AOC’s Lack of awareness and the Israeli left

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known as ‘AOC’, decided not to attend a memorial event for Yitzhak Rabin. What surprised me the most was not her refusal, which can be understood coming from someone that knows absolutely nothing about the Middle East or Israel. What was surprising to me was that her refusal surprised people on the Israeli left.

You see, in 2012, while trying to improve Israel’s image in the eyes of US college students, I came to realize something that I call ‘the mistake of the right and the mistake of the left’.

Left-wing mistake: People on the left think that a single event by Israel or that a certain Israeli policy affects the treatment Israel receives on campuses. Anyone who claims this has no comprehension of reality. I have spoken to over 100,000 people in lectures (face to face), and learned that those who oppose Israel do not really care about Judea and Samaria or any other Israeli policy. They simply do not want Israel to exist in any border. It makes no difference whether the Israeli speaker who comes to campus is right-wing or left-wing. Hence my surprise. That is, from the surprise of the Israeli left. Do they really not understand? I have an e-mail with the following statement from an anti-Israel Activist: “The organization ‘Peace Now’ is a right-wing fascist organization because although they are not in favor of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], they acknowledge the existence of a Jewish State.” This is the discourse for the far and dangerous left. What we in Israel see as far-left peace organization like ‘Peace Now’, is considered on some US college campuses as a right-wing fascist organization.

On the other hand, we have the mistake from the Right: People on the right think that whoever does not fully adopt the right wing agenda becomes an anti-Zionist ‘traitor.’ This is also not true. You can be pro-Israel and have left-wing views. In security, economic issues or the identity of the State of Israel. Lots of people care for Israel but think (wrongly in my opinion) that it is better for Israel not to be in Judea and Samaria, to conduct itself economically in a socialist manner or to obscure the national identity of the state in the name of universal equality values.

Much like the American radical left forces that are not the majority but are making a lot of noise and gaining momentum, the radical Israeli left is creating a commotion that is causing harm. The ‘Meretz’ party used to be a Zionist party, but today the anti-Zionist moral decline is deeply infiltrating them and other parts of the left.

This is the strategy of those who seek to destroy Israel. They want to dismantle us from within. It works well in Jewish communities abroad. Make the extreme loud so much that the other side attacks the entire political camp. That way all the ideological fragments on the other side feel attacked as well and everything crumbles. Who benefits? Haters of Israel. How do I know all this? Because I was at such events where anti-Israel groups planed these strategies. My only regret was that I did not record it.

When a left-winger decides that everything related to Zionism is ‘evil’, or when a right-winger says that everything on the left is ‘anti-Israel’, it is to play into the hands of those who simply want to destroy Israel.

About the Author
Attorney Ran Bar-Yoshafat is Deputy Director of the Kohelet Policy Forum. Fields of interest include constitutional law, international law and public diplomacy. Ran is Israel's former MMA champion, an author and international public speaker.
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