The Democratic Congressmen Boycotting Israel and Denouncing It as Racist

Yesterday, the Israeli president Isaac Herzog arrived in Washington for an official visit. Today, he will address a joint session of Congress, at the invitation of the Democratic leadership. At least five hard-left representatives—the so-called “Squad”—have made clear that they will not be attending, due to their hostility toward the Jewish state. Meanwhile, another representative, Pramila Jayapal, announced at a progressive conference last week that she and her colleagues “have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state.” Her statement provoked a forceful response from her fellow Democrats, after which she offered a half-hearted apology from which she then retreated. Noah Rothman comments:

It is no coincidence that Democratic support for Israel fell off a cliff between 2019 and 2020, when a Theory of Everything involving racial disparities became vogue inside the Democratic party. The same hyper-racial narrative that led Democrats to support defunding police forces now colors the way in which the party’s activist class views the Israeli conflict. While criticizing Israel isn’t inherently invalid or politically suicidal, the worldview that inspired Jayapal’s remarks is particularly toxic.

To reach their preferred conclusion, Jayapal and the activists for whom she spoke apply a distorted framework to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, reducing its complexities into digestible narratives around power dynamics and identity. Their reductive view holds Israelis to be powerful, moneyed, Europeanized aggressors, while Palestinians are a subjugated, colonized, brown monolith. It is seductive to those looking for clear good guys and bad guys in the conflict, and it has the added efficiency of allowing its believers to apply the same language they would in describing domestic conflicts to this entirely foreign one. It might insult anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the region and its dynamics, to say nothing of those who believe in Israel’s fundamental legitimacy, but tidy narratives are sometimes shallow.

It would be nice if Jayapal’s ill-considered decision to read the stage directions aloud produced a change of heart among Democratic lawmakers, but that is unlikely. What it has done is exposed Democrats’ worries about the ways in which they have antagonized the majority of Americans who support Israel.

Read more at National Review

More about: Anti-Zionism, Congress, Democrats, U.S.-Israel relationship


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security