Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal stirred up a controversy when she called Israel a “racist state” at a conference in Chicago. The comment was made in response to pro-Palestinian activists who were protesting against her Democratic colleague, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, for not supporting a bill to protect Palestinian children.
Jayapal’s statement sparked a backlash, with both Democrats and Republicans condemning her words as unacceptable and anti-Semitic. She later stepped back from those statements, clarifying that she doesn’t think Israel as a nation is racist, but that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies have been racist.
“Israel is a racist state…”
US Representative Pramila Jayapal called Israel a racist state during her speech at the Netroots Nations conference in Chicago over the weekend.
She recently apologised for her remarks. pic.twitter.com/o3mLUU6Vir
— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) July 17, 2023
Political analyst Omar Baddar wrote in Newsweek that he believes that Jayapal was right in her original statement. He argues that from its inception, Israel was designed to favor one group of people over another, pointing to the displacement of over 700,000 Palestinians and the destruction of their towns and villages. He also cites international human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which have accused Israel of practicing apartheid against Palestinians.
Baddar also criticizes Israel’s Nation State law, which declares that the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to Jewish people. He mentions the discrimination Palestinians face in housing and the harsh conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories. He believes that the controversy over Jayapal’s comment reflects poorly on American political discourse and calls for an honest discussion about U.S. policy on Palestine and Israel.
Read the full article at Newsweek.com.