The Democratic Party successfully sent the message in its convention that Biden won’t be a troublemaker like Obama on Palestinian human rights, thereby pleasing big donors. But the news from congressional races is that the Democratic base cares deeply about the issue.
Kamala Harris is so pro-Israel she helps Biden remove the issue from his race with Trump. But progressives who want it to be an issue are winning House races. The Democratic street wants boycott and sanctions.
Pro-Israel forces are seeking to smear Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar as antisemitic because she made an issue of the fact that her opponent in Aug. 11 primary has raised millions from out-of-state donors.
Eric Alterman shows real courage in saying that the Bowman-Engel race in NY was liberalism versus Zionism and liberalism won. And that’s a wakeup call to Jews who thought the two belief systems are compatible.
Because Jamaal Bowman had taken positions calling for justice for Palestinians, “dark money” pro-Israel super-PAC’s spent an additional $2,000,000 in independent expenditures in an effort to tear down his character and reelect Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of House Foreign Affairs. They lost.
Jamaal Bowman’s apparent victory over Eliot Engel is not a setback for the Israel lobby–it is a monumental collapse. Not only does it present an opportunity to better align Democratic policy-making toward Israel and the Palestinian people with the growing pro-Palestinian sentiments of the party’s base, but it also punctures the Israel lobby’s carefully cultivated mythology of invincibility.
Jamaal Bowman: “The uprising we’re witnessing across the country against police violence also makes me empathize with the everyday experience and fear that comes with living under occupation.”
Embattled congressman Eliot Engel personifies a tradition in the Democratic Party of being “PEP” — progressive except Palestine. Engel has repeatedly hailed Black Lives Matter and endorsed the Green New Deal. But when it comes to Israel, he castigates Palestinians and says since 1947 Arabs have only wanted “to push Jews into the sea.”