Our View: Socialist BDS

Our View: Socialist BDS

Israel and American Jews can find threats in any direction.

The Democratic Socialists of America aren’t a big or important group; they’re not even affiliated with the nation’s most prominent self-proclaimed socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders. An anti-Trump growth spurt reportedly has swelled their ranks to 25,000 members, and they claim 14 public officeholders nationwide, including South Fulton City Council member Khalid Kamau.

Their most noteworthy accomplishment as part of the #Resistance has been opposition to Los Angeles’ bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024. That worked so well that L.A. will host in 2028 instead.

So the fact that this far-left-wing group decided to take up the mantle of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement at its national convention in Chicago on Saturday, Aug. 5, normally wouldn’t be worth noticing.

Not surprisingly, the resolution of BDS support had such overwhelming support among the convention delegates that no one even bothered to make a formal count.

What’s significant is what happened immediately after the announcement that the measure had passed: The delegates broke out in a spontaneous, unchallenged chant of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

That is, if the Democratic Socialists of America have their way, which matches the goal of the leadership of the BDS movement, a Palestinian state will be formed from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, driving out instead of existing alongside Israel.

We find the rabid support for BDS repulsive, and we remain dumbfounded that those who are desperate defenders of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people could so easily wish away the nationhood of the Jewish people while denying (perhaps even to themselves) any element of anti-Semitism in singling out the Jews as unworthy of their own state.

But we give the Democratic Socialists credit in one respect: At least they are honest about the goal of the BDS movement they support.

While many in the boycott crowd refuse to speak in public about their preference for a one-state, no-Israel solution or to specify whether the “occupation” they oppose goes back 50 years or 70, the enthusiastic converts to the cause in Chicago didn’t shy away from the ugly truth.

To be fair, America’s left wing doesn’t hold a monopoly on open hatred of Israel. The founding editor of The American Conservative, Scott McConnell, published a column the day after the Democratic Socialist vote in which, despite all expert analysis to the contrary, he implied that the Senate’s proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act would criminalize pro-boycott speech.

He didn’t quite endorse BDS, but he did say that support for the movement would melt away if only Israel would stop building settlements and would give the Palestinians the state they seek in the West Bank and Gaza. McConnell’s simplistic prescription ignores the repeated Palestinian refusal to accept such an Israeli offer and the intention of BDS leaders and many supporters to settle for nothing less than Israel’s demise.

The comments on that column, including old slanders about the destructive influence of the pro-Israel lobby, make clear that Israel and American Jews can find threats in any direction.

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