Three pro-Palestinians run for US Congress on Democratic ticket

Three candidates running for US Congress on Democratic tickets have openly espoused anti-Israel views. 

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Three of the 435 House seats up for grabs in this November’s mid-term elections in the United States are seemingly going to Democratic candidates who have openly espoused anti-Israel views.

Rashida Tlaib, a former state representative in Michigan, is apparently going to take the seat left vacant when John Conyers resigned in 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct, as the Republicans aren’t even running an opponent in the 13th District. She would be the first Palestinian-American and the first Muslim woman ever elected to Congress, and she has stated that she is for a one-state solution (a bi-national state of “Palestine” to replace Israel) to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Even J Street, the leftist political organization that has financially supported many candidates critical of Israel’s policies, drew the line there and announced Friday that it was withdrawing its endorsement of Tlaib.

“While we have long championed the value of a wide range of voices in the discussion of the conflict and related issues, we cannot endorse candidates who come to the conclusion that they can no longer publicly express unequivocal support for a two-state solution,” the organization said in a statement.

At 28, New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.  Belonging to the Democratic Socialists of America, the former waitress managed a huge political upset by defeating the fourth-ranked Democrat in the House, Joseph Crowley. She is a follower of Bernie Sanders, having worked for him during the campaign the social-democrat ran when he nearly beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

It is not only his economic views that she espouses, however, but also his less-than-favorable view of the Jewish state. When tens of thousands protested at the Gazan border on May 14th and Palestinians tried overrunning the fence, throwing firebombs and threatening Israeli lives, the IDF’s countermeasures left over 60 Palestinians – a vast majority of whom were Hamas members — dead. Ocasio-Cortez ignored Israel’s security concerns completely and tweeted overwhelming criticism of the army’s actions.

“This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore,” she wrote.

Somali-born Ilhan Omar was elected to the Minnesota’s House of Representatives only last year on a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ticket. In terms of Israel, she tweeted this year that saying that Israel is an “apartheid regime” is not anti-Semitic, while in 2012 she said that Israel had “hypnotized the world” to ignore its “evil doings.”

Both Omar and Ocasio-Cortez have recently walked back some of their earlier statements, saying they believe Israel has a right to exist and that they are for a two-state solution. All in all, however, the candidates are much more focused on the economic and social woes faced by their prospective constituents than the Middle East, and it is still an open question whether their views on Israel will be the deciding factor for voters, rather than local issues, the economy, healthcare or education.

It should be noted that since they are all running in firmly “blue” districts, their particular wins will not help their party gain control of the House of Representatives, as in order to do so, the Democrats would have to ‘flip’ 24 Republican seats, as well as keep the ones they already have.