Mainstream Democrats must confront anti-Zionism & anti-Semitism

Michael L. Wise, PhD

Who Hijacked the
Democratic Party? More than 120 Democratic Congress members, headlined by Rep. Ilhan Omar and Senators Warren and Klobuchar, sent letters wel-coming the Islamist Hamas supporting anti-Israel Coun-cil on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) gala to Washington. Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren support Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel (BDS) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg called Netan-yahu a provocateur. Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib tweeted a vicious, anti-Semitic blood libel falsely accusing Israel of kidnapping and executing an Arab boy and throwing him into a well. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) characterized the Jewish people as “white supremacist Jews” and falsely claimed that Israel denies Palestinians access to clean water... Rep. Hank Johnson called Jews living in Israel “termites.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has praised Israel-bashing Jew-haters Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez, all of whom admire the racist anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

     Virtually every 2020 Democrat candidate appeared at the Al Sharpton’s National Action Network despite his history of anti-Semitic activities.

Where was the Democratic congressional outrage? Joe Biden called Trump’s peace and prosperity vision “a political stunt that could spark unilateral moves to annex territory and set back peace even more.” Democratic politicians know that speaking in support of Israel or against the anti-Semitism of the far left threatens their candidacy. In January 2019, the anti-BDS Act had 59 co-sponsors, 58 of them Republicans and only one Democrat. Every Democratic presidential candidate has vowed to rejoin the JCPOA Iran deal that poses threats to the US and Israel.

     Not surprising that the elimination of the terrorist Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, sworn enemy of the USA and Israel, was roundly criticized by the Democratic leadership. Democrats condemned the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, Secretary Pompeo’s declaration that communities in Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem are not illegal, and the withdrawal of the US from the Israel biased UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO. J Street, the Jewish Voice for Peace and others allege Israel apartheid and “occupation” to influence Democratic politicians to support anti-Israel positions. and others convinced Democratic presidential candidates to skip the AIPAC conference. Ilhan Omar portrayed the U.S.-Israel relationship as being “all about the Benjamins.” Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour, a longtime anti-Semite, tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

The 2020 Dems are fearful of standing up and condemning “anti-Is-rael” and “anti-Jewish” rhe-toric. How did support for Israel and Zionism become a partisan issue in the USA?

Historically, Congressional support for Israel was overwhelmingly bi-partisan. In 1922, both Houses of Congress unanimously approved the “Mandate for Palestine,” endorsing a Jewish National Home in Palestine (H.J. Res. 322). In 1995, the Jeru-salem Embassy Act was adopted in an overwhelming bipartisan vote by the Senate (93–5) and the House (374–37). It authorized the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s undivided capital. Remarkably, many Democrats are now turning against Israel and do not condemn anti-Semitism, and they accuse Israeli leaders of racism.

     Thirty years ago, Kimberly Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA, coined the term inter-sectionality to address the oppression of women of color. Intersectionality quickly linked victims and identity groups defined by class, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, disability, and gender. Over time other movements were included: #MeToo and in 2013 Black Lives Matter.

     In 2014, enemies of Israel realized that intersectionality could be used as a weapon against Israel and Zionism and encouraged new anti-Semitism. They depicted the Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression, promoted... and equated Palestinian “victim-hood” with the Black Lives Matter movement. Palestinian protesters are labeled “people of color” fighting against white Zionist colonialists... Students are told support for Israel is incompatible with social justice and defending Israel is taboo. Anti-Israel activism has spread beyond the college campus and into elementary and high school classrooms. A Massachusetts high school taught that Israel was murdering and torturing Palestinian women.

     SJP spreads the lie that genocide of black people in America is similar to Palestinian genocide. There is no genocide of Palestinians...    Co-opting and manipulation of legitimate causes to advance a biased and false narrative about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict must be exposed, as it undermines the credibility of everyone involved in social reform. Israel is not a racist, apartheid or oppressive country. Israel exhibits the highest standards with respect to class, creed, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and religion...

     To brand Israel as an apartheid state, is a corruption of the word apartheid, and a distortion of Israeli society and its minority rights. Israel’s Declaration of Independence assures equal civil and religious rights for all minorities...

     To brand Israel as an apartheid state, is a corruption of the word apartheid, and a distortion of Israeli society and its minority rights. Israel’s Declaration of Independence assures equal civil and religious rights for all minorities in stark contrast to the status of Jews, Christians and Hindus in much of the Muslim world. Israel’s Muslims are Members of Parliament, government ministers, judges, professors, physicians, entertainers, and senior business and community leaders. The Arab minority in Israel is educated in Arab-speaking public schools administered by Arabs in their own cultural and religious traditions. Israel measures including checkpoints and barriers to suppress terrorism and violence have nothing to do with apartheid, racial prejudice or oppression. The PLO Charter (1964) and the Hamas Covenant (1988) call for the annihilation of the Jewish state. Pursuant to the Oslo Accords (1993-1995) more than 97% of the west bank Arab population is governed by the Palestinian Authority.

     After Arafat walked away from Camp David peace talks in 2000, Israel implemented security measures to prevent terrorists from exploding buses, cafes, and public gatherings. As a result, suicide bombings and violence were severely curtailed. Arabs in the West Bank are safer and more prosperous than in neighboring Muslim countries. If the intersectionalists want to combat apartheid, they should travel to the Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab countries where they will find outrageous abuse against religion, race, LGBQT, and gender. Legitimate intersectionality has been hijacked and has degenerated into anti-Semitism. When it comes to Arabs in Israel, there is no “apartheid”, no racism and no oppression. Of the 51,000 Arab students enrolled in Israeli Universities (total 313,00 students), 61% are Arab women. Greater than any Arab country. An Arab in the Middle East who is gay, female, Christian, or seeking education & self-improvement can do no better than living in Israel.

     Intersectionality supporters of women’s and gay rights ally with an intolerant Palestinian Arab society in which misogyny and honor killings are commonplace. Hundreds of LGBTQ Palestinian Arabs risk their lives in order to flee to the relative sanctuary of Tel Aviv, where individuals are not abused. Nonetheless, intersectionality demands that every victim in the world must ally with the Palestinians. Democrats must recognize the absurdity of anti-Israel BDS campaigns describing Palestinians as victims of colonialist oppression. Israel is not only a progressive, anti-racist, sophisticated, sustainable, moral society but could become the political catalyst and moral anchor for a strengthened, reinvigorated Middle East capable of affirming the human rights that intersectionalists seek.

     Democratic Party leaders are afraid to confront the mantras of the intersectionality adherents. They fear polling data that suggest that the partisan divides on race and identity as well as anti-Zionism are growing. That trend will continue until the intersectionality movement fights racism and intolerance. Far-left progressives have created the illusion that identity politics are mainstream in the Democratic Party. Rank and file Democrats cannot let intersectionality supporters with incompatible values hijack their party. Democrats must learn to distinguish legitimate intersectionality and reject the imposters.

     Support of Israel must again become bi-partisan. When Democrats understand that Israel is a progressive liberal society that respects universal human rights, they will have the courage to stand up to the anti-Zionists and anti-Semites in the intersectionality movement.