The Israel lobby has lost its power to sideline critical Dems

Democratic U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar, right, and Rashida Tlaib enjoy a supportive moment during a news conference at the State Capitol in St. Paul on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (Photo: John Autey / Pioneer Press)
Democratic U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar, right, and Rashida Tlaib enjoy a supportive moment during a news conference at the state capitol in St. Paul on Monday, August 19, 2019.  (photo: John Autey / Pioneer Press)
The momentum continues for young progressive people of color in the Democratic Party who are speaking up for Palestine.

By Philip Weiss | Mondoweiss | Aug 12, 2020

‘2020 was the first election year ever in which the safe side of the issue is the side that recognizes Palestinian rights and that the US can no longer stand in solidarity with apartheid in the occupied territories and Jim Crow in Israel itself.’
— M.J. Rosenberg

It’s a big news day. Senator Kamala Harris became Joe Biden’s running mate choice yesterday afternoon, and Rep. Ilhan Omar handily defeated a challenger funded by pro-Israel groups in Minnesota last night.

Omar’s victory represents an important trend: the Democratic street is progressive on Palestine. The Israel lobby is not ten feet tall. Three times in recent weeks it has tried to defeat the pro-boycott-and-sanctions movement inside the party (BDS), and been crushed. Jamaal Bowman knocked off pro-Israel heavyweight Eliot Engel in the Bronx/Westchester in June. Rep. Rashida Tlaib handily won reelection in Michigan last week. Now Omar wins by 17 points, in a race that was all about Israel.

So the “Squad” of young progressive people of color is just getting stronger and bigger in the Democratic Party.

But then what about the the Biden Harris slate? This is clearly a victory for the Israel lobby group AIPAC in the Democratic Party. Kamala Harris took an aggressively pro-Israel stance in her run for the presidential nomination last year. She went to AIPAC when others refused to meet the group; told the New York Times, absurdly, that Israel meets human rights standards (in the midst of its shooting unarmed Palestinian protesters); and was critical of the Obama administration’s parting shot, allowing that December 2016 UN Security Council resolution to go through that was sharply critical of Israeli settlements. The same UN resolution Trump tried to block for Israel as president-elect.

Read the full article here →