A top progressive Democrat is cautioning President Biden that his effusive support of Israel could cost him politically among some liberals. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, expressed concern Sunday that if Biden doesn’t recalibrate his approach, he could hemorrhage support. “The President needs to be … courageous on this issue so that we keep the unity within our country for the support of the incredible things he has done,” Jayapal said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked about concerns of backlash from Muslim and Arab Americans and other progressives over his comments to date. “The American people are actually quite far away from where the president and even Congress — the majority of Congress — has been on Israel and Gaza,” the pol claimed. “They support the right for Israel to defend itself to exist, but they do not support a war-crime exchange for another war crime.”Jayapal underscored that she has “been one of President Biden’s biggest supporters” and particularly lauded him for his domestic efforts to boost the working class. She also voiced bewilderment at Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) recently announcing his primary campaign against the 80-year-old incumbent president.“Everyone’s got the right to run, but I’m sorry, I have no idea what he is running on that is different from what President Biden is running on,” Jayapal mused. Jayapal, 58, has bumped up against controversy in the past for her stance on Israel. “As somebody who’s been in the streets and participated in a lot of demonstrations, I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state,” she said during a progressive conference in Chicago in July.Her remarks at the time came in response to Pro-Palestine protesters who interrupted the conference. “That the Palestinian people deserve self-determination and autonomy, that the dream of a two-state solution is slipping away from us, that it does not even feel possible …” she said, drawing applause from the crowd.The Washington Democrat has since walked back her remarks, which drew fierce blowback from both sides of the aisle.“I clarified that what I meant is that the existence of Israel is absolutely legitimate, and I think the world has come to see it as legitimate,” she explained. “However, there are racists within the [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government, and there are racist policies that the government has been carrying out.”Jayapal went on to argue that one should be allowed to levy legitimate criticisms toward Israel without being dubbed antisemitic. Israel has begun an expanded ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu confirmed Saturday. Since Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attack inside Israel, more than 1,400 Israelis and 33 Americans have been killed. The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry estimates that nearly 8,000 Palestinians have died in the conflict so far. Some experts have questioned the estimate, given Hamas’ track record as a terror group.
29 Ekim 2023 - 20:55
Top progressive worries Biden's actions on Israel will erode liberal support
“The American people are actually quite far away from where the president and even Congress — the majority of Congress — has been on Israel and Gaza,” claimed Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wa…
29 Ekim 2023 - 20:55