email response from spokesperson in the office of Congress member Castor:

Sean, the Congresswoman is unavailable right now, but wanted to let you know that the article is not accurate. The article also misrepresents the Congresswoman’s private letter to the family. Our office is assisting the Khdeir family. Congresswoman Castor agrees with the U.S. State Department position announced last week expressing dismay at reports that Tariq Khdeir was severely beaten while in police custody, strongly condemning any excessive use of force, and urging a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.

Israel’s Justice Ministry announced that it was conducting such an investigation last week, and subsequently that it is leaning toward indicting the police officer responsible for excessive force. However, the investigation as to the entire series of events revolving around the protest has not concluded.

In this volatile time, Congresswoman Castor urges peace among peoples and accountability for those who target innocent youth for vengeful purposes.

And when WMNF asked for a copy of the letter:

I have to check on the letter. Since it’s part of (private) constituent casework, not sure we can release it [publicly].

Here is an article by Tariq Khdeir’s cousin about how she says she was treated by Rep Castor’s chief of staff in Washington: “I was verbally assaulted and berated.”

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