OpinionBoycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)

Why Chakrabarti’s ousting is good for pro-Israel Dems

While a dedicated activist like Saikat Chakrabarti won’t be away from the seat of power long, even a temporary absence could go a long way.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Credit: Screenshot.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Credit: Screenshot.
Moshe Hill
Moshe Hill
Moshe Hill is a political analyst and activist. His work can be found at www.aHillwithaView.com and on X @HillWithView.

Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) had a shakeup at her D.C. office, with the sudden resignations of her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, and communications director, Corbin Trent.

Chakrabarti has been a source of controversy in the Ocasio-Cortez office, as he has a more leftist vision for the Democratic Party than the party is willing to embrace at this time. His resignation should be considered a victory for all Democrats who want to keep the party firmly in the pro-Israel camp.

An organizer for the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, Chakrabarti founded the Justice Democrats in 2017. The Justice Democrats are a far-left organization that seeks electoral victory by targeting deep blue districts with entrenched incumbent Democrats.

Banking on a low turnout in primary elections in these districts, if a Justice Democrat candidate wins, they will essentially automatically win the general election. Their most famous candidate was Ocasio-Cortez herself, but they are also behind Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), more commonly known as “The Squad.”

The Justice Democrats website includes Israel as a “human rights violator,” on par with Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Venezuela, Turkey, North Korea and others are not mentioned).

One of their main congressional targets in 2020 is Jewish lawmaker and pro-Israel Democrat Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). The Justice Democrats-backed representatives are also behind House Resolution 496, sponsored by Omar and co-sponsored by the rest of “The Squad.” This is a pro-BDS resolution that compares Israel to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa.

Chakrabarti is, himself, one of the most radically leftist staffers in any political office. He was at the center of the latest battle between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and “The Squad,” when he called mainstream Democrats racist. “Instead of ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal,’ Chakrabarti said in a now-deleted Tweet, “let’s call the New Democrats and Blue Dog Caucus the ‘New Southern Democrats.’ They certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the ’40s.”

A nice reminder for all that the Democrats were the party of segregation, Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan.

Chakrabarti also admitted that the Green New Deal, which was written by the Justice Democrats, was not originally about climate change, but rather “a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” Chakrabarti was also seen wearing a T-shirt bearing a picture of former Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose was an Indian nationalist who supported Adolf Hitler in his fight against the British.

In January 2019, to combat the left-wing anti-Israel voice taking over the Democratic Party, a group formed called the Democratic Majority for Israel. Their mission is two-fold. First, they warn Democrats about and prepare them for far-left anti-Israel activists. One of those groups is IfNotNow, which has connections to the Justice Democrats. One of the co-founders of IfNotNow, Max Berger, was also part of Justice Democrats and is now a foreign-policy adviser to Elizabeth Warren (Berger tweeted in 2013 “Confession: I would totally be friends with Hamas.”)

IfNotNow’s modus operandi is to approach presidential candidates and have them pledge to “end Israel’s military occupation of Palestine” and “support BDS.” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke have already been approached. Only Booker and O’Rourke have refused to acknowledge the language of the IfNotNow radicals. Democratic Majority for Israel sent a letter to the candidates warning them of these tactics.

The second mission of the Democratic Majority for Israel is to support candidates that are being primaried by the Justice Democrats. They are behind Engel, who has been a staunch supporter of Israel, against the Justice Democrat-backed Jamaal Bowman. The PAC they founded is focused on preventing Israel from becoming a partisan issue, something that, with the influence of the Justice Democrats and groups like it, is an ever-increasing possibility.

The ousting of Chakrabarti is a win for those pro-Israel Democrats. While an activist like him won’t be away from the seat of power long, even a temporary absence could go a long way. DNC chair Tom Perez called Ocasio-Cortez “the future” of the Democratic Party, and based on the large amount of power and influence she has attained in a short time, he’s right.

For now, at least, Chakrabarti won’t be right there with her, in the center of Democratic Party leadership.

Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for “The Daily Wire,” “The Queens Jewish Link” and “The Jewish Link of New Jersey.” Follow on Twitter @TheMoHill.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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