Rashida Tlaib’s Anti-Semitic Defense of Boycotts of Israel

The first bill before the newly sworn-in Congress deals with sundry Middle East-related issues, including language to authorize state and local measures against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Taking to Twitter to attack the bill, the freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wrote that its supporters “forgot what country they represent.” The editors of the New York Post comment:

Rashida Tlaib may take great pains to deny she is anti-Semitic, but she’s just launched her congressional career by resorting to one of the oldest and most blatantly anti-Jewish canards. . . .

American Jews have long been slandered with charges of dual loyalty for their support of Israel. Activists such as [the Women’s March leader and Arab-American activist] Linda Sarsour hurl it more and more often these days. It was used against opponents of the Iran nuclear deal and supporters of the war in Iraq. Yet it’s particularly ironic for Tlaib to make the charge, since she has vowed to “be a voice” for her relatives in the West Bank and declared that her “passion for justice is rooted in [her] beautiful Palestine.” . . .

Her latest tirade . . . gives the lie to her claim that she merely opposes Israel. So far, other Democrats have remained silent on Tlaib’s disgraceful canard. The party’s depressing drift of recent years makes that no real surprise. But it still makes them abettors, enablers—and equally guilty.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Congress, Politics & Current Affairs, Rashida Tlaib

By Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan, the U.S. Has Freed Israel from “Land for Peace”

March 25 2019

In the 52 years since Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria, there have been multiple efforts to negotiate their return in exchange for Damascus ending its continuous war against the Jewish state. Shmuel Rosner argues that, with his announcement on Thursday acknowledging the legitimacy of Jerusalem’s claim to the Golan, Donald Trump has finally decoupled territorial concessions from peacemaking:

[With] the takeover of much of Syria by Iran and its proxies, . . . Israel had no choice but to give up on the idea of withdrawing from the Golan Heights. But this reality involves a complete overhaul of the way the international community thinks not just about the Golan Heights but also about all of the lands Israel occupied in 1967. . . .

Withdrawal worked for Israel once, in 1979, when it signed a peace agreement with Egypt and left the Sinai Peninsula, which had also been occupied in 1967. But that also set a problematic precedent. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt insisted that Israel hand back the entire peninsula to the last inch. Israel decided that the reward was worth the price, as a major Arab country agreed to break with other Arab states and accept Israel’s legitimacy.

But there was a hidden, unanticipated cost: Israel’s adversaries, in future negotiations, would demand the same kind of compensation. The 1967 line—what Israel controlled before the war—became the starting point for all Arab countries, including Syria. It became a sacred formula, worshiped by the international community.

What President Trump is doing extends far beyond the ability of Israel to control the Golan Heights, to settle it, and to invest in it. The American president is setting the clock back to before the peace deal with Egypt, to a time when Israel could argue that the reward for peace is peace—not land. Syria, of course, is unlikely to accept this. At least not in the short term. But maybe someday, a Syrian leader will come along who doesn’t entertain the thought that Israel might agree to return to the pre-1967 line and who will accept a different formula for achieving peace.

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More about: Donald Trump, Golan Heights, Israel & Zionis, Peace Process, Sinai Peninsula, Syria