(September 13, 2018 / JNS) The propagation of socialism in the Democratic Party in this upcoming election cycle begs the question of why millennials and generation Z voters are attracted to far-left political ideals and candidates that offer no experience or accomplishments in the real world.
The standard answer is that young people are fed up with the way things have been done. They see a political class that is unjust, and a disconnect between their generation and elected officials. Millennials and Gen Z’ers believe the previous generations have failed them, and it’s time that they take the reins. Since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, young people have bought into the “evils” of capitalism and the utopian society they think socialism will bring them. But besides history discrediting their thinking, they’ve embraced a modern form of social justice that blames the ills of the world on the United States and Israel. The latter has occasionally morphed into blatant anti-Semitism.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and other Socialist and staunch leftist candidates in the November mid-term elections express support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. These individuals subscribe to a false narrative that Israel is this inhumane, oppressive regime. But for them, support for BDS and opposition to Israel are inherently contradictory to the values of “Democratic Socialism” which they espouse.
From universal health care to equality for minorities and the LGBTQ community, Israel should be their model nation. Instead, they vilify the Jewish state and advocate replacing the only democracy in the Middle East with another Islamic theocracy that would imprison and execute gays, and treat women and minorities as second-class citizens.
If the cornerstone of progressive thinking and the Socialist movement is freedom and equality for all, then why condemn a nation that offers much of your utopia and defend those who aspire take away freedom for all? Why is the Jewish state singled out for condemnation while Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea and China are not even part of the injustice conversation? Common sense dictates that a strong anti-Semitic element exists among American Socialists who are now becoming a force within the Democratic Party.
Just in the past few months, we’ve seen the high-profile Socialist Democrat candidate from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, advocate for a unified state of Palestine in place of today’s Israel. We’ve seen Omar and Ocasio-Cortez both refer to Israel as “an apartheid regime,” and countless other instances of Democratic Socialist vitriol directed at Israel.
The narrative is unquestionably false, and it’s elementary for anyone observing the situation impartially to take note of Israel’s daily humanitarian contributions to Gaza and Syria in the face of looming terrorist threats, and other evident examples of Israel’s compassion, even towards those who oppose Israel most.
And yet, the image of a functional Palestinian state conveyed by Socialist and Democratic rhetoric denies realities of Palestinian governance.
Let’s be clear. LGBTQ rights are not protected in either the so-called West Bank or Gaza. Under the thumb of Hamas, a military commander was executed in 2016 for allegations of gay sex. Dozens of LGBTQ Palestinians have fled to Israel to escape the regular harassment and discrimination endured under the Palestinian Authority. The treatment of women is no better: Until March of 2018, the P.A. effectively legalized rape by permitting rapists to evade charges if they married their victims. Women are also unable to request divorce in the absence of special circumstances, where they would forfeit any financial compensation and the dowry.
The rights of women and gays top the agenda of the “Democratic Socialist.” But even more important is vilifying Israel and “Zionists”—the fashionable code word far-leftists use to refer to Jews. Tlaib, Omar and Ocasio-Cortez are all too happy to throw gays and minorities under the bus if an opportunity to attack the Jewish state is at hand. This hypocrisy is rooted in hate.
Despite the hell that would be unleased on gays, women and minorities if Israel were replaced by another Islamic theocracy, Socialists and select prominent Democrats fully embrace the BDS movement’s efforts to cripple and delegitimize Israel.
The movement, without question, has a basis in anti-Semitism and makes regular calls to violent action. So for an egalitarian and social justice-oriented movement like socialism to buy into this hate speech is hypocritical and dangerous. It truly runs counter to the ideology of socialism by allowing for the specific targeting of a global religious minority, the Jews.
Then why do Socialists continuously promote violence by way of the BDS movement and denounce liberal societies like Israel? There is no logical explanation except that many young people who identify as far-leftists truly despise America. They hate everything America stands for and supports. With America and the current administration being unabashedly pro-Israel, that’s all the reason they need to despise Israel and embrace anti-Semitism.
Noah Phillips is a contributor to the news and public-policy group Haym Salomon Center.