Many of us were shocked to see images of Israeli and American flags being burned outside the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week. The angry protesters shouted "Long live the Intifada" in reference to the violent Palestinian uprisings against Israeli sovereignty.
Why would these protesters, most of whom are disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters, burn an Israeli flag in a protest against the corruption of DNC leaders?
Many of Sanders' supporters are college students who have been indoctrinated by extremist professors propagating lies about Israel and attempting to lay blame at Israel's feet for all of the ills of the world. Once limited to college campuses, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement they have nourished is now going beyond the campus. Mrs. Clinton has previously promised to take the fight against the BDS movement to the campuses of America, but it looks like that fight has already come to her.
Shifting Party Lines
I grew up in Kentucky, a Democratic state at the time, and my father was a Democratic State Representative for over ten years. But the Democrats I grew up around are all voting Republican these days: Both US Senators from Kentucky are Republican as are five out of six U.S. Congressmen. This shift is indicative of a move by the Democratic party farther to the left than many of its members, especially so under the presidency of Barack Obama.
A more pronounced indication of this major shift leftward of the Democratic party was the strength of Bernie Sanders' campaign and the reaction of his followers to the "too conservative" candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Granted, the latest email scandal rocking her campaign exacerbated the response, but the fact that US and Israeli flags were burned outside by Sanders' supporters demonstrates that a much larger movement is at hand.
One might conclude that since the DNC platform included more appeasing language on Israel than is acceptable to most progressives and the BDS movement, this must have been taken as proof of collaboration between corrupt DNC leaders and the larger US-Israel "Zionist conspiracy." Protestors chanting "intifada" as they burned the flags just shows that any protest against the establishment now is inspired by Palestinian intifadas against Israel.
What Lies Ahead
Whatever the reason, this all puts Hillary Clinton between a rock and a hard place. She needs to move towards the center in order to win the general election, but she also needs to move left to win the over 43 percent of voters who favored Sanders in the Democratic primaries. Which direction she takes will determine the future of the party and possibly the future of the country.
Already troubling enough about the Clinton campaign was the revelation from her forced email dump earlier this year that a huge segment of her close advisers and confidantes were attacking Israel, condemning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and strategizing how to force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank at all costs.
Thomas Pickering, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, wrote to her suggesting a secret plan to stir up major Palestinian protests, to engulf the West Bank "just like Tahrir Square," in an attempt to force the Israeli government into peace negotiations. Mrs. Clinton forwarded the email to Monica Hanley and asked her to "pls print."
Mrs. Clinton's director of policy planning devised a scheme to get billionaires and multimillionaires to donate to a "Pledge for Palestine" campaign that would have a "shaming effect re Israelis." Mrs. Clinton said "I am very interested-pls flesh out. Thx."
If the Democrats burning flags outside the DNC get their way and force Mrs. Clinton to move even farther to the left, it will either mean the demise of her campaign, or four hard years ahead for Israel.
Susan Michael is the U.S. Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. www.icejusa.org.
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