As California Democrats gather for their state convention this weekend, they could be asked to support a resolution one Jewish group claims would “demonize Israel” by connecting it to the October shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Eleven people died at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Robert Bowers, who has been charged in connection with the shooting, expressed anti-Semitic views online, The New York Times reported.
The draft resolution was among many being considered for the convention, which will be held in San Francisco and is expected to be attended by 14 Democrat presidential candidates.
The resolution regarding the Tree of Life shooting bears the title, “Commending the House for resolving to fight all racism and bigotry and for resisting the false conflation of support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism,” Fox News reported, saying it received a draft of the resolution.
The document was co-drafted by David Mandel, an California Assembly delegate.
It refers to the shooting as “the culmination of an alarming re-emergence of virulent antisemitism that is a core element of historical and currently resurgent white supremacism in the United States and around the world.”
The document also mentions Israel’s alleged role.
The “Israeli government, along with some of its U.S. backers,” it reads, “welcomed support from Christian fundamentalist and ultra-right groups in the United States and abroad, dangerously ignoring their deeply rooted antisemitism while aligning with their virulent Islamophobia.”
Mandel told Fox News that he is not saying Israel pulled the trigger, but that Israeli officials have some blame for anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence.
“The Israeli government and its supporters here seem to be embracing the right-wing and not caring what they say about anything else — Islamophobia, dog whistles for anti-Semitism,” he told Fox. “That, I think, does indirectly lead to some of the violence.”
“What we’re saying is the Israeli government is aligning itself with right-wing governments around the world, including in this country, and those right-wing groups — a core tenet of their ideology is anti-Semitism,” Mandel said.
As of Friday, Fox reported, it was uncertain whether the resolution would make it to the convention floor.
The Western Journal has reached out to the Tree of Life Congregation for comment, but none had been received as of Saturday morning.
The Trump campaign condemned the resolution.
“Rather than smearing one of America’s strongest allies, the Democrat Party should work on resolving its very real anti-Semitism problem among several of its elected officials. There is no place for anti-Semitism in this country and certainly not in the halls of Congress,” Michael Glassner, the Trump campaign’s chief operating officer, told RealClearPolitics.
“President Trump stands firmly against the hateful ideology that Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have failed to condemn,” Glassner said.
“There is no stronger supporter of the Jewish people than President Trump, who withdrew from the disastrous Iran deal that put Israel in great peril, defended Israel at the United Nations unlike previous administrations, and kept his promise in moving the U.S. Embassy to its rightful home in Jerusalem.”
Some Democrats also oppose the resolution. The Progressive Zionists of the California Democratic Party issued a statement in opposition, according to The Times of Israel.
“These six anti-Israel resolutions divide us rather than bring us together,” read the group’s statement to the Jewish News Syndicate.
“They give no care for the human rights, self-determination, and safety of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland. As they all demonize Israel and hold Palestinian leadership completely harmless, one resolution even calls for the destruction of Israel as the Jewish state.”
The convention is expected to focus on electing a new state chair, according to The Associated Press.
Former chairman Eric Bauman resigned in November amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Kimberly Ellis, who lost a race for the chair to Bauman in 2017, called the issue of sexual harassment “the elephant in the room” and said visiting presidential candidates should address it.
“I’ll be curious to see which of our candidates comes to the convention talking, of course, about their platform but also talking about what is going on right here in California — how it is a microcosm of our politics today in this country, and why it is important that we address it,” she said, according to the AP.
In addition to Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the convention will hear from “New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; California Rep. Eric Swalwell; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney,” the AP noted.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is among the Democratic candidates vying for the 2020 nomination, will not attend.
“I would hope that coming to California would put Democrats in a position where they feel like they have to say something,” Caroline Heldman, an associate professor of political science at Occidental College in Los Angeles, told the AP.
“The situation with Bauman, and the way in which it infected the party in this state in terms of what appears to be an apparent cover-up, I don’t think the Democratic candidates can come to the state and not comment on it without being perceived as tone deaf,” she said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.