By Michelle Rosenberg
The Palestinian Chronicle celebrated the growth of anti-Zionism within the United States which has been propagated by House Democratic leaders like Reps. Ted Deutch (D) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D). A recent article published by the Arab periodical titled, Good news from Washington: AIPAC, Israel losing to progressive Democrats, applauds a letter penned by U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Ted Deutch which was addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-ranking Israeli government officials.
The letter calls for the halt of Israeli plans to annex portions of the West Bank and was signed by Florida Congressional Democratic Reps. Kathy Castor (D), Charlie Crist (D), Val Demings (D), Lois Frankel (D), Al Lawson (D), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), Donna Shalala (D), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) and Frederica Wilson (D). This partisan letter of disapproval was joined by nearly 200 members of Congress; and no Republicans.
The Palestinian newspaper further criticized President Donald Trump’s unwavering support of The State of Israel and praises the growing anti-Zionist sentiment within American public and political discourse. It specifically tributes the efforts of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), who – with her “squad” of like-minded BDS colleagues – also penned her own letter to the Israeli Government. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s letter was substantially more aggressive, excoriating the Prime Minister’s plans of annexation, and threatened to cut U.S. Defense funding if Netanyahu follows through.
Annexation of the West Bank is a very controversial issue in Israel and globally. However, those supporters of Israel recognize the Nation’s right to self-determination, self-defense, and protection of its citizens. Israeli citizens live and work in many portions of the West Bank, which is technically a part of the Palestinian territory. Israeli settlements sprung up in the 1960s and have constantly evolved since then.
Annexation would make those portions of settled land officially part of Israel and would offer an exponentially greater level of security to those living in these areas. Critics of the political move cite the fact that annexation could make a two-state solution increasingly more difficult to achieve.
Those who oppose annexation label the move “illegal theft” of Palestinian land. However, this is argument seems to be just another example of the double standard that exists when it comes to the Jewish State. The idea that there is Palestinian private land ownership is questionable. The Jerusalem Post explains the dangers of this concept and describes it as a “weapon used to demonize and delegitimize Israel and the settlement movement. Commonly accepted and taken for granted, these charges are used to justify Arab terrorism (“resistance”) and subvert Israel’s moral right to exist.” The misrepresentation of Israel being an occupied, apartheid state that is “stealing” land from “Palestine” is one of the core motives of the antisemitic, BDS movement.
Deutch, who has been openly supported by both AIPAC (the more right-leaning, pro-Israel lobby) and J-Street (the more left-leaning lobby which tends to be critical of Israeli political decisions), is a self-proclaimed champion supporter of Israel. However, his actions as a legislator seem to prove the opposite. Acts like this add to a growing public detestation of our strongest ally in the Middle East. Deutch represents FL Congressional District 22, which has a strong Jewish population and voter base.