The Democrats’ Shameful Collective Silence on Gaza

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The divide between the Democratic base—which is increasingly progressive—and establishment Democrats was on display again this week. We saw it after at least 60 Palestinians were killed, including women and children, and reportedly 2,700 were injured by the Israeli military during protests in Gaza on Monday. Despite this incident marking the biggest loss of life since the 2014 Gaza war, most leading Democrats were silent.

It’s time Democrats stop checking their progressivism at the door when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because that approach isn’t working for either side. Yet for too long Democratic leaders have followed that view. In fact, the second ranking Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) did just that Tuesday as he expressed unconditional support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction to the Gaza protests.

That view, however, is out of step with the progressive base, as I saw first-hand this week on social media and from callers to my SiriusXM radio show, which airs on the network’s progressive station. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party wants our leaders to be progressives on all issues. That means we should criticize Palestinian leaders if they are acting in violation of human rights or engaging in violence and the same must apply to Netanyahu and his policies.

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