Anti-settlements resolution in Mass could be ’last straw’ for many Dems, warns party boss in AIPAC’s pocket
This is good news. The Massachusetts Democratic Party is getting involved in the Israel/Palestine issue, with rival resolutions that are already dividing the state committee.
Writes Shira Schoenberg at Mass Live:
Democratic State Committeewoman Carol Coakley, of Millis, introduced a resolution, which will be voted on by the State Committee later this month, condemning Israeli settlements as “obstacles to peace” and urging Massachusetts’ members of Congress to oppose the settlements.
James Segel, a former aide to Congressman Barney Frank, at a public hearing on Wednesday introduced an alternative resolution urging support for a two-state solution and acknowledging that there are many impediments to peace — including both Israeli settlement expansion and Palestinian incitement and terrorism.
Longtime Democratic Party boss/treasurer Steve Grossman, who also headed the Israel lobby group AIPAC, is upset that anyone would take a stance against settlements:
“I think passage of the Coakley resolution would be deeply divisive at a time when Democrats should be working on common shared principles and values, and I think it would harm the Democratic Party,” warned Steve Grossman, a former state Democratic Party chairman and a lifetime member of the Democratic State Committee who previously led the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a national pro-Israel lobby.
Here’s the Globe’s panicky report, which gives Grossman paragraph after paragraph to sound off:
State Democratic Party heavyweights are sounding a red alert against a provocative proposal for their state committee to declare opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank without specifically mentioning Palestinian violence, a step some top leaders fear would lead to an exodus of Democratic voters…
Grossman… said it feeds a “one-sided blame game,” which is playing out across college campuses and in pockets of the “progressive wing of the Democratic Party,” and would send a disturbing message to many Democratic activists.
“A lot of people would read about it and would read the language and say: ‘Frankly, that’s the last straw. This is not a place I feel comfortable any longer,’ ” Grossman said.
“Many would see it as an attempt to drive a rhetorical stake through Israel’s heart and lay the blame — not part of the blame, but virtually the exclusive blame — for the failure of the peace process at Israel’s door, to the exclusion of any responsibility by Palestinians,” he said.
Here’s that resolution. Very mild! We affirm our support for longstanding US policy, from Johnson to Obama, that settlements “are an obstacle to peace.”