2020 Democratic hopeful and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined calls to end the “occupation” of the State of Israel Monday at anti-Israel organization IfNotNow‘s event in New Hampshire. When asked by members of the organization to pledge her support “to pressuring Israel to stop their 52 year military Occupation over the Palestinian people,” Warren emphatically replied “Yes.”
BREAKING: Our members in New Hampshire just asked @ewarren if she would commit to pressuring the Israel to stop their 52 year military Occupation over the Palestinian people.
She said YES. pic.twitter.com/8GLhNMQ2gf
— IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) July 8, 2019
Warren notably supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran Nuclear Deal. In more recent news, a Warren staffer shared, in a since deleted tweet, that he “would totally be friends with Hamas.”
Curious @ewarren is this your official position? Max Berger works for you now…. if president you will embrace Hamas? Maybe you should issue an official statement condemning Max Berger, IfNotNow and hatred of Jews and Israel. Fire Max Berger!! #Antisemitism pic.twitter.com/tY7UauStTB
— David Frank 🇮🇱 דוד פרנק (@DavidFrank35) July 5, 2019
What is IfNotNow?
The group, comprised of young American Jews, is one of Israel’s biggest critics. IfNotNow’s major point of contention is with the Jewish organization Birthright Israel whose mission is to give every Jewish person living in the diaspora an opportunity to visit Israel at no expense.
Here is IfNotNow’s official stance on the free trip, “For our entire generation, going on Birthright has been seen as a rite of passage in our Jewish journey. And, for decades, Birthright’s programming has been funded by right-wing donors and designed to obscure, rationalize, and defend the Israeli Occupation. We can no longer allow a free trip that hides the truth be synonymous with being a young Jewish person in America.”
In addition to this, the organization has compiled a 35 page guide highlighting “Five Ways the American Jewish Establishment Supports the Occupation.” And here are the five ways, according to the document:
- The American Jewish establishment directly funds institutions that uphold Israel’s military, economic, and political control over Palestinians’ daily lives.
- The American Jewish establishment lobbies American politicians to put unconditional support for the Israeli government and its policies above Palestinian human rights.
- The American Jewish establishment amplifies prominent individuals and organizations responsible for deepening the Occupation.
- The American Jewish establishment promotes a culture within the Jewish community that omits and denies the legitimacy of Palestinian narratives and rights
What the Other Side Has to Say…
We support a two-state solution. @IfNotNowOrg steadfastly refuses to acknowledge Israel’s fundamental right to exist, in any borders.
Until they meet that very minimal standard, they are not even worthy of being part of the conversation.https://t.co/nNG90kqDPJ
— Democratic Majority for Israel (@DemMaj4Israel) July 10, 2019
On the other hand, several pro-Israel organizations have vehemently condemned IfNotNow’s mission. On Twitter Wednesday, The Democratic Majority for Israel tweeted, “We support a two-state solution. IfNotNow steadfastly refuses to acknowledge Israel’s fundamental right to exist, in any borders. Until they meet that very minimal standard, they are not even worthy of being part of the conversation.”
The Republican Jewish coalition issued a statement specifically in response to Warren’s support for IfNotNow,
— RJC (@RJC) July 10, 2019
Just this week in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, a Jewish student at New York University Bobby Miller wrote that his religion is being coopted into the political sphere by progressives. Miller wrote, “The American clerical establishment has for years prioritized social justice at the expense of customary religious teachings and values. In a fallacious attempt to fill pews by offering a religion customized for the 21st century, it has abandoned centuries of practice and tradition.” Miller also told this reporter that the same is true for the direction of Jewish-American support for Israel.
Vying for Political Support
Last month, #IfNotNow launched a 501(c)(4) to lobby 2020 Democrats to support the organization’s mission. They’ve already won the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, now, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and its just the start.
Watched Klobuchar dodge our question 😬😬 pic.twitter.com/zLK4Kb9R9D
— IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) July 11, 2019