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There is One Pro-Israel Party: The GOP

Ron Kampeas of the JTA reports on how the recent Hamas-Israel conflict exposed the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats on supporting Israel:

The Democratic Party is no longer a redoubt of unquestioning support for Israel. Stalwart pro-Israel lawmakers who for decades would blame only the Arab side when conflicts broke out are saying Israel is at fault, too.


The latest war between Israel and Hamas brought this shift to the front and suggested the pro-Israel community needs to reassess its tactics and long-held assumptions about bipartisan support for Israel.


… While Republicans steadfastly supported the Israeli government throughout the recent crisis, greater skepticism of Israel among Democrats was on display throughout the fighting.


…While Democrats have been in turmoil over Israel, Republicans have stood steadfastly by its government. Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, takes to Twitter frequently citing Democratic deviations from pro-Israel orthodoxies and adding, "There is only one pro-Israel party!!"

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

Ilhan Omar Likens US and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban

This week saw the latest example of anti-Israel – and anti-American rhetoric – from a member of the radical “Squad” in the US Congress. On Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participated in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, in which she questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Biden administration policy regarding the International Criminal Court’s illegal investigations into “war crimes” by Israel. Afterward, Omar tweeted

We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. 

It took three days, but a group of Jewish Democrats in the House finally put together a statement on Wednesday to push back on Omar’s comment. The JTA reports

Twelve of the 25 Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representatives said the grouping of the United States and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas in remarks about pursuing war crimes prosecutions gives “cover to terrorist groups” and called on their caucus colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., to clarify her earlier statements.


“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” said the statement released late Wednesday and spearheaded by Rep. Brad Schnieder, D-Ill. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.


“The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups,” the statement continued. “We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”

In addition to Rep. Schnieder, the statement was signed by Reps. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Dean Phillips (D-MN).


Why did only half of the Democratic Jewish caucus in the House sign on? And where is the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which purports to represent the Democratic Jewish community? The JDCA would only say, in a tweet

Jewish Dems will be meeting with Rep. Omar during our Week of Action to discuss her recent comments on Israel, as well as other priorities of Jewish Dems in Minnesota. There is no equivalence between Israel and terrorist organizations such as Hamas.

This afternoon, Omar tried to clarify her comment, saying: “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.” 

Also this afternoon, all six top House Democratic leaders - Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Caucus Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) - issued a joint rebuke of Omar, as Politico reports

The rare unified statement from Pelosi's entire leadership came less than 24 hours after a dozen of Omar's Democratic colleagues issued a late-night statement criticizing her. While Democratic leaders did not follow House GOP counterparts in accusing Omar of antisemitism — and thanked her for issuing a clarification of her comments — the Pelosi-led statement warned that "drawing false equivalencies" such as Omar's "foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all."

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Short Takes


Reopening Palestinian missions would violate law, Senators say

As the Washington Free Beacon reports, the Biden administration's efforts to elevate diplomatic relations with the Palestinians violate the law and will undermine America's historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, according to a group of Republican senators. Sixteen Republican senators, led by Marco Rubio (R-FL), sent a letter to President Joe Biden to warn against reopening both Palestinian missions. Senators commended the Republican Jewish Coalition, which worked actively to build support among Senators for Senator Rubio's letter. Read more here.

EU study finds incitement in Palestinian textbooks, kept from public

Palestinian Authority textbooks encourage violence against Israelis and include antisemitic messages, according to an unpublished report commissioned by the European Union in 2019. The European Commission kept the report under wraps after receiving it from the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research earlier this year. Brussels directly funds the salaries of teachers and the publishers of textbooks, which, the report indicates, encourage and glorify violence against Israelis and Jews.

Palestinian government pays $42,000 to family of terrorist who killed Israelis

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas authorized the payment on Sunday of $42,000 to the family of a terrorist who killed two Israelis through a policy that incentivizes and rewards terrorism against Israel. Laila Ghannam, governor of Ramallah’s Al-Bireh district, personally handed the money to the family of Muhannad Al-Halabi, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on Sunday. Al-Halabi fatally stabbed two Israeli civilians [Aaron Benita and Nehemia Lavie near Lions' Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem] in 2015 before being shot by police... The payment is a direct rebuke to a 2018 bipartisan American law known as the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits the US government from giving the Palestinian government aid money until it ends the practice of paying terrorists, known as "pay to slay."







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