Democratic Divide Over Israel on Full Display in Social Media

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW 2019 (CC BY-SA 2.0) by nrkbeta

The Democratic divide over the Jewish state was highlighted on social media and triggered by the escalating violence between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas.

The divide that has been going on in the Democratic party was put under the spotlight after Hamas launched random rocket attacks at Israel, which was responded with airstrikes on Hamas targets in Gaza, reportedly killing some civilians. On top of this, Israel is also dealing with domestic unrest from Arab rioters. 

Observers from different parts of the world are concerned about the possibility of “full-scale war.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party which controls both congressional chambers is divided in its support for a key American ally. 

The Democratic old guard and President Biden voiced their support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas’ rocket attacks. 

“Secretary Blinken Delivers a Speech on U.S. Foreign Policy” (United States government work) by U.S. Department of State

On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a remark saying that there are “fundamental differences between a terrorist organization, Hamas, that is indiscriminately raining down rockets — in fact, targeting civilians — and Israel’s response defending itself, that is targeting the terrorists.” In a similar note, Biden said that Israel “has a right to defend itself.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, echoed the same message. In a statement on Tuesday Pelosi said that Israel has the right to defend herself against this assault, which is designed to sow terror and undermine prospects for peace. 

However, the party’s ascendant left-wing rejected this approach. 

For instance, Senator Bernie Sanders blamed the “right-wing extremists in Jerusalem” for the violence. 

Sanders wrote on Twitter last Monday, “I am extremely concerned by the growing conflict in Israel and Palestine. Once again we are seeing how the irresponsible actions of government-allied right-wing extremists in Jerusalem can escalate quickly into a devastating war.”

He continued, “Israeli children should not have to spend the night scared in bomb shelters, as many are doing tonight. Palestinian children should not have to grow up under the constant violence and oppression of occupation, as so many do, and have done.”

Other left wing lawmakers went further than what Sanders said. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasted Biden on Twitter as she wrote, “Blanket statements like these [with] little context or acknowledgement of what precipitated this cycle of violence – namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al Aqsa – dehumanize Palestinians [and] imply the US will look the other way at human rights violations. It’s wrong.” 

She added, “By only stepping in to name Hamas’ actions – which are condemnable – [and] refusing to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians, Biden reinforces the false idea that Palestinians instigated this cycle of violence.” Ocasio-Cortez continued, “This is not neutral language. It takes a side – the side of occupation.” 

Another member of Ocasio-Cortez’s “Squad” Rep. Ilhan Omar accused Israel of “terrorism.”

On Monday Omar wrote on Twitter, “Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”