Monday, July 17, 2023

Rep. Pramila Jayapal did NOT take back her accusation that "Israel is a racist state"

As reported yesterday, US Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, described Israel as a “racist state” while trying to calm down pro-Palestinian protesters at the annual progressive Netroots Nation conference in Chicago on Saturday.

“As somebody who’s been in the streets and participated in a lot of demonstrations, I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state," she said.

This caused a backlash from many other Democratic Congressional leaders, who (without mentioning Jayapal) issued a statement that flatly said, "Israel is not a racist state." 

This prompted Jayapal to issue a clarification that has been reported as an apology or a walk-back of her words.

But it is neither.

Jayapal's statement said, “At a conference, I attempted to defuse a tense situation during a panel where fellow members of Congress were being protested. Words do matter and so it is important that I clarify my statement. I do not believe the idea of Israel as a nation is racist. I do, however, believe that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing government has engaged in discriminatory and outright racist policies and that there are extreme racists driving that policy within the leadership of the current government.”

Words do matter, and Pramila Jayapal indeed chose her words carefully. 

There is no contradiction between her Saturday statement that "Israel is a racist state" and her Sunday statement that "I do not believe the idea of Israel as a nation is racist."

She is saying that it is theoretically possible that a state called Israel can exist that is not racist - but Israel is racist, today, and she has been fighting to make that clear to the world.

She didn't even say that "the idea of a Jewish state" is not racist, and the libel that a Jewish state is inherently racist (while Christian, Italian, Spanish, Arab and Muslim states are not)  is the basic position of the modern antisemites. 

It is an antisemitic lie to say that Israel, which has numerous laws to ensure the equality of all citizens, is a racist state. It is antisemitic lie to claim that Israel is racist for treating non-citizens differently than citizens, which every other nation on the planet does - and indeed is obligated to do as part of its job to defend and support its own citizens. It is antisemitic to blame Israel alone for the lack of peace when every rejection of every peace plan that would lead to an independent Palestinian state while keeping Israel as a Jewish state was done by the Palestinian side. 

Several pro-Israel Democrats have drafted a letter that says, "We are deeply concerned about Representative Pramila Jayapal’s unacceptable comments about our historic, democratic ally Israel, and we appreciate her retraction....We will never allow anti-Zionist voices that embolden antisemitism to hijack the Democratic Party and country.”

But she didn't retract anything. Jayapal did not say a word that disagrees with her shameful, antisemitic statement to the protesters - protesters who, incidentally, hijacked the entire conference for 16 minutes while the organizers pathetically pleaded with them to allow the proceedings to continue.

Pramila Jayapal had a chance to apologize and retract her disgusting statement. She went out of  her way to do neither. And the mainstream Democrats have not done anyone any favors by pretending that everything is all smoothed out now. On the contrary, they have enabled her to double down on Jayapal's bigotry and hate, as well as that of the "progressives" who support her. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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Read all about it here!