Watching the Rapid Decline
You don’t have to be a political science expert to know the American political landscape is deeply divided.
It wasn’t that long ago when Democrats and Republicans could rally around an issue that helped show Americans we shared a common value. That value was Israel. Despite disagreements on the subject, both parties still shook hands when it came to Israel’s security, prosperity, and right to exist.
In the mid ’90s, both parties unanimously passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and allocating funds to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Through the years, bipartisan bills supporting Israel were passed under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Even at the end of 2018, five bills cosponsored by both parties were introduced by the House and Senate: (1) The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), (2) The Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act (H.R. 3542), (3) The Palestinian Authority Educational Curriculum Transparency Act (H.R. 6034), (4) The UNRWA Accountability Act (H.R. 5898), and (5) the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act (S. 2497).
These bills support American values and advance the United States-Israel relationship by continuing security funding and exposing the Palestinian leadership’s terrible treatment of their own people in the West Bank and Gaza.
There was never a disagreement over Israel’s right to exist—until now.
The 2018 midterm elections saw the “resist” movement gain traction when voters elected three unorthodox candidates; one even unseated a high-ranking Democrat. The midterms produced freshman politicians Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York’s 14th congressional district, Ilhan Omar from Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, and Rashida Tlaib from Michigan’s 13th district.
This new batch of progressive-socialist Democrats has an agenda to upend the bipartisan support Israel is accustomed to receiving. Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress, wants to change lawmakers’ minds about U.S. aid to Israel and plans to lead a delegation of lawmakers to the “occupied” West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority. She is also a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Ilhan Omar castigated the Jewish state in 2012 when she announced on Twitter, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Earlier this year Omar said she “chuckles” when Israel “is upheld as a democracy in the Middle East” and compared the Jewish state to Iran.
Ocasio-Cortez proudly took to social media to share about her conversation with United Kingdom’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn is known for being both an anti-Zionist and anti-Semite who partners with the terrorist organization Hamas. Around the same time, a video surfaced of a group from Ocasio-Cortez’s activist group singing, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” calling for Israel’s eradication.
The Democratic party has a serious problem on its hands: It is attracting people who have a deep animosity toward the only democracy in the Middle East: Israel.
House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who considers himself the “guardian” of Israel, shouldn’t shrug off these newcomers and their anti-Israel passion. These freshmen represent the ideals of a large contingent that supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) in the 2016 presidential elections. Behind them churns a wave of support with a voice it didn’t have before.
For some reason, the news media is drawn to these progressive socialists like white on rice; and when the media gives them and their anti-Israelism special attention, their views can be mistaken as representative of the entire Democratic Party.
Democratic leaders must build a solid, unified approach to supporting Israel before their position becomes muddled by the media. A simple history lesson from Genesis 12 shows God meant business when He said, “I will bless those who bless you [Israel], and I will curse him who curses you” (v. 3). And those are words that shouldn’t be taken lightly.