The Democratic Party is embarrassed after the invitation of Tlaib and Han Omar to boycott Israel

Two Muslim deputies in the US Democratic Party supported a campaign to boycott Israel to embarrass the party's leaders and open a gap in the party's longstanding relationship with Israel.

The two Islamist democrats, Elhan Omar and Rachida Tillib, who belong to the party's leftist wing, have publicly supported the PDS movement (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) calling for an economic, cultural and scientific boycott of Israel to protest their occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian activists had established this movement, inspired by the wide international campaign against South Africa's racist policy and contributed to the overthrow of the racist regime in that country.

Rachida Taleb, 42, of Palestinian origin, says she wants to highlight "issues like racism and Israel's violations of the human rights of Palestinians."

Han Omar, 37, is the daughter of Somali refugees and the only female member of the House of Representatives wearing the headscarf. It says it is working to bring some balance to the US position, which it considers "clearly gives priority" to the State of Israel. Omar also condemned a law issued in 2018 that considers Israel "the nation-state of the Jewish people," considering that the situation of religious minorities in the Jewish state is no better than in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The comments provoked a stir in the House of Representatives. Republican Rep. Zeidlin described Han Omar's statement as "hatred of Israel, hatred of anti-Semitism, and we are beginning to see how it infiltrates the heart of American politics even within the corridors of Congress."

The Republican group in the House of Representatives accused the Democratic Party of promoting a "hate speech and intolerance towards Israel."

The Anti-Defamation League, known for its anti-Semitic activities, has been quick to reject any comparison between "Israel's democratic and oppressive religious systems."

To counter the PDS policy, the Senate this week overwhelmingly approved the "anti-boycott law" that allows public authorities to reject invitations to bid from companies that cross Israel.

Twenty-two out of 47 Democrats opposed the text, arguing that it violates the right to economic boycott, which is part of the freedom of expression protected by the US Constitution.

But his approval in the House of Representatives where the majority of Democrats are not settled.

Although democratic officials have rushed to defend Muslim women who deny any anti-Semitic tendencies, their positions embarrass the party.

"There is, of course, a disagreement within the Democratic Party about how to deal with the PDS campaign and those who support it," said Alvin Rosenfeld, director of the Contemporary Anti-Semitism Watch Foundation. "If the party finances the extreme left and avoids America's traditional ties with one of its closest allies "Of course I will be at the polls."

The growing strength of the Democratic Left during last November's legislative elections could alienate moderate Democratic voters, including liberal Jews, ahead of the presidential elections in 2020.

According to Rosenfeld, the Democrats must "prove that they are already fighting anti-Semitism," knowing that President Donald Trump strengthened ties with Israel when he recognized Jerusalem as its capital in 2017 and moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Elliot, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, promised not to ignore remarks he described as "already offensive" in an interview with The New York Times. Han is a member of this Committee.

The newspaper reported that Engel expressed hope that Han Omar would soon "mature" and entered the US Congress during the November elections.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives held a meeting on Wednesday, and Engel refused to answer questions to AFP on the controversy.

To counter the growing influence of the left-wing Democratic Party, Democratic deputies have established a pro-Israel group within Congress.

But Amy Mann, a political science professor at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, said: "The Democrats should not worry where the accusations of anti-Semitism come from. The important thing is to make sure they are true."


 

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