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.