Your Aug. 9 issue devotes parts of seven columns to the article, “BDS Now ‘Has Become A Pawn.’” The article uses BDS to illustrate a detrimental “wedge issue.” Fortunately, however, the issue is not as complicated as portrayed.
While both parties uniformly support military assistance to Israel, the Republican Party has moved ahead on more difficult decisions, creating cognitive dissonance within the liberal, pro-Israel community and the media. In response: fictitious theories abound about insidious Republican motives. My fellow Jewish Democrats can’t accept the notion that there are those, especially Republicans, who simply want to “do the right thing.”
How should the Democratic Party and the media respond? The allegations of creating a “wedge issue,” taken to their logical conclusion, would require Republicans to weaken their support for Israel, which would be a counterproductive, absurd way to help Israel. That’s a non-starter.
Instead, all the Democrats need to do is step up, “do the right thing,” and become as supportive as the Republicans. Basically, return to their roots and become again the party of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and President Clinton rather than succumb to the rhetoric of a handful of dissidents.
Looking at BDS as an example, developing just a little more principle and courage would enable the House to vote on S. 1, [a package of Mideast security bills that includes support of local anti-BDS legislation], which passed the Senate 77-23, with 24 Democratic votes. If the House reflects the Senate’s patterns, then S. 1 would easily pass. Yet, Speaker Pelosi refuses to allow a vote in order to spare the non-pro-Israel members from making hard decisions in the face of legally insubstantial objections from the left. It’s that cynical approach that creates the danger of a “wedge issue.” It should not receive our community’s sympathy. Preventing a “wedge issue” is not that hard.