Jun 29, 2022
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The North Carolina Democratic Party concluded its convention on Saturday by passing a rabidly anti-Israel platform. The Democrats’ platform resolution states that the anti-Israel resolutions are a part of the US’s  “obligation to uphold and promote human rights around the world.” It cites similar positions taken by Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Yesh Din. Though all of these organizations claim to serve humanitarian purposes, they all have a history of extreme anti-Israel bias and only report alleged Israeli offenses while refusing to report Palestinian humanitarian abuses. 

The resolution claims Israel is an “apartheid state. This claim has been credibly refuted as many times as it has been made. 

Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial oppression in South Africa and southwest Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. This system denied non-white South Africans fundamental human rights, such as the right to vote. Apartheid ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the nation’s minority white population. Public facilities were segregated by race.

It should be noted that as Israeli citizens, Arabs are afforded all civil rights and liberties. They vote, and the Arab bloc represents the third-largest party in the Knesset. The only restrictions are in some Jewish religious sites which are closed to Jews. Ironically, Palestinian citizens have not voted in 17 years as the PA has not held elections.

The Anti-Defamation League slammed the claim of apartheid, writing, “While Israel’s policies and practices can certainly be criticized, it is not factually accurate to say they are akin to a permanent and institutionalized system motivated and designed by racism.”

A UN Commission of Inquiry to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has most recently made the claim. It was refuted by Christian pro-Israel activist and Johannesburg native Olga Meshoe Washington, who debunked UN accusations of Israeli “apartheid” against the Palestinians.

Some of the other North Carolina Democrat anti-Israel resolutions are:

  • “Israel has removed and demolished tens of thousands of Palestinian communities and homes that it refuses to recognize, even though those communities existed there for decades” while refusing building permits and access to utilities. 
  • The resolution claims that this is a process intended to make land available exclusively for “Jews” by restricting Arabs to “reserves and ghettoes.”
  • The resolution also blames Israel for the lack of civilian infrastructure in Gaza while also blaming Israel for maintaining its border and restricting access to Israel from Gaza.
  • While criticizing Israel’s Right of Return for Jews to immigrate, the resolution criticizes Israel’s denial of Arab’s “Right of Return,” a demand that the descendants of Arabs who left the region before the wars in 1947 and 1967 in anticipation of the defeat of Israel be allowed to “return” to the areas their parents and grandparents resided in.
  • The resolution also calls on the US government to withhold aid or arms that may have been used against Gaza last year when Hamas fired over 4,600 rockets at Israeli civilian centers.
  • The North Carolina Democratic Party called on the United States to follow existing laws in regards to equipping and aiding foreign entities that engage in gross violations of human rights.
  • They also called to impose targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on those individuals and entities that continue to commit such crimes

The resolution also referred to the recent killing of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed when caught in the crossfire between heavily armed Palestinian terrorists and IDF troops in Jenin last month. The resolution cited a CNN investigation that found that “Abu Akleh was killed in a targeted attack by Israeli forces” and investigative reporting by Bellingcat, which “found that the Israeli forces were most likely to have been responsible for the killing,” which the resolution referred to as a “targeted killing.”

The resolution claimed that “Israel has decided not to investigate the killing.” The truth is that no investigation has been carried out because the Palestinian Authority refuses to cooperate with any investigation and also refuses to turn over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh for others to inspect. On that basis, any conclusions are purely speculative. 

The resolution also called to establish May 15 as Nakba Day to commemorate the “catastrophe” of the establishment of Israel. In this section, the resolution makes several historically inaccurate claims:

“At the end of the 1948 war, Israel took control of 77% of Palestine by establishing the Green Line. subsequently, Israel occupied the remaining 23% of Palestine during the 1967 war and now controls all of Palestine.”

Israel did not take control of or occupy Palestine as no such entity has ever existed. The “Green Line” was a temporary armistice line drawn up as a disengagement agreement between Israel and its neighbors, with the fate of the regions to be decided in later negotiations. Israel has not annexed “the West Bank,” more correctly known as Judea and Samaria. They are frequently inaccurately referred to as the “occupied territories” and are more accurately described as “disputed territory.” The notable exceptions are the sections of Jerusalem captured in 1967 and the Golan Heights, which have been incorporated into Israel. 

The North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association issued a statement on June 17 criticizing the Democrats’ resolutions.

“Of the seven resolutions devoted to foreign affairs, three are focused on criticism of Israel,” said the NCJCA Steering Committee, including Rabbi Judy Schindler, Rabbi Eric Solomon (co-chairs), Rabbi Mark Cohn, Rabbi Lucy Dinner, Rabbi Andy Koren, Cantor Shira Lessek, and Rabbi Batsheva Meiri. “While some of our clergy are sympathetic to some of the claims embedded in the statements, on the main, these resolutions are not thoughtful nor balanced. In short, they contain one-sided representations of the complexities of the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict.” 

“Sadly,  such party stances often lead to the demonization of Jews and Israelis, ignoring Israel’s genuine security concerns, playing upon age-old anti-Jewish stereotypes, and includes language which implies that Israel should cease to exist as a sovereign state. Furthermore, given the troubling rise in direct acts of anti-semitism against many North Carolina synagogues,  we consider these resolutions to be potentially dangerous.”

“We do not believe that these resolutions further the chances for Middle East peace, and we know these resolutions do not reflect the diversity of views within the NC Democratic party.”

“The North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association is officially non-partisan. However,  within our ranks, we include numerous clergy who, as private citizens, affiliate as Democrats. This effort to single out Israel in the party’s platform is particularly disappointing for our NC Jewish clergy affiliated with the Democratic party.”