Sunday, May 12, 2024

The House Democrats were divided on Tuesday over a resolution denouncing the increase of antisemitism in the United States and worldwide. More than half of them declined to support a measure that stated “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”

The resolution condemning antisemitism, drafted by Republicans, passed with a vote of 311 to 14, receiving support from all but one Republican. Ninety-two Democrats voted “present,” while 95 supported it.

This exposed deepening divisions among Democrats, particularly between those offering unwavering support for Israel and those, especially in the progressive wing, who have criticized Israel’s policies and actions in the conflict with Hamas.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, expressed concerns about the resolution potentially labeling Democrats as antisemites for criticizing certain Israeli policies.

Zionism originally aimed to establish a Jewish state in the area formerly known as Palestine and has since been defined as the political ideology supporting Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state.

The House has recently passed multiple resolutions expressing solidarity with Israel, denouncing antisemitism, and repudiating the actions of Hamas and its supporters following the October 7 attack led by Hamas.

Representative David Kustoff, Republican of Tennessee and the author of the resolution, emphasized that some Democrats have expressed anti-Jewish views.

In recent weeks, criticism has been directed at left-wing Democrats for using antisemitic language, including a censure of Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, for promoting a pro-Palestinian slogan seen as calling for the destruction of Israel.

Such sentiments have been echoed by pro-Palestinian protestors in various locations, leading some to question Israel’s right to exist and leading to incidents targeting Jewish students.

Democrats questioning the resolution called such displays of anti-Jewish sentiment unacceptable, but said equating all anti-Zionism to antisemitism went too far.

“Let me be unequivocally clear: most anti-Zionism, particularly in this moment, has a real antisemitism problem,” Mr. Nadler said. “But we cannot fairly say that one equals the other.”

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