Opinion: Black America Needs To Know Where Cory Booker And Kamala Harris Stand On Apartheid In Palestine

Jamarlin Martin
Written by Jamarlin Martin

Now that U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to follow through on a campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris need to be questioned on whether they support the continued apartheid in Palestine — something that is inconsistent with African American values.

Corporate Democrats have risen in popularity by bashing Trump but they are silent on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the “Donald Trump of Israel” — and the racist actions coming from the far right wing in Israel.

Trump moves U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) stand with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: JewishStandard

 

Bootlickin’ Booker refused to vote “no” on moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The vote passed 92-0. Everyone who voted earlier this year doesn’t necessarily support the timing of Trump’s recent move.

Why couldn’t Booker just vote “no” on something that is so wrong — comparable to apartheid in South Africa or what the “Pilgrims” did to the Native Americans? No amount of campaign money, votes or political support should be worth supporting oppression and apartheid in Palestine.

Trump moves U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom

Kamala Harris is in the pocket of those driving and reinforcing inequality in the Middle East, according to one report.

Harris has a strong tendency to look the other way when it comes to Israeli human rights abuses, according to a June 2016 Jewish News of Northern California questionnaire — published before Harris won her U.S. Senate seat in November 2016.

Referring to a previous Middle East trip, Harris said: “Israel’s Supreme Court is a beautiful monument to a government founded on the highest of human ideals. The beauty of the architecture and spirit of design left a lasting impression — the straight lines in the building represent the immutable nature of truth, while the curved glass and walls were built to represent the fluid nature of finding justice.”

This propaganda — or ignorance — is disturbing. And it puts Harris increasingly at odds with grassroots Democrats who support economic sanctions against Israelor more serious action – for its settlement activity. Though illegal under international law, such activity has been enabled by Israel’s courts.

Harris appears to be unaware of what Human Rights Watch has called the “separate and unequal” reality for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. That reality is based on a two-tier legal system.

Her comment also disregards the dozens of laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel. Later in the same questionnaire, Harris rejected the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. She asserted that the “movement is based on the mistaken assumption that Israel is solely to blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

She added: “The BDS movement seeks to weaken Israel but it will only isolate the nation and steer Israelis against prerequisite compromises for peace. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise — especially in Europe — and the Middle East is growing increasingly unstable, I believe we should not isolate Israel, the only democracy in the region.”

No Democratic candidate who made a similar argument today against boycotting apartheid South Africa or Jim Crow segregation in the American South would stand a chance of winning the presidential nomination — or representing the state of California.

Rep. Keith Ellison is able to do just fine staying in his Congressional seat without being in the pocket of special interest groups and corporations. Black politicians can do better to ensure their foreign policy positions and principles are consistent with their domestic policies.

If you hate discrimination, racism, and inequality here in the U.S., you have to hate it in Palestine too.  If you hate Trump here, you have to hate Netanyahu over there.

Black America needs to know what Booker and Harris really believe in, regardless of financial support and political comfort. Who are they really working for?