The propagation of socialism in the Democratic party in this upcoming election cycle begs the question of why the millennial generation of voters acquiesces to a leftist political movement, largely comprised of inexperienced and untested candidates for office. The answer regularly doled out is that young people are fed up with the way things have been done, the inhumanity of the political world, and the disconnect between elected officials and constituents, and they demand a change. In 2018, socialists are there for the little guy and for justice—in all regards excepting support for Israel.
Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar, and the plethora of other socialist and staunch leftist candidates in the November elections express support for the BDS movement in order to fight some misconstrued oppressive regime in Israel. But for them, support for BDS and lack of support for Israel is inherently contradictory to the values of socialism which they’ve all been elected upon and supposedly continue to preach.
I am far from a socialist ideologue myself, but nonetheless, these candidates have committed themselves to support its founding principles and have failed miserably to do so.
On a pragmatic note, socialists believe in a universal health care system, which Israel has implemented and the United States has not. On this fact alone, American socialists should be citing Israel as a functional society in which universal health care is implemented and is relatively successful—like they do Switzerland and Norway and other states. Whether or not universal healthcare would be beneficial to America is not the question. Rather, the question is why Israel is the exception to socialist support for universal health care rather than a part of the larger rule?
The cornerstones of the socialist movement are freedom and equality and justice for all without implicit biases by metrics of race or other distinguishing factors. Everyone is considered equal, without preconditions.
Such values are exemplified by Israel, where the Arab MK bloc is one of the largest in the Knesset, an Arab justice presides on Israel’s highest court, and millions of citizens who are part of ethnic and religious minorities are just as Israeli as their Jewish counterparts. Israel is undisputedly a liberal democracy with a track record of support of LGBT rights that is second to none.
A political movement which advocates fervently against discrimination of any kind should surely support Israel’s societal values; however, the false narrative peddled that Israel acts in a racist manner towards Palestinians prohibits this.
Just in the past few months, we’ve seen the high-profile socialist candidate from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, advocate for a unified state of Palestine in place of today’s Israel. We’ve seen Ilhan Omar and Ocasio-Cortez both refer to Israel as “an apartheid regime” and countless other instances of democratic socialist vitriol directed at Israel.
The narrative is without question false, and it’s elementary for anyone observing the situation impartially—unlike the socialist candidates—to take note of Israel’s daily humanitarian contributions to Gaza and Syria in the face of looming terrorist threats, and other evident examples of Israel’s compassion, even towards those who oppose Israel most.
And yet the image of a functional Palestinian state conveyed by socialist and Democratic rhetoric denies realities of Palestinian governance. First and foremost, LGBT rights are not protected in either the West Bank or Gaza. Under the thumb of Hamas, a military commander was executed in 2016 for allegations of gay sex. In the West Bank, dozens of gays have fled to Israel to eschew the regular harassment and discrimination endured under the Palestinian Authority. The treatment of women is no better: until March of 2018, the Palestinian Authority effectively legalized rape by permitting rapists to evade charges should they marry their victims. Women are also unable to request divorce in the absence of special circumstances, where they would forfeit any financial compensation and the dowry.
Realistically, the detestable treatment of the LGBT community and women in the Palestinian territories are extensions of the practices of surrounding Islamic theological states; and should Israel not exist, it’s probable that the already harsh treatment would be further escalated to match that of Iran and Turkey and Jordan and others.
Even still, socialists and select members of prominence in the Democratic party fully embrace the BDS movement to cripple Israel by any means necessary.
“[Palestinians have a right to] resistance by any means, including armed resistance. [Jews] aren’t indigenous just because you say you are….[Jews] are not a people…the UN’s principle of the right to self-determination applies only to colonized people who want to acquire their rights,” said BDS founder Omar Barghouti.
And other notable supporters of BDS have called for far more drastic measures to be taken against the Jews in Israel—namely acts of genocide and cataclysmic warfare in an already unhinged Middle East.
The movement, without question, has a basis in anti-Semitism and makes regular calls to violent action. So for an egalitarian and social-justice-oriented movement like socialism to buy into this hate speech is hypocritical and dangerous. It truly does counteract all of the morals of socialism by allowing for the specific targeting of a global religious minority, the Jews.
All this withstanding, why do socialists continuously promote violence by way of the BDS movement and denounce liberal societies like Israel? And for this question, there is no logical explanation because it is such a fundamentally illogical act. So the real question is, when are socialists going to recognize Israel as a haven of equality and tolerance?