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July 1, 2022 10:47 am
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Anti-Israel Activists Try to Turn North Carolina Democrats Against Israel

avatar by Peter Reitzes

Opinion

Charlotte, North Carolina skyline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On June 18, 2022, the North Carolina Democratic Party considered adopting three anti-Israel resolutions presented at their party convention in Durham.

I interviewed a high ranking official in the NC Democratic Party, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. According to the official and corroborated by others, two of three anti-Israel resolutions passed.

The two that passed are titled “A Resolution in Support of Human Rights in Israel/Palestine,” which calls on sanctioning Israel, and “Resolution for an Independent Investigation of the Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.”

The anti-Israel resolution that did not pass is titled “Resolution to Commemorate May 15 as Nakba Remembrance Day.” This resolution was considered inflammatory and was sent back to committee.

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The official told me that the three anti-Israel resolutions are antisemitic and did not mention Palestinian terrorism, or the terrible oppression of the Palestinian people by Hamas.

The official and a number of active Democrats have also pointed out that the NC Democratic Party convention was held on a Saturday, which is Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.

The North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association, a well respected organization of rabbis and cantors that includes progressive Democrats, published a statement condemning the “problematic resolutions,” stating, “such party stances often lead to the demonization of Jews and Israelis.”

The NC Democratic official told me, and multiple sources corroborate, that two of the resolutions were proposed by Nazim Uddin, who is the Director of Internal Communications of the Progressive Caucus of the NC Democratic Party. In a shocking June 19 tweet, Nazim Uddin referred to the North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association as “a racist anti-Palestinian hate group.”

One of the resolutions was proposed by Soren Pedersen who is president of the Buncombe County Young Democrats. In 2018, Pedersen submitted two anti-Israel resolutions to the Buncombe County Democratic Party County Convention, one of which called for ending US aid to Israel.

Many NC Democrats and leaders oppose the anti-Israel resolutions, yet the official said it is possible they would be adopted.

While many Democrats have expressed outrage over the three anti-Israel resolutions, there is great reluctance on the part of Democratic leaders to publicly discuss the issue out of concern that the NC Republican Party will use the issue to attack Democrats.

In response to the anti-Israel resolutions, prominent Democrats are quickly organizing the North Carolina Democratic Party Jewish Caucus. Their press release explains, “There are fellow NC Democrats who we believe propose divisive and impolitic resolutions on world events not pertinent to the concerns of most voters. Some of these resolutions display a lack of empathy towards Jewish existential concerns including those with unbalanced views on Israel which is threatening to a traditional Democratic Party voter base.”

Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley told this newly forming caucus, “I just want to be clear. I condemn in the strongest terms the anti-Israel NCDP [North Carolina Democratic Party] resolution[s] … I am disappointed. I am alarmed. I know it is divisive … I am just so sorry. … It is not at all what we stand for as Democrats.”

The NC Democratic official I interviewed told me that Democratic Party activists who put forth such resolutions rarely have their pulse on the attitudes of the members at large, and that these anti-Israel resolutions are likely not representative of where most Democrats are statewide and nationally.

I pointed out to the party official that the 2022 NC Democratic Party Resolutions Report, published in June, mentions Israel 40 times but does not mention inflation, gasoline prices, food prices, guns, or assault weapons a single time. The official responded that this is due, in part, to when the process began, which was back in February. The official also stated, “A lot of these resolutions are reflective of people’s pet issues.”

Peter Reitzes writes about issues related to antisemitism and Israel.

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