Progressives Can Be Pro-Israel Too

Ayanna Pressley talks with reporters outside the Adams Street Library in Dorchester. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Ayanna Pressley talks with reporters outside the Adams Street Library in Dorchester. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Four members of Congress known as “the squad” received much attention when President Donald Trump shared some tweets on his account concerning said “squad” which many people perceived as racist. ‘The squad’ consists of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna S. Pressley. They responded to Trump’s attacks at a press conference. 

One habit of President Trump is attacking this same now-famous ‘squad’ for being antiIsrael. However, these attacks are somewhat problematic as not all progressives or democrats are against Israel. Take, for example, member of “the squad” Rep. Pressley and her position on Israel. She was clumped together with all progressives even though she has materially different ideology than others concerning zionism. In a tweet she shared after she voted for the anti-BDS bill she stated she believes in Israel’s right to exist and supports a two-state solution even though some of her political decisions such as supporting Hres 496 which contains anti-Israel language are questionable. But she’s not by any means someone who hates Israel. Instead, she supports the state and its right to exist.

Ayanna Pressley talks with reporters outside the Adams Street Library in Dorchester. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

On a broader scope, Trump has made the vehemently false argument that Democrats are the “anti-Israel” party. The same Hres 246 anti-BDS bill that Rep. Pressley voted for was also passed with overwhelming support by votes from 174 Democrats. Some of those who voted for the bill to oppose BDS’s efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel include those casting their names on the Democratic presidential primary ballot. Kamala Harris, Tulsi Gabbard, and Julian Castro all voted yes on the bill. There were only 17 Nays on the bill, 16 of which came from Democrat representatives and one from a Republican. The single Republican who opposed the bill, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, stated in a tweet that he did so because he believes that the bill impedes on the public’s right to boycott. However, BDS has commited anti-Semitic acts as outlined in the bill’s text such as denying the right of the Jewish people to self determination. So it seems that, unlike president Trump intially claimed, some Democrats are pro-Israel and select Republicans are anti-Zionism.

About the Author
Sarah Nachimson is a high school student from Los Angeles, California. She is an author, journalist, poet, and political advocate.
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