Where Have All The Pro-Israel Democrats Gone?

Originally published July 1, 2020


This week, New York State held its Primary elections for the 2020 cycle. The big news coming out of that election is the defeat of Eliot Engel, the 30-year veteran Democrat, to the radically left-wing Jamaal Bowman, who was a Justice Democrats pick in the mold of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib.

Engel is no moderate Democrat, and never has been. He’s for single-payer healthcare. He’s advocated for abortion on demand since the 1990s. He’s a gun-grabber with an “F” rating from the NRA. These stances used to be the left-wing of the Democratic Party, but now they are the bare minimum to be considered a “progressive.” One area of policy that Engel doesn’t conform with the modern Socialist left is Israel.

Engel has been incredibly supportive of Israel throughout his tenure in the House of Representatives. When he was a freshman Congressman, back in 1990, he sponsored a Concurrent Resolution recognizing a unified Jerusalem, and that Jerusalem was the stated capital of Israel. This was five years before the Jerusalem Embassy Act and 28 years before the United States moved the embassy, which proclaims that in action, as well as verbiage. He sponsored resolutions condemning the United Nations anti-Israel stances. He has sponsored or co-sponsored pro-Israel legislation for decades.

This did not sit well with the Justice Democrats. Their strategy, perfected in 2018, is to find deep blue districts and primary long-time members of Congress. This is how “The Squad” was unleashed upon the United States. So they found Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal who will toe the left-wing line on all issues, and especially Israel.

In an open letter response from a rabbi in his district, who questioned Bowman’s stance on Israel, Bowman admitted that he had “not yet visited Israel or the Palestinian territories,” but he “learned a great deal by reading and speaking with experts.” He goes on to say that he can “empathize with the everyday experience and fear that comes with living under occupation” because that is what the police force in America does to black communities. He said he will fight for Palestinian “liberation,” but he fails to mention that those Palestinians need to be liberated from Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Authority. He even blames violent attacks on Jews by black people as “fringe right-wing extremists” embedded in the black community and that the “rising tide of anti-Semitism…is part of a rise in ethno-nationalist authoritarianism around the world.” This is what he gleaned from his reading and discussion with experts.

Apparently, these experts didn’t include actual Palestinians. Both in the letter and on his website, Bowman writes that he opposes the move by the Israeli government to annex certain parts of Judea and Samaria. These parts include settlements (which are really cities with tens of thousands of residents) and the Jordan Valley, which is a vital agricultural resource for the State.

Zvi Yechezkeli, an Israeli journalist and documentarian, went undercover into the Palestinian territories to find out how Palestinians really felt about the annexation plan. Using a hidden camera in a pair of glasses, he spoke to many Palestinians who claim that they would rather live under Israeli rule than the continued oppression of the Palestinian Authority. “The Israelis are a million times more compassionate than the PA,” says one Palestinian. “The Israelis treat us like friends, and the soldiers are up front… We prefer to be under the boots of the Israeli army than under [PA President Mahmoud Abbas’] head.” A Palestinian businessman said, “The PA has plundered and destroyed us.” He says that the Palestinians don’t even want a State at this point, they just want money and to live, which the PA doesn’t allow. He told a story of his brother-in-law who needed surgery, which he received in Israel and was paid for by the Peres Institute for Peace, an Israeli nonprofit. A Palestinian policeman, who is paid by the Palestinian Authority, admitted that there is “no law and order” and that the aid money provided by Israel and Europe is stolen by Abbas.

These are the people that the Democrats should engage with, not the university leftists who got an Israel supporter like Eliot Engel ousted from office. Bowman, as well as AOC, Tlaib, Omar, Pressley, and a growing number of Democrats, are not interested in what’s best for the Palestinian people, only what sounds best to the fringe radicals to which they are beholden. With the Eliot Engels of the Party gone, who on the left can be trusted to support Israel? Until the Democrats themselves remove this growing and festering cancer within their own ranks, they will continually side against America’s greatest ally in the region, which is exactly what the Justice Democrats wanted in the first place.

Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for The Daily Wire, the Queens Jewish Link, The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org. He is regularly featured on ‘The Josh M Show’ podcast. Subscribe to www.aHillwithaview.com  for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow him on Twitter @TheMoHill.

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