Democratic leadership has been told to hold the line on criticism of Israel and Israeli apartheid.

By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss

Rashida Tlaib’s comment that “you cannot claim to hold progressive values yet back Israel’s apartheid government” is turning into a defining moment in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib speaks in protest against the supreme court's ruling on the muslim ban.

Leading Jewish groups have attacked Tlaib for supposedly calling for Israel’s destruction. Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL has said that she is an antisemite. And the rightwing lobby group the Democratic Majority for Israel has helped rally a large number of Democratic House members to condemn her comments, with Rep. Ritchie Torres leading the parade, and and Debbie Wasserman Schultz in tow.

Plainly Tlaib hit a nerve. It is obviously very important to the Israel lobby to maintain the claim that you can be progressive and support Israel. Being truthful about Israeli apartheid undermines this effort.

Nearly all the Dems who attacked Tlaib didn’t even mention the apartheid part of her comment. They don’t want to address it. They don’t want to engage with what Israel actually does and how Palestinians live. They just want to say you can support Israel and be progressive, a statement which is not explained or defended in any way beyond itself.

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