Will Bernie Sanders Drive a Wedge between American Jews and Israel?

March 2 2020

While Bernie Sanders is not the only Democratic presidential candidate who declined to attend the annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he is the only one who explained that he would not do so because the organization serves as a platform “for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.” (Elizabeth Warren tacitly endorsed a similar statement.) Alex Joffe examines the implications these statements may have if Sanders wins the nomination:

[First of all], candidates for House and Senate races . . . will be pressured to fall in line with the presidential frontrunner. . . . and to vilify Israel. . . . Moreover, this litmus test will be applied to American Jews, long [among] the most dependable supporters of the Democratic party. The choice between party loyalty—a key element of American Jewish identity—or support for a country that has been labeled “right-wing” and “racist” by Sanders will be difficult. . . . Whether the majority of American Jews will risk being labeled “right wing” and “racist” is unclear.

And should Sanders fail either to become the nominee or to be elected president in November, it is a virtual certainty that, in precisely the same manner of Jeremy Corbyn and the British Labor party, Israel and Jews will be blamed for his failure. The belief in Zionist conspiracies are a key element of progressive politics and will only expand as disloyalty to the party ideology and to its leader is rooted out.

[T]he equation of Zionism and Israel with “right-wing” politics, “racism,” and its American variant “white supremacy,” has taken a huge leap forward with Sanders. Unless he can be stopped by his own party or by the reelection of Donald Trump, these concepts will become absolute fixtures on the American left. Combating these conceptions within American society as a whole, however, is a bipartisan task.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: AIPAC, American Jewry, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror