New Progressive Congressman Refuses to Bow to Diktats of Anti-Israel Far Left
“The progressive position is to promote a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, not to end the existence of Israel as a Jewish state,” newly-elected New York Congressman Ritchie Torres told Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake in remarks published on Monday.
A gay man who is part Black and part Latino, Torres won in a district located adjacent to that represented by far-left firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and did so without submitting to the diktats of anti-Israel forces within the progressive movement.
Mark Mellman — president and CEO of the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) — commented, “This guy is going to be a superstar.”
Torres first encountered Israel on a trip in 2015, and pro-BDS groups attacked him then as engaging in “pinkwashing” — i.e. using his identity as a gay man to obfuscate and excuse alleged Israeli malfeasances.
“I was blindsided by the reaction,” Torres told Bloomberg, but he found his trip enlightening, meeting LGBT Israelis, as well as others traumatized by rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Torres has refused to submit to far-left litmus tests on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, noting, “I am living proof that you can win a fiercely contested primary without catering to the extremes.”
“You can run as a fighter and a problem solver without taking an ideological blood oath or subjecting yourself to a purity test,” he added.