Great visuals for … Republicans.
Bernie Sanders made some waves recently by putting two well-known anti-Israel polemicists on the Democratic Party platform committee, Cornel West and James Zogby.
It looks like a platform fight over Israel is in the offing, A Split Over Israel Threatens the Democrats’ Hopes for Unity:
A bitter divide over the Middle East could threaten Democratic Party unity as representatives of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to upend what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.
Two of the senator’s appointees to the party’s platform drafting committee, Cornel West and James Zogby, on Wednesday denounced Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and said they believed that rank-and-file Democrats no longer hewed to the party’s staunch support of the Israeli government. They said they would try to get their views incorporated into the platform, the party’s statement of core beliefs, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July….
The presence of Dr. Zogby and Dr. West on the 15-member panel, which also has six appointees of Hillary Clinton and four from the party chairwoman, does not guarantee their views will prevail. But it raises the prospect that one of the party’s most sensitive issues will be open to public debate while Mrs. Clinton is in a fight to unify her party and appeal to voters turned off by Donald J. Trump.
Paul Mirengoff at Power Line runs down the anti-Israel histories of West and Zogby.
Chemi Chalev, U.S. Editor for the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, focuses on West in observing that Sanders Chose Wrong People to Change Democratic Platform on Israel:
West is a harsh critic of Israel, even when compared to another Sanders’ appointee, James Zogby, the prominent Arab American academic and activist who has described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a war criminal. When speaking about Israel, West uses the kind of language that appalls most American Jews. West supports BDS, has described Gaza as a “concentration camp” and “the ‘hood on steroids” and has equated the Palestinian struggle with Ferguson and Black Lives Matter. The Harvard and Princeton “public philosopher” wants to shatter pro-Israel narratives prevalent in the U.S. and to counteract supporters he describes as Israel apologists, one of whom, you may be surprised to hear, is President Barack Obama. In 2014, West said that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza and that Obama “had blood on his hands.”
Chalev worries that damage will be done to the Democrats in the process:
The problem with West and Zogby is that they may very well throw out the baby with the bath water and harm the Democrats’ prospects in November in the process…. a fight on the convention floor in which Sanders’ representatives use that kind of language risks convulsing the party and driving away voters, and not only Jews. Even in a year in which Donald Trump is the alternative….
There is a big gap between encompassing sympathy for the Palestinians and even advocating a more evenhanded and active U.S. approach to Middle East peacemaking and the kind of anti-Israeli positions articulated by Zogby and West. Their tone and their content stray significantly from the American mainstream. Their language will ultimately be rejected by Clinton and the Convention, but they will nonetheless provide excellent openings for Republicans to drive a wedge between Democrats and independent moderates in general, and Jewish moderates in particular.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.722555
Indeed, West is a particularly unhinged anti-Israel activist who openly embraces the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Here he is dancing at a 2014 “Gaza Day of Rage” with Adalah-NY, which serves as a primary source of BDS propaganda:
Here he is accusing Israel of war crimes and “annihilation” of Palestinians:
The overwhelming majority of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians. It’s not even close.
Allowing the most radical faction of the Democratic Party to hijack the Israel issue will not change public opinion one bit.
But it will harm Democrats from the top of the ticket on down. And it will force Democrats in risky districts and states to redouble their Israel support.
So I say go for it in Philadephia, Cornel. Light the floor on fire with your anti-Israel rage. Let it all hang out.
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