When It Comes to Israel, Moderate Democrats Are Now Under the Sway of Progressives

Oct. 30 2019

Setting aside the question of whether Jerusalem was correct to deny visas to the anti-Semitic congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in August, Yossi Kuperwasser examines the reaction of their fellow Democratic lawmakers, who for the most part rallied around them. He sees the reluctance of Democrats to criticize Tlaib and Omar for their anti-Israel positions as a sign that such views are becoming more acceptable to the party’s mainstream.

Moderate Democrats’ fear of the party’s progressive wing is so great that they don’t dare to criticize it on the Israel issue. . . . The outcome is that the emboldened progressives dare to promote more anti-Israel moves that have anti-Semitic roots, like the legislation regarding the alleged abuse of Palestinian children that was promoted in Congress by Betty McCollum and was based on the work of DCI-P, one of many NGOs that are closely related to the American-designated terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The second lesson to be learned is that the American political feud is affecting the moderate Democrats’ attitude toward Israel more than any other factor. The animosity and hostility toward President Trump are so immense as to overrule the basic support moderate Democrats have toward Israel. This makes it harder than ever for Israel to remain a non-partisan issue. . . . This negative attitude is exacerbated by the harsh criticism and antagonism toward Prime Minister Netanyahu, both because of his close relations with Trump and because for so long he was portrayed as almost solely responsible for the stalemate of the peace process and for the tensions in the relations with the Jewish communities in the U.S., most of whose members support the Democratic party.

The third and most disturbing lesson is that the extreme progressive Democrats and their allies who try to delegitimize and demonize Israel have managed [to make commonplace] a set of mantras . . . about the Israel-Palestinian conflict without questioning their veracity. For instance: “Israel is or is bound to become an apartheid state or lose its Jewish identity”; “Israel is a colonialist and racist state that illegally occupies Palestinian territory and builds illegal settlements”; “Israel occupies Gaza”; [and other] nonsensical claims.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Democrats, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism