Democrat Beto O’Rourke Calls Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu a ‘Racist’

Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “racist” on Sunday, telling an audience in Iowa that the U.S.-Israel relationship must “transcend a prime minister who is racist.”

O’Rourke’s full comments, as reported by The Hill, were as follows:

The US-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet, and that relationship, if it is successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist [sic], as he warns against Arabs coming to the polls [sic], who wants to defy any prospect for peace as he threatens to annex the West Bank [sic], and who has sided with a far-right racist party in order to maintain his hold on power [sic].

O’Rourke did not offer any evidence that Netanyahu is “racist.” The evidence is arguably to the contrary. Last year, as Breitbart News reported, Netanyahu spoke to the annual memorial service in Jerusalem for Ethiopian Jews who died on their escape from famine and war in Africa to the only country that would offer them refuge, telling the gathering: “The entire nation of Israel can learn so much from you … We are as one person, with one heart.”

The remark about “warn[ing] against Arabs coming to the polls” refers to an incident in the 2015 election, when the prime minister posted a Facebook video in which he warned his supporters: “Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”

The remark happened to be true; foreign organizations and governments — including the U.S. under President Barack Obama, who wanted to see Netanyahu defeated — were interfering in the Israeli elections, hoping to turn out the 20% Arab minority. Later, Netanyahu apologized for the remark, and has made a point of developing new relations with Arab governments.

Netanyahu has, in fact, promised to annex Israeli communities in the West Bank (known to Israelis as Judea and Samaria), but he has not said he would annex the entire territory. What O’Rourke calls an obstacle to peace is believed by some Israelis to be the only path to peace, as Palestinians continue to attack Jewish civilians in the area.

The far-right party to which O’Rourke refers is Otzma Yehudit. Netanyahu did not “side” with them, but rather brokered an agreement between them and another small right-wing party to ensure that votes cast for either would not be wasted when they failed, as individual parties, to meet the threshold for seats in the Israeli Knesset. Though Netanyahu has encouraged Israeli voters to choose his Likud party and not the smaller parties, he wanted to preserve the possibility of a coalition that would include all right-wing parties — which is necessary to hold power, just as Netanyahu’s rivals would have to work with Arab parties, some of which are opposed to Israel’s existence.

O’Rourke’s attack on Netanyahu is more aggressive than the comment he made last month, when he claimed that Netanyahu has “openly sided with racists.” He went further Sunday, saying he does not believe Netanyahu “represents the true will of the Israeli people” — seeming to call the legitimacy of Israeli democracy into question as Israeli voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

O’Rourke’s accusations come as Democrats have embraced anti-Israel politicians and struggle to condemn a surge of antisemitism within their own ranks. They also came a day after both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made a pitch to Jewish voters at the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership conference in Las Vegas, telling them that Democrats had moved decisively against support for Israel.

Last week, O’Rourke was the guest of Al Sharpton, a notorious racist and antisemite whom Jews blame for deadly riots in Brooklyn that killed a visiting religious student, Yankel Rosenbaum. O’Rourke told Sharpton’s National Action Network that he favored reparations for slavery, nearly 160 years after the end of the U.S. Civil War.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file


Source

more recommended stories

  • Pompeo Arrives in Middle East to Build ‘Global Coalition’ Against Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • Chinese State Media Defends Iran: 'U.S. Is Pushing the Middle East Closer to War'

    The Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times ran.

  • Trump Pushing ‘Complete Bill of Bullshit’ on Rural Voters

    Appearing Sunday on Axios on HBO, Gov..

  • Seeking Partners: Pompeo Lands in Saudi Arabia for Iran Crisis Talks

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • D.C. Region Sets Up ‘Sanctuary Congregations’ to Shield Illegal Aliens from ICE

    The Congregation Action Network — formerly.

  • Primer: Medicare for All Compared to a Public Option

    2020 Democrat presidential candidates continue to.

  • Sweden: Multicultural Malmo Sends Staff Safety Tips After Wave of Explosions

    Following a wave of explosions and.

  • Tom Homan Accuses Acting DHS Sec. McAleenan of 'Resisting' ICE Raids

    Appearing Saturday on “Fox & Friends,” former.

  • Reports: Pelosi Asked Trump Friday Night to Cancel ICE Raids

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) telephoned.

  • Eric Swalwell Encourages Hispanics to Take Fight Against Trump to the 'Streets'

    Hispanic voters should take their fight.

  • “Deplorable New Dealers” Will Be Decisive 2020 Voting Bloc

    Writing in Vanity Fair, pundit T.A..

  • Trump Nominates Army Secretary Mark Esper as Defense Secretary

    President Trump announced his intention to.

  • Kobach: Trump’s Victory May Have Saved the Cross

    The Supreme Court rejected a First.

  • Bill de Blasio: 'Joe Biden Needs To Apologize' — It's Incredible He's Refusing

    Friday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,”.

  • Nolte: Media Buried Biden's Love of Segregationists to Protect Obama

    So politicized are the media, they.

  • NYT: Trump Ordered, Then Canceled Air and Naval Strikes Against Iran

    The New York Times reported Thursday evening.

  • Sanctuary City: Illegal Alien Wanted for Attacking His Rape Victim After Being Released

    An illegal alien is wanted by.

  • Hunter Biden Still Active in Chinese-Sponsored Investment Fund

    Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

  • Watch Live: House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Mueller Report

    The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

  • Every Bad Thing That’s Happened to My Race Is on Democrats

    “Every bad thing that’s happened to.

  • Josh Hawley Bill Would 'Stop Big Tech's Assault on Free Speech'

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said Wednesday.

  • Donald Trump: 'Sad' Democrats Putting Hope Hicks 'Through Hell'

    “So sad that the Democrats are.

  • Watch Live: House Holds Slavery Reparations Hearing

    The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution,.

  • House Minority Ldr McCarthy: Ocasio-Cortez 'Owes the Country an Apology'

    Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox.

  • California Bishops Decry Call for ‘Ecological Spirituality’

    The Catholic bishops of California released.

  • XFL Legend 'He Hate Me' Missing, Police Asking for Help

    Rod Smart, the football player best.

  • We Can Build Guns That Won’t Fire Without DNA Match

    Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden told.

  • Pentagon Sending Approximately 1,000 More Troops to Middle East

    The Pentagon announced Monday that Acting.

  • Buttigieg: ‘I Wouldn't Put It Past’ Trump to Cause Illegal Immigration Surge

    South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg,.

  • Two Shot at Toronto Raptors' Championship Parade

    Two people were shot at the.

  • Pro-Trump Super PAC Eyes Big Investment in 2020 Battlegrounds

    A pro-Trump political group is eyeing.

  • Buttigieg: It's 'Almost Certain' America Has Had a Gay President

    South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.