Edited by: Fern Sidman
In terms of the political zeitgeist circulating around Israel in “woke” and “progressive” spheres of influence, things don’t look good for support of the one and only Jewish state.
The radical political left has enhanced their vitriolic campaign to boycott and isolate Israel over its alleged treatment of the Palestinians. Their incessantly mendacious accusations and vile propaganda has persuaded The Harvard Crimson to take a pro-BDS stance and even Sally Rooney, an Irish novelist. And let’s not forget the ice cream fiasco of 2021, when Ben & Jerry’s refused to sell their products in the liberated lands of Judea and Samaria.
In such venues as New York City with one of the largest Jewish populations in the world, the BDS movement has garnered formidable traction with the ringing endorsement and unwavering support of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Despite the abysmally dismal prognosis for Israel’s public relations, it appears that hope may be on the horizon.
The New York Times has reported that a new political action network has been created with the purpose of providing financial backing to pro-Israel candidates while actively opposing candidates running for state legislative positions as well as local races.
The Times report indicated that the group, known as the New York Solidarity Network will operate in a similar manner to a local version of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). As is well known, AIPAC is the largest and most influential pro-Israel lobbying organization in the United States and politicians from both sides of the aisle gravitate to their functions.
According to the Times report, the New York network, just as AIPAC functions will be set up “as a membership organization whose leaders will encourage donors to give to candidates they regard as being pro-Israel.” The report indicated that it has not dismissed the concept of forming its own political action committee.
The New York Solidarity Network will also actively take an oppositional stance to candidates associated with or have publicly supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The agenda of the BDS movement is to persuade businesses, entertainment figures, academics and other prominent movers and shakers to shun all things “Israel” and thusly isolate the Jewish State from the global community of nations. They claim they the pressure they apply will not subside unless and until they witness the cessation of “Israel’s apartheid regime.”
As the New York Solidarity Network is focusing on influencing local elections, the Times has reported that the group has “hired Moonshot Strategies, a lobbying firm with close ties to the administration of Mayor Eric Adams, to help it choose which races to focus on. (Fabien Levy, a spokesman for the mayor, said Mr. Adams has no knowledge of the group.)”
In March of this year, the New York Solidarity Network celebrated its birth at a Greenwich Village townhouse by throwing a kickoff cocktail party, as was reported by the Times. The report also indicated that the group’s finances do not appear to be a problem as it is backed by Daniel S. Loeb, a billionaire hedge fund manager. This information came from three people who were briefed on the New York Solidarity Network, according to the Times report.
The chairman of the New York Solidarity Network is Gary Ginsberg, a former SoftBank senior vice president. The Times reported that among the speakers at the opening event were New York City Rep. Ritchie Torres from the Bronx, as and Corey Johnson, the former speaker of the New York City Council. Moreover, the report indicated that Johnson will assume a consultancy role in the newly formed group.
In addition to taking on the nefarious agenda of the BDS movement, the New York Solidarity Network will also serve as a strong oppositional voice to the far-left leaning Democratic Socialists of America, which touts an anti-capitalism line, according to the Times report. Among the DSA’s most prominent and outspoken members is New York City Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
According to the Times report, the creation of the New York Solidarity Network illustrates the fact that the Democratic party, which has for many decades been staunch advocates for Israel has splintered in the most dangerous of ways.
Younger Democratic voters and operatives are embracing the far-left perspectives of the DSA while older Democrats gravitate towards the centrist and traditional positions of the party. As the Times stated, the Democratic party of yesteryear had “long considered support for Israel an inviolable foreign policy plank.” But that has all changed and candidates for local and national races are well aware of constituent outcry about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As the Times reported, it is commonplace these days to witness pro-BDS activists publicly confront politicos who are supportive of anti-BDS legislation.
In an e-mail to the New York Times, Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said of the New York Solidarity Network, ““I’m not aware of any similar organization on the state level — untethered from a national one — that has launched an effort to affect legislative elections by supporting (or not) candidates based on a litmus test of their pro-Israeli credentials.”
The Times reported that “the group charges $1,000 for an individual membership and asks members to pledge at least $5,000 to a slate of “candidates, causes and projects aligned with our mission.” Its 501(c)(4) structure allows donors to remain anonymous.”