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Tensions Among Democrats Grow Over Israel as the Left Defends Palestinians

Added 05-15-21 05:40:03am EST - “Divisions within the party have burst into public view, with the party's ascendant left viewing the Mideast conflict as a searing racial justice issue that carries echoes of U.S. politics.” - Nytimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nytimes.com: “Tensions Among Democrats Grow Over Israel as the Left Defends Palestinians”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Divisions within the party have burst into public view, with the party’s ascendant left viewing the Mideast conflict as a searing racial justice issue that carries echoes of U.S. politics.

In 1988, when James Zogby, the founder of the Arab American Institute, pushed Democrats to include a mention of Palestinian sovereignty in their platform, party leaders responded with a clear warning, he recalled: “If the P-word is even in the platform, all hell will break loose.” Eager to stave off an angry confrontation at the convention, the issue was shelved without a vote.

Now, with violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories forcing the issue back to the forefront of American politics, divisions between the leadership of the Democratic Party and the activist wing have burst into public view. While the Biden administration is handling the growing conflict as a highly sensitive diplomatic challenge involving a longstanding ally, the ascendant left views it as a searing racial justice issue that is deeply intertwined with the politics of the United States.

For those activists, Palestinian rights and the decades-long conflict over land in the Middle East are linked to causes like police brutality and conditions for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Party activists who fight for racial justice now post messages against the “colonization of Palestine” with the hashtag #PalestinianLivesMatter.

With President Biden in the White House, traditional U.S. support for Israel is hardly in question from a policy perspective; he has made his support for the country clear throughout his nearly 50 years in public life. Still, the terms of the debate are shifting in Democratic circles.

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