Pulling the Democrats in an Anti-Israel Direction

Aug. 15 2016

Last week, while Black Lives Matter (BLM) issued a platform accusing Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinians, the U.S. Green party formally endorsed BDS. These far-left movements, though hardly mainstream, exert substantial influence on the Democratic party, writes Jonathan Tobin:

Democrats can still point to their platform that denounces BDS and backs the Jewish state, and they can note that their congressional caucus embraces the pro-Israel community. But it’s the positions of BLM and the Greens that portend what may lie down the road for the party.

We already know that Democrats are, as polls have told us for a generation, less inclined to support Israel than Republicans. But the generational shift among Democratic voters is particularly worrisome when one considers the way so many young voters got behind Bernie Sanders and are enthusiastic backers of BLM. With each passing year, support for anti-Zionist agitation grows.

Indeed, if Hillary Clinton is elected president she may find herself subjected to great pressure from her party’s base to maintain her predecessor’s hostility to the Israeli government and perhaps exceed it. Looking even farther down the road, it’s likely that the next Democratic nominee will echo Sanders’s and Jill Stein’s positions on Israel and not the nominally mainstream pro-Israel rhetoric of Clinton.

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More about: Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Israel & Zionism, US-Israel relations

The Democrats’ Anti-Semitism Problem Involves More Than Appearances

Jan. 22 2019

Last week, the Democratic National Committee formally broke with the national Women’s March over its organizers’ anti-Semitism and close associations with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Also last week, however, the Democratic leadership gave a coveted seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to the freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar—a supporter of boycotts of Israel who recently defended her 2012 pronouncement that “Israel has hypnotized the world” to ignore its “evil doings.” Abe Greenwald comments:

The House Foreign Affairs Committee oversees House bills and investigations pertaining to U.S. foreign policy, and it has the power to cut American arms and technology shipments to allies. So, while the Democrats are distancing themselves from anti-Semitic activists who organize a march every now and then, they’re raising up anti-Semites to positions of power in the federal government. . . .

There is no cosmetic fix for the anti-Semitism that’s infusing the activist left and creeping into the Democratic party. It runs to the ideological core of intersectionality—the left’s latest religion. By the lights of intersectionality, Jews are too powerful and too white to be the targets of bigotry. So an anti-Semite is perfectly suitable as an ally against some other form of prejudice—against, say, blacks or women. And when anti-Semitism appears on the left, progressives are ready to explain it away with an assortment of convenient nuances and contextual considerations: it’s not anti-Semitism, it’s anti-Zionism; consider the good work the person has done fighting for other groups; we don’t have to embrace everything someone says to appreciate the good in him, etc.

These new congressional Democrats [including Omar and her fellow anti-Israel congresswoman Rashida Tlaib] were celebrated far and wide when they were elected. They’re young, outspoken, and many are female. But that just makes them extraordinarily effective ambassadors for a poisonous ideology.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Congress, Democrats, Nation of Islam, Politics & Current Affairs