(December 12, 2019 / JNS)
Over the years, the wave of progressive voices has gotten louder and more coordinated, and is now beginning to affect real change in American public policy. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a socialist, gained widespread popularity in 2016 and now is a top 2020 presidential contender. We’ve seen strong liberal firebrands like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) rise to stardom in the Democratic Party, and policy ideas once resigned to the fringes of the party are making their way into the mainstream.
The success of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has not been lost on anti-Israel activists, who have launched a strategy to infiltrate and co-opt the liberal movement. Pro-Palestinian groups are working hard to paint of picture of Israel as an evil, apartheid state that should be part and parcel of the liberal agenda, right alongside climate change and single-payer health care.
A prime example of this conflation of Palestinian and progressive values is a group called the Endowment Justice Collective (EJC) at Rutgers University. The group describes itself as “the Rutgers student faction of the @cjclimate [Central Jersey Climate Coalition] advocating for ethical divestment from fossil fuels, apartheid, war and the prison industrial complex.”
EJC posts content such as this tweet, which asserts “Motorola means death” for providing radios to the Israeli government. The post appears alongside images peddling misinformation.
EJC is a group “demanding action across all levels of power to take us off the path towards climate catastrophe.” So why is a climate change organization is advocating for divestment from the only Jewish state in the world? The answer is simple: They are being misled. Professionals activists have been deployed to infiltrate college campuses and coach students to parrot their message. Groups like Students for Justice in Palestine are not student-driven at all.
The state of New Jersey actually has strong legislation that prohibits the state from dealing with entities that boycott Israel, but that hasn’t deterred pro-Palestinian activists.
The false narrative of an oppressive Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is being billed as a human-rights violation that liberals must stand united against, but what is the truth?
A Palestinian state would likely be antithetical to American progressive values. The law of the land in Palestinian-controlled territories would physical endanger LGBTQ individuals. A Palestinian state would almost certainly opt for authoritarianism over democracy. A draft constitution calls for strict Islamic doctrine to be the official religion of any new Palestinian state.
The progressive movement needs to wake up before it is overtaken by interests that don’t match its values. If policymakers and true student activists take a good hard look at why they champion the Palestinian cause, they will find that this anti-Israel campaign doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.
Ryan Fournier is the founder and co-chair of Students for Trump.
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