New York Socialists Ask City Council Candidates to Pledge Not to Visit Israel

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A questionnaire from the New York City Democratic Socialists of America requests city council candidates pledge not to visit Israel in order to gain support from the group.

The problematic question was first reported by NY1’s Zack Fink last week.

“Do you pledge not to travel to Israel if elected to City Council in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation?” the questionnaire asked. “Even though foreign policy falls outside the purview of municipal government, gestures like travel to a country by elected officials from a city the size and prominence of New York still send a powerful message, as would the refusal to participate in them.”

Another question asks local city council candidates whether they “support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement,” instructing them to further explain if they do not.

Michael Miller, executive vice president and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York, which sponsors yearly trips for elected officials and others to Israel, weighed in on the matter, calling the questionnaire “despicable” and “utterly reprehensible.”

In a statement, Miller said elected officials “should not be denied an immersive opportunity to deepen their understanding of Israel.”

“Including this demand — on the same day that a historic peace agreement was announced between Israel and the United Arab Emirates — reveals a policy undeniably singed by anti-Semitism,” Miller added.

In a statement to the Jewish Insider, David Greenfield, CEO of the Met Council and a former New York City council member said, “This is a disgusting display of antisemitism by the leadership of the DSA. Shame on them for spreading hate at a time when we should be bringing people together.”

Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) also gave his opinion on the matter in a tweet, saying “This is anti-semitism. Plain and simple.”

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