Democrats in California have censored a historic resolution that would have highlighted and condemned the links between the state of Israel and its U.S. backers to the international far-right movement. The resolution would have also condemned Benjamin Netanyahu as an obstacle to peace and called for a resumption of aid to Palestine.
Taking place in San Francisco, the California Democratic Party convention was asked to consider a resolution that placed the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in October of 2018 into the larger context of international far-right and extremist movements, stating that the actions of Israel and its Zionist backers are responsible for an increase in Islamophobic, white supremacist and antisemitic violence.
The motion stated that the atrocity was “the culmination of an alarming re-emergence of virulent antisemitism that is a core element of historical and currently resurgent white supremacism in the United States and around the world.”
Entitled “Commending the House for resolving to fight all racism and bigotry and for resisting the false conflation of support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism”, the motion would have been a historic landmark for Palestinian rights activists and critics of the actions of the state of Israel.
“[The] Israeli government, along with some of its U.S. backers, welcomed support from Christian fundamentalist and ultra-right groups in the United States and abroad, dangerously ignoring their deeply rooted antisemitism while aligning with their virulent Islamophobia”Proposed resolution
The passages that linked the Israeli government to the international far-right movement were removed in their entirety.
The resolution originally also called for the United States to restore its funding for aid in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, alongside restoring funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The new version presented by Democrats disgustingly states “we should restore aid to the Palestinians when UNRWA stops teaching anti-Semitism in the schools and we have more oversight to ensure that Hamas doesn’t steal the aid.”
Passages that highlighted Benjamin Netanyahu as an obstacle to peace now give the stock “both sides must do more” weasel words and a statement that Israel should withdraw from the Golan Heights was also removed.
“Working with other organizations, our board, and individuals, we made clear to California Democratic Party leaders and delegates that these resolutions were oversimplified and inaccurate,” the group’s president, Mark Mellman, said. “And we are very pleased that, after careful deliberation, the party accepted our view. Sadly though, this is not the last time we’ll see efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel.”Democratic Majority for Israel
The resolution is authored by state Assembly delegate and Jewish Voice for Peace activist David Mandel, a lawyer who holds dual U.S.-Israel citizenship. He condemned the changes as a “procedural trick” and stated that he and his co-authors had not been consulted on the majority of the changes.
“I think they’re afraid the resolutions… would have overwhelming support of the California Democratic Party delegates… [The committee’s actions] may or may not be kosher according to the bylaws… [it was] very upsetting for a lot of people.”David Mandel
Four of the heavily rewritten resolutions were passed by the committee and two were withdrawn, however, they had become so watered down to be effectively meaningless. The entire affair shows once again that mainstream neoliberal Democrats are no more the friends of the Palestinians, anti-fascists or human rights activists than the Republicans are.