by Jack Rosen · August 12, 2019
After the passage of three pro-Israel bills by the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the course of one week, I am reminded just how strong and deeply rooted American support for the state of Israel really is.
Last month’s votes serve as irrefutable evidence that the attempts by some to paint Israel as a partisan and divisive issue has failed once again. They refute claims that Democrats have abandoned Israel and contradict the notion that American support for Israel should be curtailed.
The sweeping support the state of Israel and the American Jewish community received in Congress this past week seems to have befuddled the far-left, anti-Israel fringe of the Democratic Party. One of its stalwarts, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, resorted to insulting 398 members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — by suggesting that some who voted to condemn the boycott Israel movement did so without knowing what they were voting for. She claimed that they had joined the bill only because so many others did so as well.
One of the setbacks the anti-Israel liberal were dealt this week was the unmistakable decision by one of their own, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley to do the right thing and vote in favor of the anti-BDS resolution. She correctly explained that she had not encountered any constitutional problems with the resolution, wanted to stand by her Jewish constituents, and thus decided to support it.
Another prominent liberal figure, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, also spoke against the anti-Israel boycott movement, saying at a panel at the Muslim Center for Equitable Democracy in Washington, D.C., that he is using his right to free speech to oppose the BDS movement, an organization which undermines the efforts to reach a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
The actions and statements made by both Pressley and de Blasio strengthen my belief that one’s liberal political agenda does not require one to be anti-Israel. This is a message that is heard by many in Congress, yet it still faces opposition from the likes of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Tlaib, who continue fighting against the country’s majority and their own party’s leadership.
Their harsh stances against Israel, rooted in misinformation and personal biases, are not representative of where most Americans stand on Israel. Although they claim their positions are legitimate criticism of the Israeli government, in reality they are against Israel to a degree only seen on the country’s political fringes.
The recent votes to support Israel only further clarify that the attention these three congresswomen are receiving from the media, coupled with the loyal, passionate, and sometimes rabid following they have on social media, is a gross distortion of reality that makes these fringe politicians seem more influential than they really are. This only enables their behavior and their disdain for their party’s values, all while leaving the Jewish community fearful they are without a voice in the party that has stood up for their values for decades.
Jack Rosen is president of the American Jewish Congress.
Washington Examiner · by Jack Rosen · August 12, 2019