News & Politics

Georgia Democratic Senate Candidate Compares Israel's West Bank Policy to Apartheid

(John Roark/Athens Banner-Herald via AP, File)

Rev. Raphael Warnock, who won the right to participate in the January 5 Senate runoff election with Republican Kelly Loeffler, signed a letter last year in which a group of black pastors compared the state of Israel with “previous oppressive regimes,” such as the “military occupation of Namibia under apartheid South Africa.”

Warnock’s position on Palestine and the West Bank may play well with Democrats in Georgia, but it’s problematic for him otherwise. Supporting a terrorist state run by the terror group Hamas against the Democratic nation of Israel — a close and trusted ally — will cost him votes among evangelical Christians and many Jews.

Fox News:

The letter was written by a group of faith leaders from historically African American and South African churches, all of whom had just taken a trip to Israel in Spring 2019. Warnock was among the group who signed the letter.

The letter suggests that the group while visiting occupied territory witnessed: “The ever-present physical walls that wall in Palestinians in a political wall reminiscent of the Berlin Wall,” along with “The heavy militarization of the West Bank, reminiscent of the military occupation of Namibia by apartheid South Africa.”

No, it’s not “reminiscent” of South Africa’s brutal and inhuman occupation of southwest Africa. In fact, it’s not reminiscent of much of anything, since it’s a unique situation. One people with the stated goal of committing genocide against a neighbor is found nowhere else in the world. Israel’s “occupation” is wholly justified under the self-defense clause in the UN Charter.

But the eternal Palestinian victimhood culture has to create ever more wild and shocking analogies to keep the pressure on Israel. They’re not based on reality, but they look good in a headline.

The group said they had witnessed both Jewish and Palestinian perspectives. Still, they said they were shocked at the “unstoppable gobbling up of Palestinian lands to almost render the proposed two-state solution unworkable.”

The National Council of Churches group said they witnessed: “The laws of segregation that allow one thing for the Jewish people and another for the Palestinians; we saw evidence of forced removals; homes abandoned, olive trees uprooted or confiscated and taken over, shops and businesses bolted with doors welded to close out any commercial activities.”

“Unstoppable gobbling”? Sounds serious. That kind of exaggerated, hysterical rhetoric is what passes for argument on the Palestinian side.

Separately, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, in a resolution which listed Warnock as a delegation member, called on the U.S. to “end all military aid to Israel” and to “work in cooperation with the United Nations to demand,” among other things, that Israel: “cease the building of new, or expansion of existing, illegal Israeli settlements, checkpoints and apartheid roads in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The Warnock campaign claims the candidate does not support ending military assistance to Israel. But his opponent, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, called out Warnock for his support of the Palestinians and the anti-Zionist Black Lives Matter.

“Raphael Warnock has a history of anti-Israel positions, from embracing anti-Zionist Black Lives Matter and defending anti-Semitic comments made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to calling Israel an ‘oppressive regime’ for fighting back against terrorism,” Loeffler’s campaign communications director Stephen Lawson said in a statement to Fox News.

As a campaign issue, Warnock’s signature on an anti-Israel letter won’t make much difference. But taken cumulatively, it demonstrates just how radical Warnock is and how out of touch he is with Georgians.