Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Silent As Squad Members Call Israel An Apartheid State

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What’s the difference between Israel and South Africa 40 years ago?

If you ask some Democratic members of Congress, there’s not much difference at all — and none of the 11 members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation have so far had anything to say about their comments

Three left-wing U.S. representatives — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Cori Bush (D-Missouri), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) — called Israel an apartheid state on Twitter over the weekend. 

It started with Ocasio-Cortez tweeting, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies”, referring to Israel amid its ongoing conflict with the Gaza Strip. Then, Bush quote tweeted Ocasio-Cortez saying the same thing, and Tlaib wrote the same thing in her quote tweet of Bush

Ocasio-Cortez and Train are two of the four left-wing women in Congress who call themselves “The Squad.” The other two members of “The Squad” didn’t tweet about Israel over the weekend: U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and Massachusetts U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Dorchester).

Omar has been criticized in the past for her statements about Israel, including saying that Israel has “hypnotized the world.”

NewBostonPost on Monday morning emailed the press offices for all 11 members of Congress from Massachusetts — the nine in the U.S. House of Representatives and the two in the U.S. Senate — to see if they had anything to say about the phrase that members of their parties used. None of their offices had responded as of 5 p.m. Monday.

That includes U S. Representative Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton), who is Jewish. In the past, Auchincloss has identified himself as a strong supporter of Israel. 

His Web site says that it’s in the country’s economic and security interests the support Israel

“A strong Israel that serves as America’s most staunch ally, that supports her moderate neighbors, that shares critical intelligence, and that deters war in the region is vital to our ability to manage the fallout from a failing Middle East,” the site says.

The Massachusetts delegation also includes U.S. Representative Richard Neal (D-Springfield), who received an endorsement from a pro-Israel group against his left-wing challenger. At the time, Neal, who is Irish, was running against then-Holyoke mayor Alex Morse, a progressive who is Jewish.

Pro-Israel America issued the following statement in mid-August last year when endorsing Neal over Morse:

“Rep. Neal has been a staunch supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship throughout his time in Congress and has taken policy positions that help advance our strategic relationship with Israel. From standing up to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement to renewing aid for Israel, Rep. Neal understands the value and importance of the United States’ powerful relationship with Israel. We are proud to support Rep. Neal in his 2020 primary election.

“While the U.S.-Israel relationship remains as critical as ever, Rep. Neal faces a challenger who has accepted endorsements from anti-Israel groups, aligned himself with the most vocal detractors of the U.S.-Israel relationship in congress, and called for conditioning and cutting critical military assistance to our democratic ally, Israel.”

While U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Malden) hasn’t addressed the matter, his supporters urged him to reconsider his support for Israel in an open letter last week. 

Markey and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge) were among the 27 Democratic U.S. senators to call for a ceasefire in the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Monday, May 17.


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