Don’t Give Up on the Democrats

By Danny Ayalon

Jerusalem Post

November 8, 2018


Earlier this week, thousands of miles from Israel, millions of Americans went to vote in the midterm elections. The outcome has given the Democratic Party a majority in the United States House of Representatives. These results are not necessarily a referendum on the policies of US President Donald Trump, as he might be reelected in two years, as was the case for many two-term US presidents who witnessed their own party lose the midterm elections. These results are, however, a wake-up call to Israelis like myself.

For the last few years, we have seen a growing trend of Democrats becoming less supportive of Israel and a radical Left that is vehemently anti-Israel. In fact, recent polls and statistics have shown that Democrats are becoming more and more sympathetic to the Palestinians. This is not the case among traditional establishment-based Democrats, who have long been constantly supportive of the strong Israel-US relationship. Rather, this decline of support is found mostly among newcomers and millennials within the Democratic Party who identify with the party’s so-called “progressive” base.

These new Democrats, many of whom were elected this week to Congress, come from the far Left, led by Bernie Sanders, and hold opinions based on concepts of progressive social equality. It is usually these Democrats who are disconnected from Israel, itself a socially progressive democracy. In order to solve this oxymoron, we must first examine the core root of the problem.

The progressive movement within the Democratic Party has been hijacked by the Palestinians and their collaborators, with the false narrative that the Palestinian cause is a progressive one. This intersectionality has turned groups such as Black Lives Matter and Code Pink – which have nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – into anti-Israel organizations.
In reality, the Palestinians are not progressives, whereas Israelis are.

Real progressives support women’s rights. The Palestinian Authority denies women’s rights. Women do not hold any senior positions in the government of the PA or in Gaza. Israel, on the other hand, has several female cabinet ministers and deputy ministers, female chief justices of the Supreme Court, and a parliament where one-third of its members are women.

Real progressives support LGBTQ rights. The Palestinian Authority denies rights to members of the LGBTQ community. Both the PA and Hamas forbid any such activity among their people. Israel, on the other hand, holds Gay Pride parades both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem each year that are attended by hundreds of thousands of participants. Many Israeli government officials, including diplomats and members of Knesset, are members of the LGBTQ community and proudly express their sexual orientation freely here in Israel. Additionally, Israel grants asylum to many LGBTQ Arab Muslims.

Real progressives support religious diversity. The PA forbids religious diversity. Palestinians are prohibited under their own laws to sell land to Jews, Christians, or any non-Muslims. This is a crime punishable by death in both the PA and in Gaza. No synagogues exist in the Palestinian territories and no new churches have been built there since the Oslo Accords. Israel, however, has citizens from multiple faiths, who all live freely and practice their religion openly in Israel, where the Christian and Arab Muslim communities are growing and thriving.