One of Israel’s greatest blessings has been the fact that she could always count on the USA to support her, to help her during its most threatening periods and to have her back no matter what. It is what has forged a nearly unbreakable bond over the last 72 years. But that once solid connection is beginning to show the possibility of cracks, easily fracturing the relationship which, although unthinkable, could fast become a reality.
Case in point – New York congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (better known as AOC), the darling of the new Democrat party and member of “the squad,” as dubbed by AOC herself, has withdrawn an invitation to take part in an event sponsored by Americans for Peace Now in honor of former Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. (JPost, 9/27/20). Cited as the reason given for her abrupt withdrawal, was the pressure she received by “a number of pro-Palestinian groups and figures who criticized Ocasio-Cortez for agreeing to attend, describing Rabin as an officer in the 1948 Independence War who was a war criminal for his order to expel Arabs from their hometowns in that war and for calling for brutal measures to repress the First Intifada when he was defense minister from 1987 to 1990.” (Ibid) The article goes on to quote one dissenter as stating, “His legacy is one of violence and dispossession for Palestinians.” (Ibid)
AOC is one of four freshmen congresswomen who are now highly regarded as the face and new expression of the American Democrat Party. Only one problem, two of those women who happen to be Muslim, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib view Israel as an enemy state which has stolen Palestinian lands, and the other two women, Ayanna Pressley and AOC stand right behind them, influenced and willing to accept their mischaracterization of the only Jewish democratic state in the Middle East.
Many believe that these four women represent the new face of a repackaged political social justice makeover for the Democrat party – one which will bring about massive environmental regulation, social reform within the U.S. to include defunding police and, most worrisome for those of us in Israel, an end to the once indestructible and enduring friendship.
For those Americans who are less informed on the subject of the Middle East, the distorted but forceful opinions of these four women could make real inroads into an environment which already has a growing climate of anti-Jewish sentiment on many fronts, often cleverly disguised in the form of “legitimate criticism of the Israeli government.”
Upon pulling out from the event, the congresswoman was congratulated by the Adalah Justice Project, a pro-Palestinian advocacy group who said, “Thank you AOC for listening to the lived experience of the Palestinian people.” (Ibid) Sadly, Ocasio-Cortez will likely not be moved by the words of Amir Peretz, head of Israel’s left-leaning Labor Party who reminded her that “Rabin was murdered for the peace process he was bravely promoting.” (Ibid)
AOC is just following orders from those who comprise her constituency and demand lockstep agreement in the rejection of the enemies of the progressive left – Israel being at the top of the list.
Peretz recognized her decision as one resulting from “pressure from radical factions,” (Ibid) but make no mistake about it, those “radical factions” aspire to fundamentally change the once party of the working people to the party of those who no longer see Israel as a cherished ally. Israel’s worst nightmare is one which features the squad and anti-Israel progressive activists as those whose choices have a direct impact upon the fate of the Jewish state. It starts with the bowing out of a simple invitation to honor a former liberal Israeli prime minister and ends up with withdrawal of all support, financial and otherwise to the land designated by God to be a homeland for the Jewish people.
May we never know such betrayal, and may America and her people stand strong in their commitment to Israel even as others work tirelessly to destroy our ever resolute unity.