By Catie Edmondson, NY Times—
One Democratic House candidate has pledged that she will vote against bills that include aid to Israel, denouncing what she saw as the “injustice” of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Another wrote that “Israel has hypnotized the world” with its “evil doings.”
Still another helped write a scathing book on relations between the United States and Israel, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive political star expected to win a House seat in New York, condemned the “occupation of Palestine.”
A cluster of activist Democrats — most of them young, most of them cruising toward House seats this fall — has dared to breach what has been an almost inviolable orthodoxy in both political parties, strong support for Israel, raising the specter of a crack in the Democratic Party that Republicans could use to attract Jewish supporters.
Surging support for the Palestinian cause has already strained relations between liberal parties and Jewish voters in Europe. In Britain, the Labour Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been accused of anti-Semitism for a pro-Palestinian stand that has veered into statements that many see as outright bigotry. Across the United States, movements to force colleges and universities to boycott, divest investments from and place sanctions on Israel have divided some progressive students from their Jewish peers.
Now some Democrats are testing the boundaries of what has been the politically acceptable position on Israel in the mainstream parties. They include Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Muslim running for an open House seat in Minneapolis; Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American Muslim running in Detroit; Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, running in a heavily Democratic district in the Bronx and Queens; and Leslie Cockburn, co-author of “Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship,” who is running in a Republican-leaning district in Virginia. None of them would comment for this article.
They have not made their views on Israel a central issue of their campaigns, but they also have not held back. Ms. Tlaib, in an August interview with the liberal magazine In These Times, endorsed a one-state solution that could jeopardize Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Continue Reading…