Why a Group of Democratic Senators Sided with Hamas

Last week Senator Bernie Sanders led twelve of his Democratic colleagues—including Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein, and Sheldon Whitehouse—in sending a formal letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling for action to alleviate the “humanitarian crisis” in the Gaza Strip and demanding the restoration of funding to the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which collaborates with terrorists, teaches anti-Semitic propaganda in its schools, and does nothing to resettle Palestinian refugees. Jonathan Tobin comments:

[The letter] described the so-called March of Return as a response to the blockade of the [Gaza] Strip being conducted by Israel and Egypt. It specifically and repeatedly mentioned the actions of “Israeli snipers” and cited inflated casualty figures produced by Hamas. But at no point did it make reference to the terrorist group itself or acknowledge its responsibility for what happens in Gaza, let alone note the ongoing international sanctions on an area that even the Europeans know is a terrorist haven with which normal commerce is impossible. . . .

Why did so many Senate Democrats deliberately ignore Hamas’s role in an effort that, as the name of the march indicated, had as its purpose an attempt to wipe out 70 years of history and destroy the Jewish state? . . . The only possible outcome of their appeal would be an influx of Iranian weapons and material that would allow Hamas to strengthen its fortifications and its ability to carry on its fight against Israel.

The unfortunate answer is that within the Democratic party, there is now a faction that not only fails to think clearly about terrorism and the reality of Hamas-run Gaza. This group also seeks to appeal to the intersectional left leading the “resistance” to U.S. President Donald Trump, and which falsely claims a connection between the Black Lives Matter movement and the Palestinian war on Israel.

Fortunately, not all Democrats agree, and this struggle will play out as America heads toward the 2020 presidential race, in which the party’s left wing will seek to assert its control of the party. If the Democrats are to remain a pro-Israel party, those who care about Israel’s survival must speak out against these senators and others on the left who serve as Hamas’s dupes. . . . Contrary to the assertions of Israel’s left-wing critics, the Sanders letter and the left-wing hypocrites who support it show that the coming battle will be not so much for the soul of the Jewish state as it is for that of the Democratic party.

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More about: Bernie Sanders, Congress, Democrats, Elizabeth Warren, Hamas, UNRWA

 

Israel’s Nation-State Law and the Hysteria of the Western Media

Aug. 17 2018

Nearly a month after it was passed by the Knesset, the new Basic Law defining Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is still causing outrage in the American and European press. The attacks, however, are almost uniformly incommensurate with this largely symbolic law, whose text, in the English translation found on the Knesset website, is barely over 400 words in length. Matthew Continetti comments:

Major journalistic institutions have become so wedded to a pro-Palestinian, anti-Benjamin Netanyahu narrative, in which Israel is part of a global trend toward nationalist authoritarian populism, that they have abdicated any responsibility for presenting the news in a dispassionate and balanced manner. The shameful result of this inflammatory coverage is the normalization of anti-Israel rhetoric and policies and widening divisions between Israel and the diaspora.

For example, a July 18, 2018, article in the Los Angeles Times described the nation-state law as “granting an advantageous status to Jewish-only communities.” But that is false: the bill contained no such language. (An earlier version might have been interpreted in this way, but the provision was removed.) Yet, as I write, the Los Angeles Times has not corrected the piece that contained the error. . . .

Such through-the-looking-glass analysis riddled [the five] news articles and four op-eds the New York Times has published on the matter at the time of this writing. In these pieces, “democracy” is defined as results favored by the New York Times editorial board, and Israel’s national self-understanding as in irrevocable conflict with its democratic form of government. . . .

The truth is that democracy is thriving in Israel. . . .  The New York Times quoted Avi Shilon, a historian at Ben-Gurion University, who said [that] “Mr. Netanyahu and his colleagues are acting like we are still in the battle of 1948, or in a previous era.” Judging by the fallacious, paranoid, fevered, and at times bigoted reaction to the nation-state bill, however, Bibi may have good reason to believe that Israel is still in the battle of 1948, and still defending itself against assaults on the very idea of a Jewish state.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel's Basic Law, Israeli democracy, Media, New York Times