It is one thing when the Muslim world, especially in the Middle East, views the founding of Israel in 1948 as Al-Nakba, the catastrophe. It is another thing when a political leader here in America calls for Congress to give official recognition to “the Nakba.”
This is exactly what happened last month when Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib introduced a resolution calling for the commemoration of the Nakba.
As stated on her website on May 16, “This Sunday was a day of solemn remembrance of all the lives lost, families displaced, and neighborhoods destroyed during the violent [sic] and horror of the Nakba. The scars bourn [sic] by the close to 800,000 Palestinians who were forced from their family homes and their communities, and those killed are burned into the souls of the people who lived through the Nakba.”
Talk about a one-sided narrative. Talk about not recognizing the rest of the story.
But for Tlaib and her like-minded colleagues, there is no “rest of the story.” Instead, the statement claims that “the violence and war crimes are an ongoing and ever-present assault on the existence and humanity of the Palestinian people. The Israeli apartheid government’s ongoing ethnic cleansing seeks to degrade Palestinian humanity and break the will of the people to be free. Fortunately, as Palestinians and their allies prove time and time again, we will persist no matter the circumstances until peace, freedom, equity and respect for all people are secured and protected.”
What a masterful example of putting most of the standard anti-Zionistic (and often antisemitic) tropes into a few short sentences. This is not the place to rebut these charges. But it is the place to look at the growing anti-Israel (and even antisemitic) sentiments found in sectors of the Democratic Party as that party lurches further and further left.
More than 20 years ago, on January 18, 1991, just two days after the Persian Gulf War erupted and only hours after Iraq’s scud missiles had exploded in Tel Aviv, Illinois congressman Gus Savage equated Iraq’s unprovoked bombing of civilians in Israel the previous night with Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear weapon plant in 1981.
While he deplored Iraq’s actions, he wondered where our national outcry had been when Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear capabilities which, if developed, could have brought destruction on the entire Middle East. His sentiments at the time were noted as aberrant. These days, he would find a growing number of supporters.
As noted in a January 16, 2019 article, “Some of the Democratic Party’s brightest new stars believe Israel is a rogue state that should be treated like apartheid South Africa.”
“It’s the latest sign that, after 50 years, support for Israel is no longer a bipartisan cause—a dramatic change that will be felt in the wide-open Democratic presidential primary,” the piece continued. “The young progressives who have ascended to power within the Democratic Party over the last few years want to force what were once fringe views into the mainstream, and significantly change US policy toward Israel.”
The article focused on Tlaib and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, both of whom are Muslims, and have been accused of antisemitism. Recall Omar’s 2012 tweet that stated, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” (Despite her best efforts, it has been difficult for her to explain away that decade-old tweet.) Recall Tlaib’s 2020 retweet of a meme proclaiming, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
If you haven’t done the math, the only way that “Palestine” can be “free” from the Jordan River (to the east) and the Mediterranean Sea (to the west), is for the state of Israel to cease to exist. “Push the Jews into the sea!” Of course, there are Palestinian leaders who use this slogan and do not intend it in this overtly violent and threatening way. But there’s a reason that terrorist groups like Hamas embraced these words in the past. Ethnic cleansing of the Jews in the land – meaning, their land – was certainly their goal.
What is interesting is that Christian denominations that have shifted to the left have consistently changed their positions on at least three key social issues: abortion, homosexuality, and Israel. They moved from pro-life to pro-“reproductive rights,” from affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman to supporting same-sex “marriages” from standing with Israel (without being hostile to the Palestinians) to standing with the Palestinians (to the point of being hostile towards Israel). Is it any surprise that the Democratic Party, as it moves further and further left, is becoming so extreme in these three areas as well?
Back in 2012, “The Jerusalem Post” reported that, “Democrats amend party platform to include language supporting J’lem as capital of Israel in wake of mounting criticism.” Then, in 2015, Fox News reported that, “The floor of the Democratic National Convention erupted Wednesday over a sudden move to restore to the platform a reference to ‘God’ and recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – after heavy criticism from Republicans for initially omitting them.”
Democrats, though, were hardly in agreement over the reversal.
By 2020, despite Democratic boasts that their platform was pro-Israel, it still fell clearly short. And now, in 2022, for the first time, a sitting congressperson introduced legislation calling for Congress to recognize the Nakba, using language normally found in antisemitic polemics.
Could it be that the larger rejection of the God of the Bible, both by apostate Christian denominations and those on the radical left, is the driving force behind these shared sentiments?
Without a doubt, the wellbeing of the Palestinians should be important to every justice-loving person. But that will not come about by demonizing Israel.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries and is the author of 40 books. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.