Joe Biden faces Go to own party During the conflict in Gaza, progressive Democrats put pressure on the president to take a tougher stance on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Democrats in Congress have been criticizing the Biden administration for defending Israel. This reflects the orthodoxy of American foreign policy for decades, but it is increasingly contradictory to the views of the party’s grassroots.
As violence in the area Continue on weekend, Democrats held open debates on how the United States should respond.
Vermont left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders said on Sunday: “When the United States of America invests nearly $4 billion in Israel each year, we have the right to demand that they respect the human rights of all people, including the Palestinians.”
He told the news channel MSNBC: “What we need now is a just policy to protect Israel’s security-they have the right to live in peace and security without terrorist attacks-but the people in the Palestinian territories also live in peace. And right in dignity.”
After several days of fighting, Sanders made the above comments the day after Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The White House said that the US President told Abbas that Hamas needed to stop firing rockets into Israel, and Netanyahu, he “reiterated his firm support for Israel to defend its rights.” The White House statement did not call for a ceasefire.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the death toll in Gaza on Sunday was 192, including 92 women and children. Israel reported that the Hamas attack killed 10 people, including two children.
The president’s tone reflects his long-term support for Israel.But this aroused the outrage of American Muslim groups, several of which Boycott the White House virtual incident The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on Sunday.
This also made him incompatible with the new generation of progressives in the party. Although he was able to find a common cause with younger and more left-wing members on a series of domestic issues such as economy, infrastructure and climate change, he found it difficult to do so on foreign policy issues.
Last Thursday, several members of Congress criticized the government’s position in a passionate debate in the House of Representatives.
New York representative Alexander Ocasio-Cortez said during the debate: “The President and many other figures this week said that Israel has the right to defend itself. This is an sentiment echoed throughout the institution. But the Palestinians have a survival. Right?”
Other Democrats are also more willing to criticize Israel than in the past.Bob Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Party of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a vocal supporter of Israel, said In a statement Last Saturday, he was “deeply troubled” by some Israeli military operations.
Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser of Barack Obama, said: “The United States has seen the deaths of civilians in Gaza (including so many children) and has therefore stopped publicly calling for a ceasefire. Feeling more and more uncomfortable.
On Sunday night, 28 Democratic senators led by Jon Ossoff called for an immediate ceasefire to “prevent more deaths and further escalation of violence.”
However, more permanent members of Congress still maintain their traditional support for Israel. Ted Deutch, a three-term representative from Florida, said in the debate last week: “If I are asked to choose between a terrorist organization and our democratic allies, I will stand with Israel. “
The differences reflect changes in the party’s views on US policy in the region. According to a 2008 report, only 33% of Democrats believed that the United States should put pressure on Israel to make concessions, not the Palestinians. Gallup Poll. Now this number is 53%.
At the same time, many people who fought for greater racial equality after the murder of George Floyd last year have found common ground with the Palestinians.
A statement An article published by the Black Lives Issues Movement on Instagram last week said: “One cannot advocate racial equality, LGBT and women’s rights, condemn corruption and abuse of the regime and other injustices, but choose to ignore Palestinian oppression. It will not add up. “
Over the weekend, two Democratic congressmen, Ritchie Torres and Jamaal Bowman, who represented New York’s neighbors, continued their democratic struggle.
Last week, Torres defended Israel and accused his critics of constituting a “dominant Twitter mob” against him. on Sunday, Bowman tweeted: “My brother Ritchie, this has nothing to do with the Twitter mob. It’s about justice, humanity and equality.”
Torres replied: “As a colleague, I have a deep respect for you. But when the images posted by those on Twitter wiped Israel off the map, it shocked me, just like an elected official did recently. Like that.”
Republicans have always been keen to expand the democratic division in Israel, especially considering that after the Democratic Party came to power, they faced their own differences in the future of the party. Liz Cheney was ousted Lead from its Congress.
Jason Miller, adviser to former President Donald Trump Tweet Describing the Democrats’ differences over Israel in detail, he said: “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has exposed the rift between the Democrats.”